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David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox came through in the clutch again on Sunday night, hitting a game-tying grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning on the Red Sox’s way to winning game two of the American League Championship.

This only added to the Ortiz legend of coming through in the clutch, joining three other players who have five or more postseason hits in the 8th inning or later to tie or win a game.

If you believe the hype, you may just think that Big Papi (David Ortiz) has been the most amazing postseason hitter of all time or that Captain Clutch (Derek Jeter) has delivered the goods in every late-inning situation.

But it’s mostly folklore.

A recent article in the New York Times discusses how players like David Ortiz and Derek Jeter have forever been tagged with the “clutch” moniker, but the fact of the matter is that they are no more clutch players than anyone else.

As the article points out, Ortiz and Jeter are not great in clutch situations; they are great in all situations.

So how can a private investigator be more like Big Papi or Captain Clutch?

Be Consistently Exceptional

The stats show that Derek Jeter is really not a different player in close games or postseason games. He is, however, consistent. Regardless of the situation, he is consistent in his approach to hitting. His regular season stats, his postseason stats and his “clutch” situation stats barely differ. Jeter is not just great in clutch situations; he is great in all situations.

For some reason, people easily forget about the failures, like how Ortiz failed to come through in the clutch the night before his big grand slam. The thing is that when you need them most, they seem to come through.

In many cases, potential clients don’t call us until they have ran out of options. They call us in a time of need. In some cases desperate need.

So what if every time a client came to us they experienced more than they expected? In there greatest time of need when all else seemed to fail, we came through?

We won’t promise a client something that we can’t do just because it’s something they want to hear. And we’ll never mistakenly lead you to believe that we have some secret access to something that we don’t. Nor will we take on a case where we don’t think we can help.

We’ve built an investigative firm based on transparency, openness, but most of all, doing great work.

We’ve had plenty of cases where we didn’t get what the client was expecting, but being exceptional does not being and end with the results. The effort, communication and overall product can be exceptional too.

Put Yourself in a Position to Win

One thing that both Ortiz and Jeter have had in common is opportunity. Between the two of them, they have played in more than 220 postseason games. When you play in that many games and have that many opportunities to come through in the clutch, you are bound to come through at some point.

We were recently contacted by a client with a tough task. They wanted to find someone they knew was living in the Portland, Oregon, area more than 45 years ago. All the client had was a first and last name.

Challenging, to say the least, but we gave the client a budget and approach that made the most sense for us to succeed. It didn’t really matter what they were willing to spend; we wanted to put ourselves in a position to find the person so if she was out there, we would find her.

Frankly, even with that, we weren’t sure if we were going to find her.

But we did.

And we delivered the goods. While I would love to convince everyone that we are awesome at we do, the truth is that we put ourselves in a position to win, and we did.

Where Does This Get Us?

I could present you with a handful of clients who probably think that we deliver the goods every time.

The truth is, we don’t.

We have won over some clients with some great results, but the fact is that we can’t predict results. We will always, however, be completely up front and honest about the chances, we will set expectations of what we are capable of doing and our chances of success, and we will be completely transparent about our process and our resources.

By doing that, we always put ourselves in a position to deliver the goods.

Just like Captain Clutch, you are not going to get a game-winning hit every time, but if you are consistent in your approach and put yourself in a position to win, you just may get a reputation for delivering the goods, despite what the stats really say.

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