So I’m about to introduce you to two numbers which genuinely changed my life.
They changed my life for a number of reasons, actually.
They changed my life because I applied them.
I didn’t just read them and wonder how to implement them; I didn’t just read about them and think “nice idea in theory but…” – I grasped hold of them and immediately started making changes.
I’m referring to the 80/20 rule.
That rule dictates that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts; if you’ve ever had a business coach or mentor, the likelihood is you’ve heard this before.
How they get you to apply it, varies wildly I have found.
Before I get too involved in how to apply it, let’s cover the 80/20 rule a little more.
Where did it come from? What is it?
Well, it’s also referred to as the Pareto Principle, because it was discovered by an economist called Wilfredo Pareto.
He published his first paper at the end of the 19th Century, which showed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by just 20% of the population.
He carried out further surveys to discover that similar distribution applied to other countries, calculating that 20% of the world population controlled 80% of the World’s income.
The rule just seems to apply to everything – however bizarre that may be. 20% of your carpet gets 80% of the wear, 20% of software features are used 80% of the time, etc.
Now, I find it has two main applications in business (you can apply it in your personal life too, but for now I’ll focus on the business).
Your client base and your time management.
One of the ‘tricks’ I tend to get people to do first, is to take a look at their sales over the last 3 years (or however long they’ve been trading if less than 3 years).
They then sort their clients by the amount of revenue they’ve generated from them.
Take the top 20% and that’s the list we work with; then, sort that list in ‘how easy were they to deal with’?
Take the top 20% again.
That’s not only your ideal customer, i.e. The type of customer/business you want more of… but it’s also a list of people for you to go back to, time and time again, to sell more to.
The ‘sell’ doesn’t have to be much either; if they’re your best customer financially and they’re easy to deal with, you can just pick up the phone and ask them how they’re doing, and that you’re just keeping in touch to see if there’s anything they need right now.
You’ll be amazed at how well that works (the first time you will, anyway, after that it’ll become a routine).
You’ll also find that you can do this on a regular basis; every 6 months or so you can go over your new clients, rate them in your 80/20 style, and keep offering your top 20% more services.
The end result is your 20% expands more and more, until perhaps your top 20% is your top 40%.
This is a great way to grow your business because you’re doing it based purely on people you enjoy working with (you’re always modelling your 20% on the people you enjoy working with the most).
Want help attracting the clients you really want? Call us today on 01702 668558 to speak to one of our marketing experts.