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The theory of sales chaos

Danijel Bićanić


The theory of sales chaos
The theory of sales chaos

According to Wikipedia “… the Chaos theory is an interdisciplinary theory stating that within the apparent randomness of chaotic complex systems, there are underlying patterns, constant feedback loops, repetition, self-similarity, fractals, self-organization, and reliance on programming at the initial point known as sensitive dependence on initial conditions…”

Why do I start this blog with such a “dry” definition that can easily “dry out” your brain like a green banana can dry out your mouth?

The reason is simple: when one looks at what happens during an average sales conversation, there is nothing else one can conclude other than that it is a sales version of the above mentioned chaos theory.

In spite the efforts of countless sales trainers, book authors and sales managers - a sales conversation can not be classified and divided into phases and described as a predestined set of steps which a salesperson has to follow.

A great number of companies and managers in Croatia (and, I imagine, all over the world) are trying to teach salespeople in their teams to follow a distinct pattern of actions which will then awake a distinct reaction with the customer: “When You are having a sales conversation, then use the steps from 1 to 5…” - that sort of a thing.

The reality will, with no mercy what so ever, discard all of these attempts like dust from shoulders. No sales conversation is similar to another. Each sales conversation has its unique “DNA” - a bundle of circumstances, human characters, fears, wishes, goals and hidden agendas.

Maybe your customer just had a big fight with his spouse this morning and all of your plans are going to hell because he is just not listening to you and instead is thinking about how not to sleep on the couch this evening. There are no sales steps or sales procedures that can cope with this. The only way to keep the control over the process here is to improvise, adapt and be flexible with your sales tools.

What do I advise you to do?

Speaking in handyman's terms, it is not always possible to use our sales “tools” in the same order. It is not always possible to use a hammer, a saw and then the screw driver in the same order one after another. But, it is possible to master each tool individually. The order of their usage will be always different anyway.

Speaking in sales terms, I want to tell you that it is important to become excellent in using individual sales “tools”. The order in which to use them is something we have to leave to higher forces. Developing trust, asking questions, story telling, closing, presenting, pitching, breaking the ice, handling objections, negotiating, nurturing relationships with “gatekeepers”…

These are merrily tools in our sales “tool-bag” which need to be mastered. If we achieve this, then we come to my, personal, definition of the sales chaos which says: “In the end, everything turned well. And if you ask me how I did that, I could not say…”