The Fallacy of The Law of Averages

By | December 11, 2014

Sometimes, during football matches, you will see a particular team that would continue on an attacking mode and engulfed the opposing team with relentless pursuit to put the ball beyond the grasp of the goalkeeper into the net. Yet despite all the efforts the goal that they yearn for never seems to materialize. And just when all seems lost for the opposing team, one quick counter attack was just good enough for a goal to be scored.

Unimaginable especially for a team that tried in vain to score and another one was just soaking up the pressure while waiting for the right moment to pounce on the opportunity to make a difference.

One single chance.

One single strike.

That is all that makes the difference.

I once had the privilege to meet someone for the first time who shared with me that he remembered a certain company very well because he was bombarded with repetitive emails to invite him for a certain event. He told me that he was even more frustrated when he couldn’t stop the avalanche of invitation that incessantly kept pouncing on him in the digital world.

He remembered the company for the wrong reason.

Sometimes during meetings, you might even hear the common answer especially when a salesperson was been queried why he didn’t win a certain particular deal.

And what is the common answer?

Somebody would mention that the reason of the lost is because the salesperson is not close enough to the customer and the trust is lesser than expected.

That is true.

Now here comes the anti climax.

Somebody would then mention that the salesperson should have made an effort to get closer to the customer by seeing the customer more often. The more he sees and engage the customer, the closer he could become.

Does it mean if you see and engage the customer twice the number of times compared to your competitor, you are likely to be much closer to the customer hence more likely to win the deal compared to your competitor?

If it is that simple, then a senior sales person who has known the customer for ten years will always have an upper hand compared to a junior sales person who just joined a company.

Then again have you ever had the experience that you feel emotionally closer to a particular person even though you only know him briefly compared to your neighbour whom you meet a lot more times yet have never grown attached to your neighbour.

Sometimes you meet somebody for a short while and you feel that you have known him for ages.

It is the same for customers.

They are, after all, human beings too.

If you hit the wall a thousand times, does it mean that it will weaken considerably if you hit the wall a hundred times?

Do you think the wall will break if somebody were to try it for ten thousand times?

Maybe you can try hitting the wall a thousand times however for each time, you could try a different spot so that after perhaps many more times, you would have presumably located the soft spot on the wall that might break hence concentrate your full force at that weakened spot in order to have a chance of breaking it.

Doing the same thing again and again and expect a different result is pure stupidity.

However having a variation in doing it again and again to find the best possibility of success is being street smart.

Every time you try something and it doesn’t work you could probably step back and ask yourself what else could be done to get a better result.

You might depend on your gut instincts.

That has been honed during the years that you have worked.

Yet you might be wrong.

If the desired result is not achieved, at least you tried.

You can try many times however you can focus on the effort to introduce the element of variability in your approach.

Even if you fail, you would have learned many things.

Variability allows a multi faceted view of the whole scenario.

It allows you to approach the situation with an open mind.

Expected results or unexpected implication is another story.

What is important is every single result allows us to be a better person.

Variability allows us greater flexibility.

To find what is our real strength.

And to realize what is our true weakness.

To find our true self in this little journey of ours.










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