The Pareto Principle for Sales

Most of what you do does nothing to produce results. While it may be necessary, it doesn’t move the needle.

Meetings with Prospects and Clients

If there is one thing that should dominate your calendar as a salesperson, it is meetings with prospects and clients. Meetings are where you create new opportunities, and it is also where you gain the commitments that allow you to eventually capture those opportunities.


Prospecting is the activity that generates new meetings with prospective clients. If you are doing a good job targeting, prospecting is generating meetings with your dream clients. After meetings with clients, this is the next most important activity when it comes to generating results.

Nurturing Your Dream Clients

Selling effectively now requires that you are also a marketer of sorts. You need to be known, and you need to be known as someone with ideas and the ability to generate new and better results. Marketing cannot do this work for you. You have to proactively communicate with your prospects (or better still your dream clients) in some meaningful way over time.

There are countless other things that must be done. These things fall into the 80 percent of things that do not actually produce the result of creating or capturing opportunities or even serving clients.

You need to plan and prepare for your sales call. You need to follow up on the sales calls you made in the past week, keeping the commitments you made. You have to draw up proposals and contracts. You have to send thank you cards. Sometimes, you have to respond to RFPs, and other client requests.

You also have to update your CRM, attend pipeline meetings, respond to your email, check your voicemail, and fill out internal forms and expense reports. All necessary, and all good sales rep hygiene.

When you boil it all down, there are only a few things you do that actually generate results. Producing the best results you are capable of means spending more time on the very few activities that produce the results, and spending only what is necessary on what is necessary but produces no real result.

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