During WWII, statisticians were analyzing the damage caused to planes who made it home. The common thought was to reinforce the areas in red, where the plane was hit the most.
However, the statistician Abraham Wald, recommended reinforcing the areas that hadn’t been hit (the areas in white).
Well, the planes that made it home…. made it home. Thus, if the plane was hit in these red spots it was fine. What really needed to be reinforced is the areas in white, because those planes didn’t make it home.
The initial thinking to reinforce the red areas is called survivorship bias. When you come to conclusions based on only the information that survived.
In a sales process that’s the equivalent of saying “Hey, every deal we won we didn’t bring up the competition”... sure you may have won those deals, but what about all the deals you lost because you didn’t bring competition objections to the surface?
A similar phenomena, and major red flag, is called “resulting”:
“Resulting: A mental shortcut in which we use the quality of an outcome to figure out the quality of a decision:. - Duke, Annie. How to Decide
Imagine you’re playing poker and you go all in with a 2, 7 (statically the worst hand). If you win the hand you’ll think you made a good decision.