Football is Back

Practice Risk Management

Practice Risk Management

There is something special about this time of the year. It seems that when football players hit the practice field for the first time; simultaneously a fog of excitement spreads all over our nation.  Conversations between people seem to switch from the weather to football. People that don’t even like football seem to have better attitudes because football is the first sign of fall, and we know it won’t be long until cooler weather arrives. Thanksgiving and Christmas comes into sight which is generally a happy time for people. Take yourself a little survey by asking 10 or 20 total strangers what their favorite time of the year is. You might be surprised like I was. The fall season is by far my favorite time of the year but I would have thought that most people liked spring the best. Not so. My survey shows almost 75% prefer fall.

By having a career in sales, I learned a very valuable lesson about football and I learned it the hard way. I have lived in Alabama all my life. I am very proud of my state and all she has to offer. I think Alabama gets some bad publicity some time but I don’t know of a state I had rather live in. I don’t know if you’ve heard about it or not but the boys play some pretty good football in our state. Residents born in Alabama seem to have either crimson or orange blood. People that move into Alabama from another have a very difficult decision to make. If they want to be totally accepted, they have to make a choice of which family they want to be a part of. Many homes are divided as evidenced by car tags and bumper stickers.

I am an Alabama fan but I also pull for Auburn to win against other schools. Some people bad mouth me for straddling the fence so to speak, but both schools are in Alabama. I use to have an Alabama cap on one side of the back window of my car and an Auburn cap on the other side. One day I went to show a condo that was a perfect fit for the buyer. It was exactly what he wanted and he bought it but not from me. Upon my initial visit with this man we had a very good conversation about football. He made some comment about me not being able to make up my mind about which school I like best and then proceeded to tell me he knew exactly who his favorite school is. He was a LSU alum. I shall never forget losing that sale because it cost me a commission, net to me, a little over $20,000.

I immediately took both caps out of my car. I gave the Auburn cap to my grandson who bleeds orange and I put my Alabama cap in the closet. I try my best to practice what I preach and in many of my training classes, I share this story with them. When you’re in sales, you can have a favorite school or sports team when you are at home, but when you’re in the public, I would caution you to remain neutral. I have found it helpful to have some working knowledge of all teams so I can have something favorable to say about a prospective buyer’s favorite team. I even tell prospective buyers that I have a policy not to disclose my favorite team because of the financial damage it can have on me. You see, I learn quickly and I practice risk management. If you are in sales, I suggest you practice a little risk management yourself.

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