Roman philosopher Seneca said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Most people today agree that luck has little to do with it. The harder you work, the saying goes, the luckier you get. In fact, many sales leaders have adopted Seneca’s quote and replaced the word “luck” with “success.”

The difference is subtle, but the meaning is vastly changed. Luck happens to us. Success is made.


There are simple things you can do every day to place yourself at the center of the preparation/success intersection and avoid missing opportunities.

1. Strengthen Relationships

It’s all about engagement and follow-up, in person, on the phone, and online. Your relationship begins before you meet a prospect and continues after you’ve made the sale. A strong relationship means repeat business and referrals.

2. Seek Feedback And Ask Questions

You don’t know what you don’t know. And that’s where the biggest opportunities lie. Ask how things could be improved. Ask what’s missing. Ask for new ideas. Ask your customers, your employees, your managers, your Uber driver. Great ideas can come from anywhere. And once you’ve asked, don’t forget to listen.

3. Be Decisive

Don’t be afraid to try new things, to make decisions, and to push ahead. A wait and see approach will always leave you behind the curve. While you’re busy monitoring and assessing, others are grabbing what should be your opportunity.

4. Think Like A Lion

In other words, stalk your prey. The internet is your Sahara. Your prospects are at the social media watering hole daily. What are they saying? There are all kinds of actionable insights to be gleaned if you’re paying attention.

5. Make Sure All Your Links Are Up To Date

This is a no-brainer, but it’s an easy thing to overlook when you’re managing a website, a blog, profiles on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and more. When your link leads to a page that no longer exists, where does your customer go from there? On to someone else.


Find more ways to capitalize on opportunities with the xiQ app offering personalized, real-time, actionable market intelligence and custom content curation. A Smart Selling Tools’ pick for Top Marketing Tool of 2015. Download it free.

About The Author

Usman Sheikh

Founder and CEO

xiQ, Inc.

Usman Sheikh is the visionary founder and CEO of xiQ, an award-winning B2B sales and marketing platform. Through the fusion of generative AI, behavioral science, and ChatGPT, xiQ is revolutionizing the industry with its personality-driven sales approach.
As a futurist and design thinker, Usman aims to humanize B2B sales and marketing by leveraging generative AI and psychology. With xiQ, sellers can understand the mindset of prospective buyers and hyper-personalize engagement at every stage of the sales cycle.
Before xiQ, Usman held various global roles at SAP, including Vice President of Corporate Development, Product Management, Sales Enablement, and Digital Commerce.
Usman frequently serves as a guest lecturer on AI and B2B sales and marketing at renowned business schools such as the University of Texas, University of Wisconsin, University of Alabama, Louisiana State University, and Clemson University.
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Usman’s diverse passions extend beyond business. He enjoys Squash, architecture, design, cooking, and hiking.