Some people have a natural ability to “wow”—an effortless charisma and skill in relationships that draw others toward them. But most of us need to learn a few tricks to get the most out of whatever it is that makes us special. This can make a business seem more appealing to customers and an employee less expendable to his/her boss, a crucial consideration in today’s slow economy. Four ways to wow…

Write a book. Modern publish-on-demand and self-publishing services mean that you can have a book in print, either by finding a small publisher interested in your idea or by financing a book yourself, typically for well under $1,000. (The “Resources” section of my Web site,, includes links for information.)

Examples: An insurance salesman could write a book called How to Buy a Life Insurance Policy. A real estate agent could write a book called Choosing the Right Home in a Buyer’s Market.

Give copies of your book to your customers. If you can’t write, try to find a ghostwriter willing to work for a modest fee…or simply “talk” the book onto a recording device, then transcribe it. No matter how many copies you sell, having a book in print makes you look like an expert in your field.

Feed stories to the local press. Contact reporters at small newspapers in your region, and offer news related to your area of expertise. It must be truly newsworthy, not just self-interested attempts to obtain free publicity.

Example: An exterminator might direct reporters to recent evidence that a new type of termite is now in the region…or provide advice on how to rid your home of an insect that is unusually prevalent in the area.

Once you have been in the local papers a few times, local radio and television reporters might start calling as well.

Always overdeliver. Meeting expectations and making good on promises is not enough to wow. You must deliver more than people expect every time. Think of something you easily could add that your customer or employer will value. Include this bonus at the end of the transaction, if possible, so that the other party walks away with it on his/her mind.

Examples: A restaurant adds a free small dessert to dinner orders. A jeweler provides free replacement watch batteries to anyone who buys a watch.

Give for the sake of giving…and for your own good as well. Show that you are a charitable, caring individual, and you will be rewarded. People want to do business with—and be friends with—good people.

Examples: Help coworkers with their responsiblities whenever you can. Donate your time to charitable causes. Volunteer to be the employee who represents your company at charity events.