The Secret, Magic Decoder Ring: How to 80/20 Your Activities for the Highest Income Possible

Roberta Ravella
Aug 9 · 4 min read

Do you remember the bank of gumball machines at the grocery store when we were little kids? There were machines that had chicklets, ones that had huge gumballs, ones that had toys in clear plastic bubbles and the ever ominous “claw” machine. The Claw machine full of highly desired stuffed animal toys that would suck down all of your allowance and leave you empty handed no matter how many times you managed to grab the stuffed panda bear, only to have it drop at the last second. Oh the devastation! The wasted allowance!

As a kid looking at those machines, the choice as to where my quarters went was often determined by how much money I was willing to part with and how much time I had to fight with the machine. If mom said “here’s a quarter; you have one minute to pick what you want”, I would go for the chick-let machine. You could get a lot of chick-lets very quickly for a quarter. No time or money to mess with The Claw. Given more time, I would chose The Toy in the Bubble machine. The sparkly pink ring was highly prized. There was a decoder ring in that machine though. Winning the decoder ring meant you would possess the secrete answers to everything.

Think of your commissions as gumballs in a machine. That machine wants your time and money in order to release its prize. What if there were several machines and methods to retrieve the gumballs? Some would dump out handfuls of easy but lower value commissions. Some would give highly prized clients. Some would trick you out of all of your time and money, leaving you wishing for the secret to choosing the right machine every time. The 80/20 Principal is one such secret magic decoder ring.

You have fully prepared for the rest of 2019 sales. Last year’s numbers have been spread sheeted, analyzed, compartmentalized, cried over, cheered over, and otherwise exonerated. This year’s profit goals have been set. Now the number one, most useful activity for increasing your business for the rest of 2019 lies within these sales numbers. Do you want to earn more money with little to no increase in effort or expense? Do you want to know which gumball machine to keep dropping quarters in? It’s time to 80/20! What is 80/20 or Pareto Principle you ask?

The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, states that, for many events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. 80% of results come from 20% of activity.

We know that 80% of sales come from 20% of our sales activities.

Analysis of your sales numbers from last year will reveal the lowest earning activity and highest earning activity — most importantly, they reveal the activity that nets you the most clients at the highest revenue with the least effort. The most prized gumball for the least amount of time, money and waste. The Sweet Spot!

You may already know what that activity is:

  • · Sphere of Influence and/or Past Client Data Base
  • · Meetings with top 50 clients
  • · Digital Marketing (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn)
  • · Networking (BNI, Rotary, other social activities)
  • · Business partners

Let’s review your client list from last, what are the two greatest sources of your business? What percentage of your business are they? Which ones cost you the least time? The least money? If your third source is significant, make a note of it — percentage of time and money.

For the remaining sources, if you spent no time and/or money on them (random person in the grocery store line) take those transactions out of the equation. For activities that you spent time and money on that netted 10% or less in return, stop them. Discontinue those activities. You may be able to do so with little effort.

What else can you eliminate?

What are you doing that you are not good at or dislike doing?

What are you doing that is $10 per hour work?

What are you doing that needs to be eliminated? Is it just “feel like I worked” work?

Please do not be afraid or ashamed to outsource lower tasks. Do as little work under $1000 per hour as possible. What would the result be if you worked at least one hour a day on your top money making activity? How would that change your business? What is your $1000/ hour work? It’s in your numbers . . . find it and do it as much as possible.

Take a moment to picture what that would look like. Internalize it.

As a sales person we are constantly inundated with flashy tools and blinking lights to follow and/or buy with a promise to increase your income. Become a master of subtraction. Find the 80/20 in your business to earn the money that you want and still have time to enjoy your life. Once you have a clear path, nothing can stop you.

If you want help analyzing, I am here for you. Remember small hinges swing big doors. Please let me know your results.

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