The Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule is a rule that says that 20% of all your efforts give 80 % of the result, and the remaining 80 % of your efforts give only 20 % of the result. The rule is named after the Italian economist and sociologist Vilfredo Pareto, who first noticed that amazing percentage ratio. This principle was subsequently studied by many specialists who applied it to various fields of activity. Perry Marshall also devoted years to studying and analyzing this rule and experienced first-hand how it works. 80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More book describes what conclusions the author came to using the 80/20 principle in marketing and sales, and also offers new tools for more convenient use of this law.

80_20 Sales and Marketing Book Cover

Perry Marshall believes that the most important sales method is selling to the right person. He realized this, thanks to the experience that he received at the beginning of his career. He had to call hundreds of people and offer a service that they were not interested in, he spent a lot of time on this activity, and the result was minimal. If instead, the author spent 80% of his time in front of the right people, then the profit was definitely several times higher. Therefore, he describes such a phenomenon, which he called Rack the Shotgun, the essence of which is to first understand who you should not count on and choose those on whom to direct your efforts. You take one shot and then just watch who will react and who will not.

Marketing DNA

Using the example of Perry Marshall, we can see that we often spend time on unnecessary things, so we cannot achieve our goals, because on the way to them we spray ourselves on things that distract us. It is necessary to learn how to discard all unnecessary, that is, 80 percent, and deal only with what is valuable to you, that is, 20 percent. If you grab all the cases at once, then you are unlikely to get something worthwhile, you will exhaust yourself, and the result will not please you.

Instead, it is better to focus on what you can do best and give the rest of the things necessary for your business to people who are specialists in these areas. Even small household chores that also steal a lot of your time, it is better to transfer to special workers. Do not be ashamed of this, it will benefit you as well since you will free up time, as well as those people to whom you will give work.

Perry Marshall has created a Marketing DNA test that helps determine your strengths that you need to focus on. You can take this test yourself and develop your abilities, as well as to conduct it among your employees to put each of them in the right place, then they will be able to perform their duties with greater efficiency. You can take a DNA marketing test on the Perry Marshall website at

Seven Cardinal Rules of 80/20 Sales Professional

Also, Perry Marshall gives the seven cardinal rules of the 80/20 sales professional. Here they are: 

1. No cold calling. Ever. You should attempt to sell only to warm leads.

2. Before you try to sell anything, you must know how much you’re willing to pay to get a new customer.

3. A prospect who “finds” you first is more likely to buy from you than if you find him.

4. You will dramatically enhance your credibility as a salesperson by authoring, speaking, and publishing quality information.

5. Generate leads with information about solving problems, not information about the product itself.

6. You can attain the best negotiating position with customers only when your marketing generates a “deal flow” that exceeds your capacity.

7. The most valuable asset you can own is a well-maintained customer database because people who’ve already bought from you are way easier to sell to than strangers.

80/20 Power Curve and Power Triangle

Perry Marshall, together with Brian Woodruff, based on the 80/20 rule, developed formulas and algorithms for the 80/20 Power Curve, a tool that you can use at The 80/20 Power Curve will show you the right numbers from different fields of activity, your main task as a marketing specialist is to move resources from left to right.

Also, Perry Marshall talks about the Power Triangle, a brainchild of his marketing manager, Jack Born. According to the Power Triangle, there are only three basic steps to sell anything. The first step is getting traffic. The next step is to convert this traffic. You must convince the person that you can solve his problem with the help of your product or service. The final step is economics. Economics means that you have to earn money from what you sell so that you can then invest part of the income in traffic. And so constantly move in this circle.

Power Triangle

Note that the 80/20 principle is located in the center of the triangle, since, firstly, everything revolves around getting more by investing less, and, secondly, 80/20 is a fractal. A fractal is a phenomenon of self-similarity when the whole coincides with a part of itself. Within every 20 percent of the best, there is another 20 percent of the best. You should also see that there is a Power Triangle inside each element of the Triangle.

Zoom in, zoom out, the triangle is the same. Each element always contains all three elements. In order for the Triangle to work in full force, it is necessary to move in the opposite direction along it. As a marketer, you need to understand one thing: first, you need to determine what consumers need, and then you need to give it to them. You should not start with an invention and then try to sell it to people. Answer the questions in the following order:

1. Who would buy this? (that’s T)

2. What can we say to persuade them to buy? (that’s C)

3. Can you reach them affordably? (that’s E)

4. Can they give you money? (that’s E)

As you can see, the first question is: Who would buy this? This is traffic, always start with this question. One of the ways to get traffic is to use the lists of potential customers that you can buy or rent. But it is worth understanding that most of these lists are cold, customers do not know, and are not waiting for you. The most useful list is the one that you make yourself when the client himself gives you contact information in return for something valuable.

After you have identified the audience, stimulated interest, you need to take one more step before moving on to the stage of convincing your potential customers. You should DISQUALIFY people who are not suitable. It is not worth wasting effort on those people who will not buy anything in the end anyway. 

The Five Power Disqualifiers®

Perry Marshall offers the following method, which is called The Five Power Disqualifiers®. This method is also associated with the triangle of force because these five things define the who of the traffic that you’re trying to buy. Answer the following five questions to identify the right people for your business.

  • Do they have money? If the client does not have money, then they will not be able to buy anything.
  • Do they have a bleeding neck? A bleeding neck is a consumer’s pain, an urgent problem that needs to be solved. And before you can relieve the pain, you must strengthen it.
  • Do they buy into your unique selling proposition? A unique selling proposition (USP) is your unique answer to these questions:
  1. Why should I listen to you?
  2. Why should I do business with you instead of anybody and everybody else?
  3. What can your product do for me that no other product can do?
  4. What can you guarantee me that nobody else can guarantee?

Perry Marshall gives Master Formula for a Power USP:

If you are_______ (qualifying type of customer or company) and if you _______ (commit X dollars and follow steps Y and Z), then you will achieve _______ (specific results) or else _______ (penalty to me, your vendor).

  • Do they have the ability to say YES? The offer must be delivered to the person who is authorized to make a purchase decision, it is necessary to overcome third parties.
  • Does what you sell fit in with their overall plans? 

According to the author, sales are, first of all, a process of disqualification, and not a process of convincing people.

If your sales have stopped working or are not working effectively enough, break this process into parts, determine which part is not working and fix it. This is a common phenomenon, everything does not always go smoothly, there are also obstacles on your way, take them as a challenge that needs to be solved, and not as a failure. 

Perry Marshall advises you to expand your business with the help of promotion gradually, in the following order:

  • Google Ads
  • SEO
  • Other PPCs like Bing and display advertising
  • Email promotions
  • Social media
  • Affiliates
  • Direct mail
  • Banner ads and ad networks
  • Press releases
  • Print advertising, TV, and radio

First, use Google Ads as the most affordable inexpensive extension tool, and after your ideas start working, move on to more expensive tools. Perry Marshall co-wrote with Bryan Todd “The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords. How to access 100 million people in 10 minutes”, which describes in detail all the subtleties of working with Google AdWords.

Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Recency, Frequency, Money

Perry Marshall suggests evaluating your customers using the 80/20 rule and the RFM formula: Recency, Frequency, Money. To make a profit, it is best to invest more and more effort in what already works, and less and less in what, as you have clearly defined, does not work.


• Recency. How recently has your customer purchased? Which customers have bought something, say, in the last 90 days?

• Frequency. How often has your customer purchased? Which customers have repeatedly bought things from you?

• Money. How much has your customer spent? Which customers have spent the most with you?

Once you have analyzed your customers and identified the most suitable ones for you, you can direct your limited resources to this group and get the greatest profit.

I have mentioned only the top of what is described in the book by Perry Marshall. The 80/20 rule is a huge field for reflection and the author in his book tells us in detail about many bottlenecks of this phenomenon. If you master this principle and learn how to apply it, then your profit will definitely increase.

You can read more marketing, management and sales Book Reviews in the special section of the website.