Trying Enough Times

If salesperson A, a novice, makes twice the calls made by salesperson B, an experienced professional, guess who will achieve quota first?  The one with the most activity, not the one with the most experience.

It flies in the face of logic.  After all, one would think that skill and strategy win the day.  There are some instances where sheer volume – trying enough times – wins.

I stumbled upon this rule while reading a review of an academic paper.  The corporate connection hit me instantly.  Here’s the rule (bear with me through the scientific references for a moment):

The equal-odds rule says that the average publication of any particular scientist does not have any statistically different chance of having more of an impact than any other scientist’s average publication. In other words, those scientists who create publications with the most impact, also create publications with the least impact, and when great publications that make a huge impact are created, it is just a result of “trying” enough times. (Amazon book review)

This bears out Edison’s famous quote on his journey toward inventing the electric light bulb:

“We now know a thousand ways not to build a light bulb.”

Edison had an idea – an idea that he refused to discard despite many hundreds of failed attempts.  Can you just imagine the ridicule and the well-meaning but discouraging comments he would have endured from people trying to convince him to cut his losses and move on to something more promising?

Here’s the business connection: Everything is a numbers game.  Do it enough times and the successes will come.

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