Creating Relational Capital

By John Holland and Ed Wallace

A CustomerCentric Selling® Approach

Salespeople face increasingly difficult and diverse challenges in the 21st Century business environment. Customers and prospects typically charter cross-functional teams to assess vendor offerings.

This “new buyer” presents the salesperson with new dynamics including more sophisticated, knowledgeable buyers, how to distinguish whether the team is really the buyer or just a group of influencers, how to navigate the diversity of the team members, and, most importantly, how to develop a respected advisor relationship with this new buyer.

These same dynamics exist internally for the salesperson as well. Salespeople often have a great deal of selling to do within their own organizations. How many times have sales cycles been lengthened because the salesperson could not lead an internal team through the process?

Some salespeople instinctively possess natural people and relationship skills that help them navigate through these 21st Century dynamics, while others thrash about and are never able to “get it.” These salespeople may be highly intelligent and capable, but they frequently lack the relational savvy that comes more easily to others. As a result, reaching their full business and career potential will be a struggle.

Early on in his career, Ed Wallace learned a great deal about selling from John Holland. Now, years later, after successful sales and executive management endeavors, Ed has reunited with John to share how powerful developing outstanding business relationships can be in developing your career and, ultimately, your personal net worth.

John’s and Ed’s experiences taught them the importance of improving their relationships with those both outside and within organizations. John has often said that many salespeople try too hard to get buyers to like them, instead of working to earn a buyer’s respect. Clients making important buying decisions will buy from someone they respect and see as a respected advisor, even if they do not particularly like them. The inverse is not true.

Taking the reader step by step through their philosophy on this topic including the engaging and thought-provoking stories from Ed’s learning experiences with Max the Taxi Driver John and Ed explain the essential qualities of relational capital and how this intangible asset can be created, developed, and used to grow your personal net worth in life and business.

About the Authors


Ed Wallace

Ed Wallace graduated cum laude from Villanova University, was a Teaching Fellow at Drexel University while he earned his MBA, and has a CPA designation in the State of Pennsylvania. He is president of Relational Capital Group, which focuses on helping professionals build outstanding business relationships through Relational Capital development.


John Holland

Co-author of CustomerCentric Selling. With more than 20 years’ experience in sales, sales management and consulting, he has helped many diverse organizations design and implement a standard sales process. He has worked with technology, overnight delivery, language localization, leasing, temporary housing and financial services companies.