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Leverage the 80/20 Principle to Grow Your Sales

During the lunch break at our recently held business growth master class, my administrator commented that we always seemed to get a certain ‘type of participant’ coming to our master classes. She had made the same statement during the last class a few months ago, but I did not pay much attention to it.

After the class, I spent time thinking about our participants and the commonalities she had noticed and that’s when I saw the 80/20 principle actually coming to play.

This principle is an old principle also known as the Pareto principle developed in 1906 by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. He found out that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population and this principle has been extrapolated to other areas of life; from time management to hiring staff, finding good relationships and even to growing your business.

As I took a deeper look at our client base in the last one year, I realized that 80% of our referrals were coming from 20% of our clients which were also referring people who were like themselves!

So how can you leverage this principle to grow your sales?

  1. Identify your 20%: Look at your clientele for the last 1 year and identify the top 20% that have contributed to 80% of your revenues. Even if you are in the retail business, you will most likely have a select number of clients who buy more than others on a regular basis.

  1. Find their commonalities: Discover what they have in common- is it their income bracket? Gender? Lifestyle preferences? Dig deeper and collect data about their demographics and psychographics so you will understand them better. You can take it further by interviewing some of them to find out exactly why they have chosen you instead of your competition.

  1. Give them a higher incentive: Once you have identified your top 20%, create a higher incentive for them to keep buying from you, give them preferential benefits and encourage them to refer more people like themselves through a referral scheme.

  1. Find more customers/clients like them: Imagine what will happen to your sales if you find more customers like your top 20% who buy from you the most? Your business will experience exponential growth! Target your marketing activities to people with similar characteristics like you have identified in point 2 and they will most likely want to buy your products or services.

  1. Use your time wisely: Once you have discovered the type of people or location or marketing activities that are bringing in the sale in your business, spend 80% of your time on those activities so you can increase your results!

This is quite a simple principle that if applied properly will give you results in growing your sales.

I have put my top 5 sales nuggets in a free worksheet you can download here. I will also be doing a live broadcast on Facebook.


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This article was first published on 7th October 2016


'Tale Alimi is a foremost business coach, business growth expert, Entrepreneurial thought leader and Host of the Entrepreneur's journey radio show currently airing on WFM 91.7. She has an expertise in guiding business owners and professionals to up-level their business and revenues. 'Tale has started and run several businesses and has experienced what makes a business succeed or fail and she brings her experience to bare in helping business owners build successful and thriving businesses. She also has over 13 years corporate experience in Consulting, Telecommunications and Technology sectors; she was part of or led teams that grew the business revenues of these organizations. She was a lead facilitator at Businessday SME Connect conference. She has a Masters in Business Administration from Lagos business school, a certificate in personal coaching from the coaching academy UK and is currently the Lead coach/CEO at Tale Alimi Global( Connect with 'Tale on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the icons below.

Comments (7)

7 thoughts on “Leverage the 80/20 Principle to Grow Your Sales”

  • Viv

    Thanks Tale, your post is remarkable. Smart work is better than hard work.
    One more nugget – review your competition for similar customers and understand what your competition may not be doing well which you can do better to attract them – they are already sold on your type of service.

    • You are welcome Viv. And I agree you can find ways to improves in areas where your competitiors are lacking. The important things is to ensure it is part of your business strategy.

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