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Sales Strategy: How the 80-20 Rule Transformed My Business and Life


Sales Strategy: How the 80-20 Rule Transformed My Business and Life

I take it you’ve heard of the Pareto Law – otherwise known as the 80-20 rule.

Put shortly, the Pareto Law states that a small minority will have a disproportionate impact, generate a disproportionate share of results, or cause a disproportionate amount of trouble. Intuitively, we all “know” this to be true. But very, very few people truly understand how far this principle extends. If I’m honest, I didn’t either. So over the past year, I decided to run a little experiment.

Put the Pareto Law to the test, if you will.

First, I started by identifying a set of key metrics for my business; things that, when they link up in chain, produce extraordinary results for my business. Huge ticket sales. Great clients. Maximum revenue. And then I started measuring them. As the year advanced, I added more, new metrics. Started building correlations. Seeing relationships. Connections.

And this is what I have found in terms of how the Pareto Law applies to my business and lead generation:

  • 20% of my leads result in 80% of my proposals
  • 20% of those proposals generate 80% of my wins
  • 20% of my marketing activities generate 80% of my leads
  • 20% of my posts receive 80% of my traffic
  • 20% of my social connections do 80% of the sharing
  • 20% of my referral sources refer 80% of my leads

This is what I have also found:

  • 20% of my clients soak up 80% of my time
  • 20% of my prospects ask for 80% of my proposals
  • that 80% of proposals turn into 20% of my revenue
  • 80% of the people who are “interested” never buy

The more I started measuring key metrics in my business (sales funnel, marketing activities, …), the more I started seeing this principle appear. Then, I started seeing it in your life, as well as my business. And gradually I started to build my understanding of the true, raw power of this principle – and the way in which it can transform our businesses, careers and our lives.


In perfect accordance with the Pareto Law, 80% of the people reading this will gloss over it, and be on their way.

But 20% will stop, reflect and take action.

If you’re part of that 20%, here is what I recommend you do to get started:

  • Develop a basic model of your key metrics – the things that, when combined and lined up, equal success
  • Identify the pivots/conversion points within that model – the things you “must get right”
  • Start putting in place measurement tools that allow you to get a sense of what is happening right now
  • Identify the levers within those conversion points you can influence to get to (exponentially) greater results
  • Make small tweaks (“pull the levers”) and see what happens – track results as you make more changes over time

In The Matrix, Morpheus told Neo, “This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

Will you take the red pill?

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