Sidney C. Walker
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March 2011

"Attached To The Sale" vs.
"Committed To A Relationship…"

by Sidney C. Walker


The title indicates the single biggest difference between what I call the "Client Controller" approach to selling vs. the "Relationship Builder" approach. The Client Controller is attached to making the sale because he/she has to make a sale in order to succeed. Or, if the Client Controller does not make a sale, he/she has failed. Client Controllers don't like to fail and will typically burn the bridge with potential clients who have not decided to buy something. They quickly move on to greener pastures looking for a positive response to their controlling tactics.


The Relationship Builder on the other hand is not attached to the sale because he does not have to make a sale to succeed. The Relationship Builder has succeeded if he creates a relationship with the client. The relationship that has been created is with a new friend who considers the advisor to be a resource for making educated financial decisions. The Relationship Builder has room for the client not to buy anything and still maintain the relationship which is the opposite of the Client Controller. Therefore, the Relationship Builder is a builder of bridges rather than a bridge burner when there is no sale.


Both approaches produce sales. The average Client Controller closes 30% of his open cases (accounts) that stay on the books. When a Client Controller tries to get much above the 30% mark, the business falls off the books quite predictably. I like to say that with the Client Controller approach, one-third of the prospects they close would have bought anyway no matter what the advisor did or presented.


The most interesting statistic is that my coaching clients who have become skilled with the low-key approach (Relationship Builders) close 90% of their open cases. This is an outrageously high closing ratio! Remarkably, I can't say it is because they are good closers. Many of my Relationship Builder coaching clients are not really good at pushing people to do things and would be quick to admit this seeming shortcoming. However, they are extremely good interviewers and dedicated to helping people get what they (the client) want. This alludes to the only way you are ever going to have a 90% closing ratio, you are presenting solutions to the client that they can't say no to because it is exactly what they said they wanted!


You have to decide if you want to be out there trying to talk people into what they should buy, or, help them get what they want the first time around and spend the rest of your career getting them to buy what they need, also known as repeat sales.


Two questions I love to ask a Client Controllers:


1. "Are you results oriented?" Client Controllers take great pride in being results oriented.


2. "If I could show you a way to substantially increase your sales results would you do it?" They all say, "Sure!" The interesting thing is that when they find out it means giving up control and giving more control to the client during the interviewing process, they look at me like I've lost my mind! In their world, there is no way you can give up control and have that increase your results. To a Client Controller, control is what creates the results.


If you are serious about consistently closing 90% of your open cases and becoming a popular and respected financial advisor in your community (lots of unsolicited referrals), check out my website and my 7-day Free Trial: or call me at 877-985-3297 to talk about coaching.


I have helped many "reluctant" Client Controllers become skilled Relationship Builders. When I ask these coaching clients what was the greatest challenge to making this change they all say the same thing. The biggest challenge was letting go of trying to control every aspect of the sales process. When I ask them if they would ever go back to their old ways? The answer is always "no way!" As one of my coaching clients aptly put it: "The hardest thing is letting go of the control you 'thought' you had. But you find a way to get used to having less control when your income doubles and triples for the same amount of effort!


Until next time,

Toll-free: 877-985-3297



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