3 Business Lessons From Seattle’s Super Bowl Loss3 Business Lessons From Seattle’s Super Bowl Loss
Super Bowl XLIX proved to be exciting, controversial and as it happens filled with life and business lessons. Regardless of which team you were rooting for, Seattle lost the game more than New England won it.
February 4, 2015
Super Bowl XLIX proved to be exciting, controversial and, as it happens, filled with life and business lessons. Regardless of which team you were rooting for, Seattle lost the game more than New England won it.
While that may be debated for years to come, there are three major lessons business owners and operators can take away from the spectacle. Here they are:
1. It’s not over until it’s over: Seattle had it locked. Thirty seconds to go and on the goal line and first down. Some even speculated the Patriots would let Seattle score easily so they can at least get the ball back and get another shot. Not so fast: Just like contract negotiations. It’s not final or not a sale until the insertion order comes in. All the sales pipeline percentages don’t amount to much until a contract is actually signed. Verbals may make you feel good however, as a business owner or operator, signed paperwork is needed. It’s not official until that document comes in. Be careful how many resources you put against promised business that may never come to fruition.
2. Mistakes are always remembered more than successes: Everyone is talking Seattle's bad decision to pass the ball instead of running straight into the end zone. All the focus is on why Seattle didn’t give the ball to Marshawn Lynch, who rushed for more than 1,300 yards during the season and more than 100 during the Super Bowl. Instead, they decided to pass the ball, which was intercepted, surprising the more than 112 million people watching. No one is talking about the Seahawks’ receiver Jermaine Kearse’s amazing catch that got them near the goal line. They are only talking about Russell Wilson’s pass that got intercepted. It's the same in business: If your customer or potential customer has had a bad experience it stays with them longer than a positive one. Unfortunately, the good often gets overlooked. As a business professional you are expected to deliver. When you don’t, it will take a long time for your customers to forget it, if they ever do. The point is to keep expectations reasonable and put yourself in a position to over deliver instead of overpromising.
3. The end result is all that matters: Regardless of the great, almost comeback by Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX, the Patriots won. Regardless of the remarkable two-minute drive by Wilson and amazing catch by Kearse, the Patriots won. The New England Patriots have the title as the best team in football. When it comes to business, the end result matters. How you treat your employees, customers and business partners are ways to get to the end result and the end result is sales. Businesses are around to make money. That is capitalism. If your organization is structured correctly, operates with integrity and provides the resources your employees need, you will succeed. Everyone has to have skin in the game. Everyone needs to be on the same team. And every employee needs to understand they are an extension of the business and understand their role in helping achieve the end result.
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