11Yes Has a Number

You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go.

—Yogi Berra, baseball great

If we were to walk down a crowded street in New York City during rush hour and ask people to sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” while we captured it on video, we’d get a lot of nos (see Figure 11.1) and more than a few FUs along the way.

The figure says it takes many “nos” to get to a “yes.” It shows in the forms of a funnel that the more the number of attempts, the greater is the chance of getting a positive result.

Figure 11.1 It takes many nos to get to a yes.

Someone, though, would eventually say yes. It’s just basic statistics. If you ask enough people, someone will do it. In recruiting, the more people you talk to, the more people you will enlist. That’s how statistics work. It’s just math. No matter what you are asking for, if you ask enough times, eventually you’ll get a yes.

Yes has a number. The “Mary-Had-a-Little-Lamb” number, by the way, is eleven. On average, over several experiments, it took eleven requests to get one person to sing for me.

Keeping it real, though, the same can be said of playing the lottery. The statistics reveal that if you play enough times or scratch enough tickets, you will eventually win. It’s just a stupid way to get rich, which is why, statistically speaking, rich people don’t play the lottery. Instead, they invest their money where the odds are more in their favor.

Understanding probability is how ultra-high performing military recruiters play the game of recruiting. They work relentlessly ...

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