Apply Law of Probabilities

law of probability


I don’t believe in providence and fate, as a technologist I am used to reckoning with the formulae of probability. – Max Frisch


When in school we all studied the Law of probabilities. This law states that the possibility of a number to occur at any given time is 1/(The total count of the numbers). That means if the expected outcome of an action is positive, negative or neutral, the probability of outcome being positive is 1/3rd.

This law is crucially considered to decide the outcome of an event, action or process to know what are the chances of the outcome favoring the seeker. In other words if you presented an idea to your manager to increase productivity of the team and 2 of your colleagues also submitted ideas, the probability of your idea getting selected is 1/3rd unless the manager decides to select all 3. Similarly if you are in sales and you are out on the field to sell your product, not everyone’s going to buy it. If you talk to 10 people in a day, and for this product the ratio of prospect converting to customer is 1:10 then 1/10th is the probability.

The law of probability is useful in preparing action plan to meet the target. If the target is to get 5 customers each day and the conversion ratio is 1:10 then you ought to meet and talk to 50 people to have 5 customers. If you need some funding for your project or raise money for charity, you have to use this law to ensure that you reach your target. It is a myth that those who do well in sales are great  in presentation. They are able to close most of the prospects. Some people may have mastered the art of presentation and closing, however the secret of their high sale is they simply talk to more people.

If you want to succeed in exam, you have to solve sample papers at least 10 times to get better at the subject. Your probability of solving the test paper successfully is high.

How does law of probability help in reducing risk?

Risks are integral part of life. Risk becomes an issue if it is not anticipated and mitigated. The law of probability predicts the occurrence, the higher the probability of occurrence the greater is the focus given on the risk to mitigate.

Share prices roll on the stock market and their volatility is a cause of concern for many investors. A decision could mean a gain of millions or even billions of dollars or loss of it. Fortunes could turn tables with a single decision. This decision is taken based on the analytic recommendations and historical performance. The law of probabilities support the decision to buy or sell a scrip based on its probability to outperform its price considering number of variables that influence its price movement viz. index movement, govt. policy change, demand for the product in market, law of nature.

Thomas Edison failed a 1000 times before he invented the light bulb. Every failure he stated that he got closer to the solution, because the probability of success increased as he kept failing. Similarly if you are at a goal to achieve something in your life and aren’t being successful in achieving your goal, it only means that god wants you to try a couple of more times before you embrace success. That is the reason failure is considered to be stepping stone for success.

When the most successful surgeon is asked about how does he ensure that he succeeds operating a critical patient, he always mentions that his experience suggests 99% probability that he will be able to do well. The 1% probability of failure is there, however it is rare in occurrence.

To cut down the probability of failures one must:

Increase their numbers, increase number of rejects to get a Yes from the prospect.

Solve more number of papers to increase probability of answering the exam paper well.

Do more iterations of action to get closer to desired result.

If you want to find an address, what do you do? You ask people on the road for direction. You go a little ahead and then again you ask one more person. Why? To increase probability of being in right direction.

Cricket batsman or bowlers practice several times before they play real game. Practice reduces the probability of hitting a wrong shot or bowling a loose ball.

The astronauts are put in simulator for months before they actually go on mission. The simulated environment makes them prepared for the possible challenges they would face while in space.

Mastering the law of probability is a step closer to success. It gives a definite direction to take action to produce desired result. Apply law of probability in daily life.

To know what it would take to succeed at any goal ask yourself.

  • What is my specific goal. Is it to make 3 new customers every day or make 2 goals in a match.
  • What is the probability of succeeding? One in 10 for making new customers. Or Out of 10 ball kicks you hit the goal post twice.
  • What do you need to do to meet your goal? Talk to 30 new people every day or hit the ball towards goal post 10 times at the least.

Then prepare daily TO-DO list based on these numbers and execute them every day. This is a sure shot way to succeed in any challenging task that is bound up by uncertainties.

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Sell, don’t beg!


Selling is the world’s oldest profession. For several centuries people worked this profession to make a living. Apart from being one of the oldest profession it is one of the only profession that has transformed people’s lives beyond imagination. Yet sales is considered not to be the most preferred profession in the world.

In reality we all are selling something or the other. A child most dramatically sells his need to have an expensive toy, aging parents sell their need for support, husband sells his desire to get his tea to his wife, wife sells her desire to have a beautiful golden necklace. At office we all sell our needs to grow, get salary hike or a long due promotion. We also sell our desire to go on vacation. So, sales is not just limited to people who are tagged as Sales executives.

Why selling is important?
To understand it’s importance let’s look at what is termed as selling. Selling is a basic human need and nature to communicate availability of an item, service, emotion or support that he intends to offer to fulfil other persons needs or desires making it a win win proposition for both to live a deeply fulfilling life.

My god, this isn’t what we heard about sales. However that is exactly what sales per say is. Selling doesn’t mean dumping something on someone to benefit. That is a win-loose proposition. It doesn’t work for long. However it is the job of the sales person to unearth the real need of the person that which he may be aware of or more so that which he is unaware of. Why? The reason is humans are meant to live together by helping, sharing and loving each other.
That is possible only by exchanging what they have. Let’s look at some examples. You need a grocer to give you grocery so that you could prepare your food, you give him money which by the way is exchange item or exchange energy. You work for a company and offer your service to them helping them service their customers needs. They exchange  your service by paying you a salary. Similarly people in sales profession exchange their item, service or support with a payment from the buyer.

How to be a top sales person?

To reach top of the ladder requires certain disciplines. Let’s unfold these disciplines.

Step1. Choose to be sales person. If you aren’t sure ask yourself what is the other area I like to work in order to have a deeply fulfilling work life. Set your goals. Once you choose sales as a medium of your genuine growth and fulfillment then you move to next step. Simply taking a sales job because this was the only available will take you to wrong direction.

Step2. Connect with your product or service.
Before selling the product to someone you have to sell it to yourself. Buy the product, use it, feel how it feels to use it. Know what it can do for you, what difference it makes to your life. If it feels great to you it will sell well to other’s. If you cannot buy it because it’s price is way too high, request your company for a sample. Use the sample. Then look at who would benefit the most by using this product. There is an obvious segment of people who need it. This will give you the focus on applying your time and energy for the prospective buyers. However it is difficult to prospect every time. Advertisement helps to reach out to prospective buyers. Give a presentation to the prospect. Your enthusiasm and conviction is what they will connect to. Give a sample of your product or if you are selling service volunteer one free service. Sampling is one of the best techniques to close prospect. Joe Girard holds Guinness book of world records for highest sale of motor vehicles for consecutive 12 years. He has sold over 12000 vehicles. He recommends selling is an art to connect and bond with people. Joe states that more than what product the customer is buying he is making decision to buy because he trusts the salesperson. This must be the focus area. That is why your physical appearance, manners, nature matter a lot in closing the sale.

Step3. Closing. People do phenomenal presentation but in the end they say “did you like the presentation?”. That is doubting yourself. If you want to be modest you could add ‘This presentation is all what I have learnt and experienced over a period of time, I am sure there could be some things to be added, yet it will give you fair idea about our product or service’. Closing has to be direct. Some people do whole presentation and do not know how to close. They either feel shy or scared to ask the final question. Yes, the question that will decide whether the prospect gets converted to a buyer or walks away. How to close the deal? Be direct. For e.g. if you are selling a mobile phone ask ‘which model did you choose to buy?’ Or if you are selling service you could close with ‘when do we sign the contract’ or if you have given options ‘which of these service’s would you like to buy’. Then take a pause and let the prospect respond. If he has liked your product he will choose and tell you what he is buying. If he is still undecided you can ask him what will it take to decide. This will give you a chance to unearth if he has some questions. If he is still not sure, thank him for his time, give your card and with gentle words ‘This is my card, once you make your decision just give me a call and I will be most happy to help’.

Step4. After sales followup. This is very critical. Pennies in sale and fortune in a followup quotes America’s most popular philosopher Jim Rohn. Follow up you give affirms your care for the customer. The followup has to be within 24 hours of your meeting as the persons memory of the event and his enthusiasm or connection of the event is active for this period after which it fades. It doesn’t mean he won’t recollect your meeting him, however his enthusiasm would have died down. Make your customer feel special. Joe Girard had his own way of making customers feel special. He had tied up with mailing company to send about 12 greeting cards to his customers, one for each occasion, the thanksgiving, the Halloween, the Christmas and birthday. He personally signed the card. People remembered him always due to this and they also referred him to their friends, family.

If you follow these basic steps you will have tremendous fan following, your sales figures will triple, quadruple. Soon you will do better than other’s. Consistency has its own rewards. Be consistent.

There are many more tools for rising to the top, since this is an introductory blog we will stop here. If you need further tips write to me on Good Luck.