It’s the NBA playoffs. I’m a Boston Celtic fan. On Friday night, the Celtics were beating the Philadelphia 76er’s by 15 points at the half. At one point the Celtics were winning by 18.
The previous game, the Celtics had beaten the 76er’s 107-91. It was ugly. It looked and felt like the game and series were over. Philadelphia was done. The game and the series looked in the bag — until they weren’t.
Philadelphia rallied back. And with less than 4 minutes in the game, took the lead and never looked back.
I couldn’t help but think about all the sales deals lost because the sales person and sales management felt the deal was in the bag.
It’s never in the bag. Customers haven’t bought until they’ve bought. The deal isn’t done until it’s done. There are a million cheesy sales phrases around this topic. I’m not going to cheese out on them, but they are on point.
When we start thinking a deal is “in the bag,” it’s the beginning of the end. We get sloppy.
I personally like “constructive paranoia.” The paranoid never think it’s in the bag.
Don’t get sloppy. Have a constructive paranoia. Ask the Boston Celtics. Thinking it was in the bag, may have cost them a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals. Oops!