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7 Lessons from 80/20 Sales and Marketing

by | Dec 6, 2017

It’s no big surprise that as a full-time stay-at-home mom and entrepreneur that time is tight. I talk about how I work on under 10 hours a week all the time here on the blog and in my emails. I also am always learning about how to use my time even better. I figure the more I can learn, the better I can get.

So a few weeks back, I picked up a brand new book that popped up as a recommended read on Amazon: 80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More

by Perry Marshall.

Can I tell you that if you’re in business and working towards making the best use of your time that this book is an absolute game-changer??

I’ve read it once already and plan to revisit it at least 3 more times to really soak in the lessons.

But today, I really just wanted to share with you some of the major “aha’s” I had while reading this book – things I think both you and I can act on right away to do better in business and make better use of our time.

7 Lessons from 80/20 Sales and Marketing

1. Everything in life – including business – is ruled by the concept of 80/20.

“80/20 says 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your efforts, and 20 percent of your results come from the other 80 percent.” – Perry Marshall, 80/20 Sales and Marketing

Now on the surface, that seems kind of like a “duh” thing, but when you REALLY sit back and think about this from a business perspective… it’s a jaw-dropping statistic. This means that only 20% of your audience will become customers. Only 20% of your customers provide 80% of the profits. And that only 20% of the tasks you do in your business result in 80% of the results.

2. 80/20 is an exponential concept – and it can go on forever and ever.

“That means every one of these things is a source of leverage. It means that each has multiple layers of leverage that you can obtain by “zooming in”—80/202 (250:1) and 80/203 (4000:1). It means you can combine many of these factors together and cut huge amounts of waste out of your day and your budgets.” – Perry Marshall, 80/20 Sales and Marketing

I sat down one morning while I was working at a Starbucks and decided to dive into some of these numbers in my business. I had to find out: was what this book said really true? Was I wasting even 8 hours of my 10 hours per week? What else could I apply this 80/20 rule too?

After digging in and looking ONLY at surface numbers, I had discovered:

  • Of the 29 email opt-in forms I had set up in my ConvertKit account that 6 of them (20%) resulted in almost exactly 80% of the signups I get on my website.
  • Of the 6 email opt-in forms, ONE performed best of all – 36% of my subscribers came from just one form.
  • Only 25% of the links in my sequence emails were ever clicked.
  • 80% of my traffic came from one traffic source (Pinterest).
  • 80% of visits to my website came to only 20% of the content published.
  • Of the top 20% of content on my site, 80% of the traffic came to just 2 pages on my website.

This was just the tip of the iceberg in the exercise I did that day… I was convinced that there was WAY more beneath the surface of what I can be doing to improve my business and my time. And while I’ve known of using the 80/20 principle for time (I teach it inside my signature course Leveraged Income Biz Program), I had never realized I could apply it to my sales and marketing strategies.

3. If you focus in providing the top 20% of your customers your absolute best, you can have 80% more results – over and over exponentially.

“Everything that really matters in business isn’t linear, it’s exponential. 80/20 is about Power Laws—powers of 10. You should always think in multiples of 10.” – Perry Marshall, 80/20 Sales and Marketing

For every set of people you look at, you can apply the 80/20 rule again. So that means that the larger your audience, the more this rings true. If you have an audience of 1,000 people, this theory states that 200 people will buy something at your lowest price point. Then of those 200 people, another 40 will buy something at the next price point. Of those 40 customers, 8 of them will purchase something at an even higher price point. You get the idea… so on and so forth, you just keep giving your customers options to work with you at higher levels and your income can soar.. JUST by focusing on those 20%. My mind is completely blown away by this.

4. Being that only 20% of the people who have come to your audience are going to be your ideal customers, you need to be able to sell to THEM. And no other strategies or sales tactics matter. What works for THAT GROUP is what WORKS for building and growing your business.

“Selling to the right person is more important than all the sales methods, copywriting techniques, and negotiation tactics in the world. Because the wrong person doesn’t have the money. Or the wrong person doesn’t care. The wrong person won’t be persuaded by anything.”  – Perry Marshall, 80/20 Sales and Marketing

In this case, I am walking away with the knowledge that I need to focus more on what’s working for those who actually buy from me than attempting to increase my sales using strategies that are sold to me through books or coaches. I have been guilty of trying to apply things to my business that haven’t always felt 100% aligned just because a successful expert told me to. I wouldn’t say I’m gullible, I’d say I like to test out ideas, but in the case of finding what works for my business, I know I need to go back to the results that are laid out in front of me (my historical numbers and data) to make plans for moving forward with growth.

“Almost every frustration you have in sales has something to do with ignoring 80/20.” – Perry Marshall, 80/20 Sales and Marketing

True that, Perry.

5. People who are most likely to buy from you are already looking for you.

“A prospect who “finds” you first is more likely to buy from you than if you find him.” – Perry Marshall, 80/20 Sales and Marketing

I found this concept to be extremely satisfying. I’m not someone who has ever been real gung-ho about marketing and “getting myself out there.” It kind of goes against being a super duper introvert and putting myself in front of loads of people depletes me SO FAST. So the idea that the people who are already looking for the knowledge that I’m selling are MOST LIKELY to buy from me and are most likely to become repeat buyers made my heart sing.

I’m not saying it’s good enough to just sit back and wait for people to come to me. Obviously I need to do my part to be able to be found – however seeking out clients and sales and convincing people has never felt fully authentic to me. I love the idea that the people I’m seeking to help are out there already seeking me and what I offer too.

6. Focusing in on your marketing channels is extremely important for results.

“You need to focus on one to three forms of marketing and advertising, so that you are much more skilled in the use of those media than most people.” – Perry Marshall, 80/20 Sales and Marketing

“So the first thing you need to do as a marketer is master one of these. Make this your absolute, paramount, number-one priority.” – Perry Marshall, 80/20 Sales and Marketing

I was honestly pretty elated to find this idea inside this book, because again – it’s something I teach inside my signature course The Leveraged Income Biz Program. Focusing in on your marketing efforts to just three forms will give you better results, because you know what you’re doing and you’re able to do it better than spreading yourself too thin in more places. Maybe my ego just needed a boost, but this was validation enough that keeping my marketing efforts to just Pinterest, blogging, and email marketing right now is more than enough to get the results I’m after.

7. To master marketing, you must think backwards from your customer’s vantage point.

“Which means the primary skill you must master in marketing is thinking backward.” – Perry Marshall, 80/20 Sales and Marketing

“In your imagination, you’re not sitting at your computer anymore; you’re sitting at theirs. You’re not interested in what you’re interested in; you’re interested in what they’re interested in. I pictured myself physically doing a 180. I do that exercise every time I sell anything. It’s become second nature.” – Perry Marshall, 80/20 Sales and Marketing

In the past, I’ve definitely done this process backwards. I’d decide what I wanted to make and then set out to find an audience for it. From Perry’s perspective, he says that who you attract you then need to create or find what it is that the people you’ve attracted are willing to buy. It’s the reverse of what most of us do in business. It’s not build it and they will come; it’s they will come then I will build exactly what they need.

These are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of lessons I learned from this book. Honestly, I think I could go on for pages and pages about my learnings, but I also don’t want to spoil it for you. If you’re looking to get even better at your sales, marketing, and just about everything in your business in terms of time and effort, be sure to check out 80/20 Sales and Marketing. It has quickly become my go-to resource for getting better and better at marketing my business.

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If you’ve never heard of the 80/20 Universal Law, it basically states that for every 100% of the effort you put in, 20% of it will give you 80% of the results you’re looking for. This is beyond awesome if you like to optimize and leverage your time and energy. I recently read 80/20 Sales and Marketing by Perry Marshall and love how he applies this principle to finding potential customers, turning them into paying ones, and making great money by focusing only on the 20% of tasks and activities and people that matter in your business. Click here to read my top 7 lessons from 80/20 Sales and Marketing now.