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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?