What Is The 80/20 Rule and How It Will Change Your Business

What Is The 80/20 Rule and Why It Will Change Your Business by Chris Cardell

One of the most common and powerful pieces of advice I give to business owners is to figure out the demographics of their top 20% of clients and then spend 80% of more of their time and marketing efforts to get more people just like that. It’s very simple, very straightforward, and it’s an almost guaranteed recipe for success. This 80/20 Rule is called the Pareto principle and i will show you how you can use it to your advantage.

Do Your Research

You can never know too much about your target market and the people in it. Even the most unlikely of information common to most or all of them can give you the most profound insights into why they buy from you.

You’ll also want to know who are the best clients you have to work with. In most cases you’re going to find the best people to work with in terms of business are also the best people to work with in terms of personal preference.

If you find this isn’t the case, then you have a judgement call to make, and it won’t always be an easy one.
The best advice I can give is to follow the trail that leads to the people you most like to work with within the top 20%. The reason I say this is no matter how profitable a client or customer is, if you don’t like them or don’t like working with them eventually something is going to have to give.
There are few things worse than doing work you don’t enjoy for people you don’t like; and while it’s not true to say you should do what you love and the money will follow, you should at least love whatever you choose to do.
The second part of this is once you know who they are and what they’re about you need to create a list of your dream clients, the 100 people, say, with whom you’d give almost anything to work and compile a comprehensive database about them.
If you’re selling B2B then you’re necessarily going to be targeting a relatively small group of decision makers in companies with the money to spend on whatever you want to sell to them; if you’re selling B2C then your process should be much the same, although you’ll likely be targeting more of them (although this does depend on what you’re selling to a large extent: if you’re selling high-end luxury yachts or sports cars your list may indeed be very small and “personal”; but if you’re a painter and decorator, say, you’re more likely to be targeting neighborhoods where the demographic is statistically weighted in being in favor of being like your ideal customer or client).

Craft Your Message

The mistake most business owners make in nearly all their marketing from their emails to their direct mail and print advertising is they sell themselves and their solutions rather than focusing on the prospect’s problems.
Anyone seeing a headline containing a company name or a product or service knows immediately there’s an ad on its way and they immediately tune out.
We are constantly bombarded with ads and marketing messages in every single medium: radio, TV, newspapers and magazines, on the ‘net, in our inboxes, and through our letter box. We have become jaded, cynical and inured to most of the marketing that goes on these days.
So turn the message around and think in terms of your prospects’ problems, fears, and concerns. What keeps them lying awake at night staring at the ceiling? What are the big threats to their businesses or their livelihoods, or their finances, their health and wellbeing?
How do you find all this information? It’s called Google, and anyone can use it for free and find out almost anything they want to about any topic you care to name (and several you’d probably rather not think about).
What you’re looking for are the “no-brainer” pieces of information about the problem your products or services are designed to solve.
A classic example is Wills. No one wants a will. They cost money, you have no use for one while you’re still alive, you don’t want to think about dying just yet, and everything automatically goes to your spouse anyway.
Consequently, selling “a will” is a hard sell. But what a lot of people don’t understand is without the right Will your kids can be accidentally disinherited if you die, your spouse remarries, and then he or she dies.
Your estate then passes to your surviving spouse’s surviving spouse.
Once people understand this and then learn they can easily prevent it, they’ll pay almost any price you name to make sure it’s taken care of.
Every product and service has this kind of “dinosaur killer” fact lurking somewhere within the market you can use to make your offering almost a done-deal to anyone.
Once you have a grasp of these things you can construct a comprehensive programme of education around your research, highlighting the consequences of not having these things taken care of — and you still don’t have to mention you or your products and services when generating the leads and contacting your dream customers and clients and getting them to raise their hands to show their interest, letting you get a foot in the door.

Follow Up Relentlessly

Most business owners follow up a few times (and as cheaply as possible) and stop. This is NOT how to get those dream customers and clients. You’ve chosen them because they are the crème de la crème, and so getting one is going to be extremely profitable for you. This is a given — because if it’s not, why are you targeting them?


So be prepared to work hard and be relentless about getting them from saying “who’s this”, to “them again!”, to “we really ought to do business with these guys because they just don’t give up”. It’s human nature to respect and admire persistence.
This blueprint is certain to work no matter what industry you’re in with the proviso you do it and you stick with it.

Please share here your thoughts on this article about Chris Cardell, share it on social media and express your views. To learn more about Chris Cardell visit his website or Chris Cardell’s Media Company, Cardell Media Ltd. There is also an interesting video interview with Chris Cardell. His next life changing event is The Sovereignty Summit with Chris and Dan Kennedy on 29th – 30th of September 2015.

Chris Cardell
Chris Cardell is a trusted advisor to business owners across the world on Marketing, Internet Marketing and Entrepreneurial Success. He shows business owners, managers and the self-employed how to win more customers and increase their profits using Advanced Marketing, Advertising and Internet strategies. Chris Cardell Google+ Chris Cardell's Products Chris Cardell
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