Most people would agree that the Super Bowl game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots played in 2012 was one of the most exciting super bowl game ever played. Both teams were evenly matched and it came down to how had the ball last with enough time left to score and win.
Most people have moved on to the current season, but there was a valuable lesson one can learn from the New York Giants’ victory run in Super Bowl XLVI. The main lesson we can all take from their amazing playoff run is that you can beat competition that is better than you on paper to win the "big" prize: The Lombardi Trophy. We all run into this in our business trying to beat competition that should beat us on paper. Just like football, sales deals are no longer won on paper. You have to earn it.
Often we go into sales situation defeated before we even play the game. We believe that our competitors are so much better than us that we better quit or go through the motion of competing.
The New York Giants showed that once you get into the playoffs, it is a whole new game. You have the same shot to win as any of your competitors. The New York Giants believed that they could beat any team no matter whom they played and where they played.
Based on the regular season, the Giants were not the best team. Most experts had ruled their journey as next to impossible to even get into the playoffs and news papers in New York were already speculating on replacement of their coach Tom Coughlin. Things did not look good for them.
In fact, the New York Giants had to win their last game against the Dallas Cowboys just to make it into the playoffs, and not much was expected of them in the playoffs.
However, once they were in the playoffs (similar to being in front of a customer), they had the same shot to win as anyone. They had to do be mentally tough, develop a good game plan, execute flawlessly, and with few breaks (here and there) they could beat any team, even on their opponent's turf.
The New York Giants accomplished this feat by beating both the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco Forty Niners, and earned their ticket to the Super Bowl (similar to making the final selection in sales) against a very strong team in the New England Patriots. This team has everything: great owner, great coach and a great quarterback.
Many called it lucky that Giants got into the Super Bowl, to which I say that luck comes your way if you put yourself in a position. Now it was time to prepare and win the the Super Bowl (win the sales deal).
In Super Bowl, the Giants played their game (tough defense, excellent ball control and no mistakes), got some breaks -- part of any game whether in life or sales -- and won it from coming from behind. At the end, they had the ball and a chance to win. They had to make clutch plays in their last drive and score before time ran out. This is all you one can do in any sales situation.
It was a close, hard fought game. Their opponent (New England Patriots) were ahead and should have won if they could have controlled the ball better in the fourth quarter. The New England threw a "hail mary" ( a miracle long pass in the end zone to score a touchdown) on the last play of the game, but it was not to be. Just like in sales, there can only be one winner. Giants won 21 - 17.
So as we get ready to visit a customer today (or in the next few days), our company can be “Giants” in winning against formidable competitors. They might be better on paper, may have gotten off to a great start, but at this point we are in the game and it is what we do that will make the difference and win the Lombardi Trophy (the sales deal).