Salesperson: When a salesperson is successful, it is certain that that person has been in sales for at least three y...

on January 14, 2019


Could you please explain why (b) not (a) is the correct answer? Thank you!

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Will on July 3, 2019


Ravi on July 21, 2019

@Boram and @wills,

Happy to help. Let's look at (A) and (B).

Here's how we diagram the stimulus:

If successful, then strong client base.

If 3+ years developing client base then comfortable living.

and our conclusion:

If successful, then in sales for 3+ years

We know that salespeople have to have a strong client base in order to
be successful, and we also know that salespeople can get that if they
spend 3 plus years developing it. However, developing a client base
for 3 plus years is sufficient to get the required client base, not
necessary. It's possible a salesperson could build their client base
in less time if they're really good at sales. This shows how the
argument is falling victim to confusing the sufficient condition for
the necessary condition.

(A) says, "salespeople who have spent three years developing a client
base might not yet be successful in sales"

This is a very tempting choice. However, the argument's premise
informs us that anyone who has spent 3 years developing a client base
can eventually make a comfortable living. It does not have to happen
immediately. Thus, we can get rid of (A).

(B) says, "some salespeople require fewer than three years in which to
develop a strong client base"

(B) highlights the argument's confusion of the sufficient and
necessary conditions really well. While any salesperson can do it in 3
plus years, it's totally possible that some people may be able to do
it more quickly than 3 years. Thus, (B) is the correct answer choice.

Does this make sense? Let us know if you have any more questions!

on February 24, 2021

Thank you for the above - I am so lost on this question, is there another way to explain the flaw here?

I diagrammed this as:
successful -> in business 3+ years (conclusion)
successful -> has developed strong client base
3+ years building strong client base -> comfortable living

My understanding of the flaw was initially equivocation of successful with comfortable living?

Based on the above, I can get as far as understanding that 3+yrs in sales is necessary to being successful in sales. However, I don't understand how the premises confuse the sufficient condition for the necessary condition?

Thank you! Apologies for the many questions on this PrepTest and for the follow ups. Really appreciate the support :)