Several years ago, Max Gunther authored a book entitled The Luck Factor. For 20 years, he researched and studied successful people on all levels and from many walks of life. His objective was to determine whether there is truly such a thing as “luck.”
His research proved that it wasn’t so much the “luck” factor that gave them their success, but the fact that an overwhelming majority of those who felt they had achieved success possessed the “Like Factor.” He found that people who were genuinely friendly, outgoing and had a great sense of humor had the odds in their favor to achieve success in both their business and personal lives. In Gunther’s own words, “These people make themselves known to many other people, usually without thinking about it. They’re gregarious. They go out of their way to be friendly. They talk to strangers and are joyous meeters and greeters. They start conversations. The woman who pours their morning Starbucks is more than just a face.”
He compares people we may consider as “lucky,” to a spider. “A spider strings many lines to catch passing flies and the bigger her web, the better she eats. So it is with those who would catch good luck. In general. . .the luckiest men and women are those whose personalities draw people to them, and have also taken the trouble to form a great deal of friendly contacts with others,” Gunther said.
If you are a woman business owner or in sales (despite your title, you are still “in sales” if you service customers!), you know that sales success is never due only to the brilliance of your sales presentation or your gift of gab. Great sales trainers will tell you the customer is not always buying your product or service, more often they’re buying YOU. It’s your personality and how you conduct yourself that becomes a major factor in the buying decision. If you possess the “Like Factor” your ability to influence customers to do business with you will increase tenfold.
Follow the example of the spider and spin your web wide and strong. The bigger and stronger you spin it, the more chances you’ll have to catch customers. Look at a spider’s sticky web and remember that good old fashioned “stick-to-itiveness” too. Stick to making those sales calls and striving to win over customers. Work hard at developing mutually beneficial relationships and reinforce your “likeability” with every customer encounter.
If you are in a leadership position, it is not only due to the brilliance of your strategic planning, your ability to communicate your vision and your level of expertise. It also has to do with your ability to keep your people motivated and influence them to follow your lead. Here again, the “Like Factor” comes into play. If you are a great person to work with (notice I said with not for) and your employees LIKE you, you are “lucky” to be able to keep them happy and productive. This is vital in a world where people are feeling the pressure to perform. The number one cause for job dissatisfaction in America today is a bad boss. If you possess the “Like Factor,” the odds are that your people will be productive and want to perform for you. tpw