Here in the baseball postseason, it’s a good time for salespeople to stop and reflect on Yogi Berra’s famous maxim: “It ain’t over til it’s over.”
Every ballplayer and fan knows what he was talking about. Most of the fans have already headed for the parking lot, secure in the knowledge that the home team couldn’t possibly blow that four-run lead they held going into the 9th inning. The bullpen is quiet. The dugout is festive. Suddenly a couple of line drives, a walk or two, a hanging curve and … it ain’t over any more.
It’s just as true in sales. More than one sales rep has signed up a new customer, shaken hands, mentally calculated their commission, and headed back to the office with a spring in their step – only to find … it ain’t over.
Because the competitor they just wrestled this account from has one more at-bat. When the buyer tells them they’ve been replaced, they’re going to throw everything they’ve got at the buyer, looking to create a second chance for themselves.
And if they catch you unprepared in the final inning, you may be the one going home empty handed.
So don’t celebrate too soon. Be prepared for that last at-bat.
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