Having two boys who play baseball (as a pitcher and a catcher respectively) and then recently visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, has put baseball on my mind. Add to that the fact that I am a lifelong fan of the Philadelphia Phillies and you have someone who has learned a thing or two about baseball. So on this Opening Day of the 2015 season, I want to combine my over 25 years of business experience with my baseball knowledge and talk about the first of nine business lessons you can learn from the game of baseball.
Lesson 1: It is a Long Season
The Major League Baseball season stretches from early April to October, and includes over 160 regular league games; not including the playoffs. With each game lasting an approximate 2.5 hours, that’s a lot of playtime in a season!
What happens in the first inning of the first game in the pre-season has little bearing on who the pennant winner will be. The season lasts a long, long (and some say TOO long) time. By the time the season wraps up, the average batter has been in the box over 500 times. Sometimes they get a hit, but more often, they get out. Their first at-bat doesn’t set the tone for their season – unless they let it.
Business is the same way
While any one customer interaction, sales conversation or opportunity to connect with your ideal client may seem to always be of the utmost importance (and it certainly is, at that moment) — in the overall scheme of things, it is only one piece of a larger puzzle. Yes, great players play hard every moment, but they also know how to pace themselves and shake off a missed play and move ahead.
In your business, you need that perspective. Yes, you want to hit a home run each and every time you are connect with an ideal client, and you want to make a play every time an opportunity comes your way, but chances are you are going to flub a few easy conversations, and miss a few hits. That is just the nature of the game.
Sometimes, your perfectly crafted sales page does not convert. Sometimes, an unhappy customer remains unhappy no matter how hard you try to fix the situation. Sometimes, a great product doesn’t sell well. Sometimes you can figure out what is wrong and make the corrections, while other times you just have to let it go and move forward, realizing that you will have hundreds of other interactions and opportunities to make your season a winning one.
It’s a game of averages
To put things in perspective, many of best hitters in baseball that we saw featured in the Hall of Fame typically have a batting average of around .300. That means every ten times they get up to bat, they fail to get on base seven times. And these are the best of the best! Even the venerable Babe Ruth had a lifetime batting average of only .342. (So for every ten conversations you have, you may only convert three of them into paying clients!) However, by practicing and honing your message and understanding the needs of your clients, you will get on base more often and your average can be even better than Babe’s.
On a team level, most clubs are striving for a winning season — meaning they win more than they lose. That should be your goal, too — to win more than you lose. And when you do lose – an opportunity — dust your cleats off, put into play your winning attitude and try again.
On Tuesday, April 7th, we will explore all nine lessons on the Thriving Revolution Call. You can join sign up for the call (or get the link for the replay) at http://www.thrive4success.com/thriving-revolution