The Real 80/20 Rule for Sales

Most people are familiar with the Pareto Principle, that a small fraction of the work takes most of the time, a small fraction of customers contribute most of the profit, etc. This is commonly known as the “80/20 Rule”.

Mark Wayshak has a brilliant piece of advice on the real 80/20 Rule for sales, and it’s not what you’ve heard before, like “spend 80% of your time on the top 20% of prospects.”

#1. Use the 80/20 rule. No, not the 80/20 rule that you’ve probably heard about a million times, but the sales 80/20 rule: Spend 80% of your time listening to your prospects and only 20% of your time actually talking. This may sound extreme, but it is entirely necessary in order to effectively understand what your prospects want, what they need and what they are looking to accomplish.


You will sell far more effectively by doing most of the listening and only a little bit of the talking.

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