SO CLOSE!… On Thursday, November 24, 2011 the Texas Rangers were one strike away from winning their very first World Series championship after over 50 years of trying. As a matter of fact they were one strike away from winning… on two occasions! It happened in the bottom of the ninth inning but the St. Louis Cardinals tied the game. It also happened in the bottom of the 10th inning and the pesky Cards got off the hook one more time. The end result?… St. Louis won the sixth game in the bottom of the 11th and went on to win the World Series in game seven one night later. Close but no cigar! I can't imagine how the players from the Texas Rangers felt after that turn of events. We have all lost out in situations where it looked like we were going to be victorious. It doesn't feel very good… sometimes it is devastating!
As always, once you get over your initial disappointment… there are lessons to be learned. Here are four of them as it pertains to Sales:
1. In Sales, as in baseball… there are no sure things. When you are in sight of victory, don't let up. Close one more time and stay focused on the prize you are pursuing. Never "take your eye off the ball", especially when you are so close.
2. Never give up. Until you get your final NO… keep pressing. Keep asking for the order, keep smiling, keep your emotion out of your actions, and keep presenting the benefits of choosing you, your product, and your services.
3. Accept the fact that sometimes a matter what you do… victory may not be yours. There are other competitors out there who are very good. At the same time, always operate under the assumption that you are the best. Why not?
4. There is always another game. There is always another Customer to call on and there is always another Sale to make. One loss… no matter how devastating… is just that. Only one loss. Go out and find your next opportunity… take comfort from the fact that you are now that much closer to a YES.
These lessons are there for everyone. Of course they are easier to accept when they "happen to someone else". No doubt the Texas Rangers got up the next morning, dusted themselves off, and got on with life. Some of the players no doubt handled it better than others, some of them took longer to "get over it". In the big picture, the truth is "it's only baseball"… Life is what you make it. In the Sales picture, the truth is "it's only Sales". Your life is what you make it. There are a lot more important things in life. Sometimes you just need to be philosophical and count your blessings. Why not take 60 seconds and do that right now? It feels good. NO Excuses.