The domino chain theory

It’s not just sales people who struggle to get the attention of their customers.  At some point we all find it difficult to get time with other people who seem to be more busy than us, or just busy on other stuff.

That’s because what’s important to us is usually not what’s important to them.

Imagine a line of dominos stacked up and all facing the same way.  You’re one of these dominos.  You can’t see the face of the domino in front of you, the domino whose attention you want.  They’ve got their back to you.  They’re focused on the domino in front of them, whose attention they’re trying to get.  The trouble is, the domino in front has their back to them, and so it continues.

This is why we can’t tie down a meeting, or get a call back, or get a reply to an email, or get that thing we need.  It’s not important to the other person, like it us to us.  They have their own list of priorities and things that are important to them, and they’re going about it in the same way as we are.

Sometimes it feels like an entire supply chain is like this.  Half the battle is understanding the domino chain, and understanding why the people you need something from are not focused on you.

The other half is helping them with what they’re focusing on.  Then you get their attention, they face you, and the 2 dominoes are talking.