By now most of you probably know that the Boston Red Sox pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in Post Season Baseball history, coming back from a 7-0 deficit in the 7th inning to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-7. But as exciting as that was, the story is about the fans.
If you observed the Tampa Bay fans during game 1 in St. Petersburg and game five in Boston, you would have observed some very tense, anxious people. Yet if you paid any mind to the Red Sox fans in the three games they lost and prior to their comeback in game 5, they didn't seem very upset at all.
Those worried, upset Tampa Bay fans looked just like the Red Sox fans did in 2003 and 2004, when the Red Sox hadn't won a world series in 86 years. But now that they have won two world series in the past four years, the fans were calm, they've been there.
When salespeople have plenty of opportunities and have experienced plenty of difficult sales cycles, it's not such a big deal when an important opportunity dies. But if it's a salesperson that has very few quality opportunities or one who hasn't experienced very many deals that went sour, they react - badly - by getting quite emotional, discouraged, and upset.
The cure? Have your salespeople stuff the pipeline. Prospect like hell. Work those opportunities. The weak opportunities may die away but there will always be good ones on which to focus. And don't discount the possibility that even the deadest of opportunities could miraculously come back from the dead. Especially in big companies where the decision makers leave for greener pastures and get replaced with executives who do want to do business with you!
This can be a discouraging time. It's important to keep your salespeople motivated and the best way to do that is to keep them busy.
(c) Copyright 2008 Dave Kurlan