Law of Large Numbers

Facing rejection hour after hour, day after day, is difficult. Accomplishing a reasonable daily goal is easier.

In 1972 I was introduced to selling world book encyclopedia door to door. I was skeptical when they told me all I needed to do was knock on 40 doors a day to succeed. I was told if, day after day, I knocked on 40 doors where there was at least some expectation of small children or grandparents I would find five out of 40 people willing to listen to what I had to say. Of those five who would let me tell them about world book one out of five would buy at least one product.

The key to understand in this system is; it needs large numbers to work. If I would’ve only knocked on 40 doors one day I might have sold nothing but by knocking on 40 doors day after day for weeks the total number of doors got larger and larger and the rule eventually worked. Sometimes we would knock on doors for a full week without selling anything and other times, knocking on the same number of doors in a week, we would sell three or four products. On the average, over time, the system they had described really did work.

After a couple of years when I had learned to prequalify and qualify people faster as potential customers, my success ratio improved substantially from the 40 doors, five demonstrations and one sale. At the end of 3 ½ years of selling and training others to sell my ratio was closer to 20 doors, five demonstrations and 2 to 3 sales.