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The Strange Case of the Missing Floor

The Strange Case of the Missing Floor

How strong are myths and “taboos”? In the US, you’ll seldom see a 13th floor on the elevator buttons or rooms that begin with “13.” There IS a 13th floor, of course, but the hotel labels it the 14th and skips 13. So people who have triskaidekaphobia who stay on the 14th floor are actually in their fear zone, but somehow overcome it by changing the number in their minds. (The origins of the fear of 13 are cloudy, though some cite the fact that Jesus had 13 people at the Last Supper. If you’re not religious, or at least not Christian, I don’t see why this would be of concern!)

People’s behaviors are often adversely affected by myth. Avoiding walking under ladders and avoiding the path of black cats is one thing, but thinking that buyers somehow disappear over the holidays and summer is quite another. I’ve dealt with consultants who are afraid to enter a buyer’s office because they’re convinced most buyers are biased against their age, or gender, or background, or education.

Let me assure you, that’s a myth. Even if it’s the 13th buyer.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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