The real trick was maintaining my cool with the clients' last minute U-turn and holding the relationship together, hopeful that I would retain the client as a referral source. That is another story altogether, a story of Zen meditation and deep-breathing exercises.
So I shifted gears and changed my approach.
Act 1: The letter
I began writing a letter for my clients outlining the market rates available and assuring them that there would be no costs associated with 'switching' their mortgage to another lender. To be fair the author is in a market with an average mortgage transaction of $425,000 which generates (full service) commission enough that even when there are costs, there are no costs to the client.
This letter served as a tool with which the client could short-circuit the entire dance with their lender. Nine times out of ten it did just that, forcing the lender to cut to the floor rate. Once in a while the lender would not match the rate, or would make the process so difficult that the client would return to our office, truly grateful. Either way the letter served as a tool for myself as well. It built trust with what would be potential future clients, if not immediate clients.