The Attractor Factor

Did you know that being different is an attractor factor?

It's true!

Allow me a quick sidebar:

Last week, Bernadette, my wife and I drove to the East
Coast of Florida for three days.

We stayed at the grand Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.
It's a five-star hotel built in 1926.

The hotel was virtually empty. In fact, one night at
dinner we counted two other couples in the dining room.
There were more servers in the dining room than there
were guests.

A lot of business meetings have been canceled this year
because of the recession. Many more have been canceled
out of fear of being chastised by the federal government
for having extravagant annual sales meetings.

In any event it wasn't a pretty sight.

Rants and raves about the Biltmore.

Our first breakfast rated a 2 on a 10 scale. It took 25
minutes to get an order of English muffins and scrambled
eggs. Both arrived cold. We had a tee time so we couldn't
wait for the restaurant to try again.

One of the tractor drivers on the golf course must have
been on steroids and having a bad day. He buzzed us up
and down the fairways on five different golf holes. And
there was hardly anyone else playing golf. I guess he
wanted the golf course to himself.

The next day at breakfast things were much better. We
had the same server we had on the first day but she
must've taken a spur of the moment fast track customer
service training program. Well, she graduated with
flying colors. Our food was served quickly and everything
was hot. Everything was perfect!

Gives new meaning to - "What a difference a day makes."

The Biltmore Hotel could use an attractor factor - it needs the business.

Okay, now back to the topic.

In sales, being different makes a difference. In fact,
in life being different makes a difference.

Here's an example.

Throughout my life I've been approached by a lot of
different panhandlers.

I see them at traffic lights with cardboard signs.

I see them in cities on the ground with hands extended
hoping for handouts.

Usually, it's nothing creative just a request for some

Every once in a while someone will ask if you can spare
a buck.

A few years ago Bernadette and I had lunch near Wall
Street and took a cab back to the hotel. The cab wasn't
moving because of the traffic jam.

A woman, who looked to be about 70, approached my side
of the cab and said, "Honey - I'm pregnant and diabetic
can you spare a few bucks to help me out." Now really!

Up until last week that was my panhandler's best-of-the-breed.

Bernadette wanted to go to South Beach, about a 20 minute
drive from our hotel.

So off we went. I won't bore you with the details but she
did her touch and see routine in about 20 shops.

On the street again in search for an oceanfront watering
hole we came upon an old man with an old dog.

The dog wasn't wearing a leash. The old man looked at us
and pointed at his dog.

The dog was carrying a pail partially filled with loose
change and dollar bills.

The dog seemed to align himself with us, by walking in the
same direction with us.

The panhandler had delegated the panhandling to his
dog - unbelievable!

The dog looked like he was on the 9-to-5 shift. He
wasn't about to change directions until we made our

And we did. Bernadette took every loose coin from her
purse and gave it to the panhandling dog.

Now that was different.

The dog was the panhandler's attractor factor!

It got our attention.

It created some interest.

It got us to take action.

It also got our money!

I'll leave you with this question to ponder.

Why be ordinary when you can be extraordinary?

In sales being different is an attractor factor!

P.S. There's a sales lesson here for you.

1. Don't blend in with your competition - do everything
you can to stand out!

2. Don't do what the competition is doing - do something

3. Don't hide what makes you unique - share it with people.

If you want to take your attractor factor and kick it up
a notch, you'll get a few good ideas here.


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