One of the AUTOMATED ways to increase your influence, attract new customers and stand out from the competition is to create what I call the “Oprah Factor”. This technique is extremely POTENT and yet so SIMPLE and INEXPENSIVE, that many people pass it right by, totally unaware of its power.

Learning ways to create and incorporate the “Oprah Factor” into your business answers the age-old question, “How can I standout from my competition in a powerful and effective way?”

Oprah Winfrey celebrated Talk Show Host, once commented on air that everywhere she goes, people feel like they know her, yet they’re all strangers to her and she’s never met them before, this is what I call ‘The Oprah Factor”.

As a figure head for her business (her TV show) people feel that they know her, that she understands them, and she would never lead them astray – after all ‘she is one of us’. This is really important for entrepreneurs to take note of as you need to be actively incorporating this factor into your own business. With the advent of almost every company having an online presence in an impersonal cyber space world, companies need to be able to stand out from the crowd, they need to quickly make their customers feel that they can relate to them, that they care about their happiness and that they are dealing with a company that will treat them as someone important – to you they are not just a customer, they are your our whole world. It is a gigantic step up from ‘the customer is always right’ mantra.

‘The customer is always right’ approach, in my opinion, puts you at your customer’s whim. It does not put you on equal footing or even a respected footing. Whereas adding “The Oprah factor’ to your business creates trust and eliminates distance between you and your customer. And if your business is online, and/or your first impression is online, then this is a vital marketing strategy you need to begin paying attention to. The ‘customer is always right’ worked in the past when there was little competition. Today they want more, they want a more personal experience with your company. They want to know they are not just another number, that they are special. They want to know that you remember who they are, that you appreciate their business and that you will help solve their problems because your relationship with them is important, that is why you will go the extra mile for them.

Once you build this mutual relationship with your customer, they will come back for repeat business as well as refer you to their friends and associates. You become their “car guy” instead of just another auto repair shop in the yellow pages or dealership. You become “their jeweler”, on and on, rarely will they seek out your competition, they become very loyal to you and your business. This applies to both online and offline businesses.

What also naturally happens is that they come to you for advice on their next purchase and feel good about what they are buying from you rather than leaving your store feeling like they were just sold to.

Oprah has built so much trust with her audience precisely because she is has built a relationship with them and they never feel ‘sold to’ that anything she tries to sell to her customers fly off the shelves immediately. She sells her own magazine and thousands attend her live seminars because people like and trust her opinion. If she decided to add info-products to that list she could create another mega million dollar empire.

Her “trust factor” with her audience is so strong that whoever she happens to focus on and indirectly recommends, that person’s business hits sky rocket levels. In fact when an entrepreneur, counselor, doctor, home designer or author appears on her show they often times achieve instant mega-star status and sell millions of dollars of their own products. Just look at ‘Dr. Phil’ who now has his very own TV show because of her, or Best Selling Author David Bach, who’s Automatic Millionaire is an international success.

TIP: As an Entrepreneur, you might want to pay attention to companies that have this established ‘Oprah Factor’ with your target market because implementing a joint venture ( with them will also allow you to sell greater amounts of your products or services through their direct or indirect recommendation. All you need to do is create an alliance with that company and because they have built trust up with their customer (your target market) their customer is 10 times more likely to buy from you as they are essentially passing that trust over to you.

Building trust with your own customers and prospects is an incredible way to build your business as it allows you to:

- attract new customers or clientele
- add some “soul” to your business and humanize a large or unknown corporation
- close the gap and knock down barriers between you and your customer
- increase sales opportunities and close them faster and easier
- sell without sounding like a salesperson
- build a lasting relationship with your customer
- build loyalty and trust with your customer
- increase your credibility and profile

How can modeling Oprah help me as a speaker, consultant or trainer? How does she connect so well with her audience? This occurs on several levels, but the ones you need to take a look at are: she creates a feeling of “I’ve been where you are” also known as “hey I have bad hair days too”. People never think she gives off any “I’m better or smarter than you” or having airs about her.

Speakers must be able to connect with their audience or they go broke. I once worked with an author that bought into their own celebrity factor and I literally saw people bad mouthing her and refusing to buy her products just because of her “little people” attitude.

I pay close attention to this point when I am training future millionaires in my Millionaires In Training Program because I believe it is very hard for my students to become successful if they think I am somehow smarter or luckier than them and that things magically happen to me while their life is much harder. If people cannot relate to you they will have a hard time trusting you or worse, they can prevent themselves from becoming successful as a result of this negative belief. This is easy for me to do, as I really do believe that people who have the desire can change their life and follow a formula for success.

In fact, the only way the Oprah factor is truly successful is if you do have heart and are not just faking it. But I have found that many Entrepreneurs have the heart, they’re just not used to revealing it to their customer.

So how can we ‘automate’ this Oprah Factor in our business? Essentially you need to create a system to build relationships with customers. Here are 5 ways to get you started:

1) Write a brief personal note to your customers on a regular basis. One reason people think Oprah is their friend is because she shares personal experiences with her audience. You can do the very same thing through some creative ways. Sit down every Sunday night and write a brief email (1-2 paragraphs tops) about a book you read that inspired you, or how your weekend was or a funny thing your child said or your pet did that made you laugh. You can always relate it to why it made you think about them (your customer) and you wanted to share it.

One client I worked with, missed a Sunday email and was inundated with panicked emails asking how he was – if everything was ok. He was shocked as he never knew people looked forward to his emails or were reading them. Another author I know sent out a little letter that his child wrote about life, and he linked it to his site on a hidden page. Then he emailed it out to his database with the link. After he got emails back from his customers, he posted their response with - yes- another email about how touched he was that people cared and related to the innocent way his child saw life. It made for a great discussion opportunity amongst his customers.

2) Create an appreciation day of fun for your customers. Create a dinner dance once a year, or a sports day in the summer, or a BBQ where they can bring their families. At a seminar event, one guy I know brings in speakers the day before the seminar begins just to mingle with the audience and everyone ends up selling more products, and the audience loves the personal touch.

3) Send out random gifts. Whether it is a birthday card, anniversary coupons/discounts for your products, flowers, a free consultation with you or a free ice-cream coupon, anything you can give to your customers, a year after they first met you, joined your program or bought your product.

4) Make an effort to connect. Set aside a day and just call your customers randomly just to “check in” and see how they are doing. You may just blow them away. You can even do this with people who have not bought from you in a long while or ever for that matter.

5) Tell them your story on your website. Provide more than just your mission statement on your website or company brochure, speak from the heart, relate to your customer and tell them WHY you created your business or your product. Want an example – watch any Dyson vacuum commercial and you will see one company putting a personal spin on their product. The creator of Dyson is positioned as just a regular guy who wanted to solve a problem he was having and nothing on the market did the job. The result? Immediately you trust buying from him rather than an impersonal appliance company that may just want your money. The truth is, the other vacuum companies may also care just as much about their products, but the difference is Dyson seems to be the only one putting out that message.

Simply find ways to create a habit for you and your company to create rapport with your customers and new prospects.

Author's Bio: 

Considered one of America’s most influential entrepreneurial mentors to help you get clients, skyrocket sales, and become famous in your niche or field, Stefanie Hartman, is known as “The Expert’s Expert”. CEO of Centaur Strategies, she founded the entrepreneur’s “Millionaires-in-Training Mentorship Program”, that literally teaches you how to re-invent yourself, become a published expert and create a six-to-seven-figure annual income from selling information you already have! Learn the “behind-the-scenes’ marketing, business & profit secrets from the marketing expert to the guru’s.