4 ways to get lucky in sales

I’ve been writing recently about complaints that I hear when I talk to other salespeople. The next one, which I hear all the time, is that they’re having a run of bad luck.

At first thought, it sounds ridiculous. We’re SaaS salespeople. We’re professionals. Analysts. Scientists. Surely, in this day and age, we’re above that sort of thing. Yet there are great salespeople that sincerely believe in it. I know a guy who will only use a black pen. If his office hasn’t got any in their stationery cupboard, he’ll go and buy his own. Anything else would be bad luck.

I believe luck can play a part in sales success. We can all tell stories about times you were just in the right place at the right time to make a deal. We can also remember times when luck didn’t go our way. A 2015 research project by the Harvard Business Review found that even when 70 sales students made $132,000 in revenue through golf sponsorships, these successful salespeople attributed 66% of their sales to luck in some way.


The trick is to maximise your ‘luckiness’. You need to put yourself in the best position so you can profit when Lady Luck is smiling on you. How can you do that?

1 – Believe in luck

This may seem obvious, but if you are going to benefit from luck in sales, you have to believe in it. Bear with me here. The premise is that if you put in effort, and do good work, good things will happen to you. Success is what happens when effort and luck combine.

Believe that you can control luck, rather than the other way around. Believe that everything you do makes a difference. Then you’ll do the great work, as detailed below, and it will come back to you in multiples.

2 – Play the numbers game

You all know the famous quote from the great South African golfer, Gary Player. ‘The harder I practice, the luckier I get.’ That’s just as true in sales as it is in golf.

In sales, the more calls you make, the more meetings you go to, the more presentations you make, the more you’ll sell. The harder you analyse your work, the more you qualify, the more you strive to improve, the more you’ll sell.

That’s when that customer you thought wasn’t interested will suddenly call you and buy. That’s when you suddenly come across a prospect who is dissatisfied with their current service provider and is ready to come to you.

Luck plays a part here, but it’s your effort that has provoked it.

3 – Build relationships

Good things happen to good people. The same is true in sales. If you’re a selfish, aggressive, short-term oriented salesperson, you may make sales, but you’ll never get lucky.

If you can build a strong relationship with your prospects and clients. If you can be remembered as the person that tries to solve their problems, is empathetic, with a positive attitude, that’s when luck increases.

You’ll be the one that sticks in your prospects’ minds, the one they think of when they need your service, not your competitors. You’ll be the one they tell their peers about. Think of those referrals.

Those lucky sales? The ones that ‘just happen’ with no rhyme or reason behind them? It’s probably because you’re a nice person.

4 – See Lady Luck when she’s in the room

The problem with luck is that sometimes it presents opportunities that you don’t see before it’s too late.

Keep your eyes wide open. Look for potential opportunities. Sales often happen when you’re not expecting, so stay on your toes.

Sometimes prospects will buy after the first meeting, even though you were prepared to see them twice more. Look for the signals. Don’t pass up on a ‘lucky sale’.

Get lucky

You know what it takes to be a good salesperson. You know how to believe in yourself and your product. You know how to build relationships and help your customers before you help yourself. You know that you need to put in the work. Carry on doing good, day after day, and good things will happen. Make your own luck.

Over to you now. Do you have any tips on how to increase your luck allocation in sales? Maybe you’d like to share a story with the community of when good, or bad, luck struck you? Leave us a comment below.

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