We are a people obsessed with sports — and with winning. As a nation, and as an industry, we thrive on competition. It heats our blood and energizes us to strive to grow, to improve and to succeed.

Need proof? It’s in our everyday language

Playing to win

For example, you knew that landing that multi-property maintenance contract was going to be a slam dunk because you went into the property manager’s office prepared, confident and you had the numbers on your side. Buddy, you definitely aced that sale.

Did that big design/build project you just completed turn out to be a home run? If it did, congratulations as you hit that one out of the ballpark.

How about the satisfaction you get when we put touchdowns up on our company’s financial scoreboard? You score big and you score often because you and your team follow a game plan, you train regularly and you take care of the basics, the blocking and the tackling. Your customers appreciate the winning attitude your guys bring when your company services their properties.

Of course, there’s always the risk of striking out on a sales call. Fumbling a presentation. Dropping the ball in terms of service delivery. Getting sacked by an important client. Whiffing on a new opportunity. Being blindsided by a competitor. Getting caught in a no-win situation.

And, who among us hasn’t jumped the gun on occasion? Or had a vendor, the weather or a customer throw us a curveball?

Covering all the bases

Of course, if you’re in a league of your own, you have a much better chance than your competitors to call your own shots when it comes to selecting the markets and clients you want to serve.

Perhaps that’s because you’re always ready to step up to the plate for your clients. I’ll bet you also make it a point to regularly touch base with them, and to cover all of the bases when it comes to what they expect. That, and the fine service you and your team provide them, are two of many reasons why they’re always ready to go to bat for you.

The success of your business, like any sports team, is totally dependent upon the quality and dedication of your team members. When you hire, select only those individuals with good attitudes, folks who are willing to learn and who confidently step up to the plate and consistently produce for your team.

They all don’t have to be heavy hitters, just people who will follow your game plan.

OK, I’ve taken this word play about as far as it needs to go. The take-home message should be obvious given the language we use.

If we run our businesses like great sports franchises with solid game plans, and if we surround ourselves with dedicated and well-trained talent and we diligently do all of the little things that need to be done to be at the top of our game, we won’t just compete, we’ll be winners.