Entropy. Chaos. Mordor. A dark fucking stink hole of confusion and discord. Whatever you call it, it’s that shitty feeling you get when you turn your back on something and feel like it’s all going to fall apart. Guess what, it is — and you gotta stop it.
Entropy is Your Enemy
I was talking to my friend Humberto at Index-d the other day, he’s kind of a science-y guy, and we got onto the topic of entropy. In case you’ve never taken basic physics, here’s the nugget: All things in the universe tend to move toward a state of disorder.
Eggs scramble, but don’t unscramble. Papers pile up on your desk, but don’t sort themselves out magically. That picture you put up of yourself on Facebook in a drunken haze last night won’t take itself down…you get the gist.
Entropy has applications to sales too. Look at your average work day — what group of tasks takes up most of your time? If you’re a great sales guy it should be managing entropy. Plugging up all the holes, tying up loose ends, putting the right people in touch with each other, clarifying the message to prevent a game of telephone. And if you’re a legendary sales guy, perhaps you have an app, like Spiro, to help make managing the chaos easier. But still, there is entropy to manage.
Lead the Crusade Against Chaos
There are more people than ever involved in the buying process these days, and more chances for things to get FUBAR.
Sales guys are the underdogs pushing back against entropy. It’s critical for us to push the ball uphill and fight the never-ending battle against chaos before we face death by 1000 cuts (and lose a deal or a customer’s confidence).
According to Humberto, there are some basic things you can do to manage entropy:
Know the MVPs
You wouldn’t make a move on your fantasy league without the stats, would you? Of course not. You shouldn’t be doing it in your relationships with customers either. Know the game, know the players, and have a personal connection to each one if you can. You’ll be better informed on all the complex moving parts and able to anticipate problems before they happen
Be a Source of Certainty
By thinking more like a librarian and less like a salesperson, you can encourage MVPs to look at you as a source of certainty — a bright torch of justice illuminating the fog of doubt. Be a stable and accurate source of information, provide realistic expectations, provide value, and give them more than they expect.
What To Do When the Shit Hits the Fan
Nine times out of ten, things don’t go as expected. Realize that it’s the nature of the universe to move toward chaos and wiggle out of your grip — it’s the world telling you to try harder! It’s how Clint Eastwood got his flinty glare and Rihanna got her recording contract; how beer was invented and how babies are made.
Unless it’s time for bed. Then the chaos can begin tomorrow.