80 percent of the results are produced by 20 percent of the people.
That staggering (and surprisingly accurate) statistic is the very same philosophy Jack Welch used when he stripped down GE to become one of the powerhouse companies of his day during his tenure as Head Man In Charge of Getting Things Done around there. Jack understood the need to “trim the fat” as it were, to keep his organization lean and prosperous.
The same holds true in nearly every enterprise. Specifically, look at your direct sales business. Are there people in your company that rise to the top because they consistently have more sales, more recruits and more shows on their calendar than anyone else? Of course! Are you wondering how you can be one of them? Read on!
As a consultant, there are two ares of your personal business you must address to be one of these “20 percenters”. First look at your time. 20 percent of your activities are going to produce 80 percent of your results. There are always activities you can’t avoid doing – it’s human nature to occasionally get sucked into a conversation or activity that distracts you from your daily goals. Become aware of what your 20 percent activities are, and spend your time more effectively in those areas. Eliminate distractions as much as possible. I’ve got kids at home, too, and I know from distractions. There’s nothing more distracting than a 2 year old pouring his own glass of juice just out of arm’s reach when you’re trying to handle a sales call! But the baby won’t drown, and you can clean up the mess (and the baby) when the call’s over – no need to get upset on the phone.
The second area to address is your customer base. 20 percent of your customers will provide 80 percent of your business and the remaining 80 percent are likely to have a few “headaches” hiding in there. Be very selective and protective over these 20 percenters. I would even suggest going the extra mile and doing something special to celebrate them as your top 20 percenters. Building customer loyalty (not satisfaction) is key in this business age. It’s important to stay in front of your most valuable customers so that they become even more loyal and provide you with even more value. But that means providing more value to them in return.
Tip: Many consultants use some sort of “preferred customer” or “VIP” program. Look closely at who those people are, and find ways to connect with them more often.
As a leader, you’ll also need to look at your training and recruiting efforts. 20 percent of the training topics produce 80 percent of the results on a team. Sometimes they are the easy areas like order entry. Sometimes, they are more difficult areas like overcoming objections. Take a look at your training topics and compare it to the performance of your team on a month-to-month basis. there should be a correlation. Listen to your consultants. When they indicate a training need, fill it whenever possible. People don’t usually ask for help, and if they are, chances are good they’re not the only ones that need it!
Lastly, as a leader, you have to look at your team. 20 percent of your team will provide 80 percent of your headaches. Just know that upfront. Identify those people and create ways to handle them – before they become a distraction to the remainder of your team – and your personal business. Remember those “time suck” conversations I was talking about earlier? This is one of those kinds of activities. Make a plan.
And, I’m sure you’ve already figured out that 20% of your team will provide you with 80% of the results. These are your super stars – and yes, you may be one of your own super stars. Especially if your team is small. I strongly encourage special recognition for these folks – to help insure loyalty to your company – but I also encourage recognition at LEVELS. That way, it’s not JUST your top 20% that are producing results. Everyone on a team serves a purpose. As a leader you need to focus on the top 20%, but be accessible to everyone in your organization. Because you never know when there’ll be a newcomer to your top 20%.
Ultimately, it comes down to being AWARE of what’s going on in your business, whether you’re brand new, or a long time veteran. Some companies like to keep things very “hush hush” in the organization, and that’s something I can’t handle. I use programs like Mark Joyner’s Free Simpleology System to help me get a handle on my daily tasks. I know exactly what my top 20% issues are each day, and I can target them immediately when I start my morning.
I pull reports (or create them if I have to), and know who my top producers are, who my top customers are, and then I can take action to say thanks and keep them loyal.
Take a close look at your business. Know who’s putting food on your table, and who’s making it harder to get your job done. Then act accordingly!
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I’d be honored – so long as you include this complete blurb with it: Lisa Robbin Young is Editor and Founder of “PartyOn!”, a free newsletter for party plan professionals. A personal branding coach, Lisa is on a mission to educate consultants on big business ideas they can apply to their small business enterprise for stellar success. Get your free tips at http://www.homepartysolution.com.