Many years ago, when I still had bounce in my legs and ran with the best of them, I played college football. And when I was a freshman on the team, a friend and teammate told us a story about when, as a high school player, he had been pulled from a game after making a big bonehead mistake that had let the other team score.
In his recounting of this event, my friend told us how as he trotted off the field, he stopped next to the coach and said he was sorry. The coach then glared angrily at him. Grabbed his facemask and yanked it so his face was inches from his own. Then the coach said the line that our college team would repeat over and over again on our way to winning two conference championships: “Son, sorry doesn’t win ballgames!”
I was reminded of this line recently as the CEO of a startup that I was trying to help kept saying he was sorry. He said he was sorry when he changed the agreed-upon terms and conditions in a contract at the last minute. He said he was sorry when the contract was a month late getting to the prospect. He said he was sorry when what could have been his first deal fell through because of all his inattentiveness and lack of preparedness concerning this contract. And this is when that old college football line popped into my head – “Son, sorry, doesn’t win ballgames.” And in this case, I added one more phrase, “or help you or your sales team close deals.”
In the contact game of entrepreneurship and startups, this line is apropos. It is one young startup CEOs should remember. Why? Because you don’t want to be the person saying you are sorry when things blow up because of your lack of preparedness or inattentiveness. Because saying you are sorry does not win ballgames or in the game of entrepreneurship help you or your team win deals. Entrepreneurship is a contact sport, and when you make bonehead mistakes, they will cost you, sometimes more than you can afford.
Click here, to learn more about the Exponential Boot Camp for Startup Sales,
Written by Tim Bates