Sidney C. Walker
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November 2012

"What Creates Trust
Faster than Anything Else?"

by Sidney C. Walker


The answer is to demonstrate that you are on the client's side. To demonstrate that you will help them discover what's important to him or her, and help them get what they want. You do this instead of trying to sell people what you want them to have which is what creates lack of trust in the first place.


There will be times when what the client wants at the end of extensive interviewing is exactly what you want to sell them, but that should not be your goal as a Relationship-Builder. That is a "sales agenda." A sales agenda creates sales pressure, and sales pressure creates lack of trust.


The most powerful way I have discovered to take away the sales pressure and open the door as wide as possible for trust to happen is to give the client complete control.


You say to the client things like: "My job is to help you make informed decisions about financial issues you are going to face. This is not about me trying to talk you into buying a product. Obviously, I have products for sale, but buying a product from me is not a requirement for me to help you and for you and I to be friends."


"Furthermore I will make you a promise. I don't ever what you to do anything that doesn't feel right to you regardless of how I feel about it. This is your program and whatever you do needs to feel right to you. In other words, if it doesn't feel right to you, we're not going to do it. You have my total permission right up front to say no to anything I come up with. Does that sound like a fair approach?"


Then of course you have to deliver. You have to mean what you say and back it up with behavior. I like to teach my coaching clients to remind their clients throughout the interviewing process that whatever they do has to feel right to them. Let's say you get on your soapbox about life insurance, which I love to do. You promote the benefits of life insurance from every angle you can dream up. Then, at the end of your pitch you remind your client that they are in charge with something like this: "John, obviously I feel strongly about the benefits of life insurance and remember I promised you we are not going to do anything that doesn't feel right to you. So the most important question of all is how do YOU feel about what I just said?


The typical objection I get from a controlling-style advisor is that you can't give the client this much control over the process. My comment back to them is that if you are trying to control and push the client, you will never have a closing ratio higher than 30%. My coaching clients who are skilled in using the low-key approach all have 80-90% closing ratios regardless of the size of the sale (actually, the bigger the sale, the better the low-key approach works).


This creates an interesting choice to ponder. Do you want to feel control over the client and have a 30% closing ratio or would you be willing to give up trying to control the client and have a 90% closing ratio? Something else to consider…none of my coaching clients with a 90% closing ratio would ever go back to trying to control their clients into a sale. It would cost them too much money!


Have a peaceful Thanksgiving,

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