The Pareto principle (known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed way back in 1906 that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. A very striking number. Pareto further developed the principle by observing that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas.
He didn’t name this principle however, business-management consultant Joseph M. Juran was kind enough to do this. You may not have known its origins, but Jurans advice is as solid as a rock. Mr. Juran popularized “80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients”.
The same is true for referrals. The 80/20 Rule means that in anything a few (20 percent) are vital and many (80 percent) are trivial.
So… where do you focus most of your networking energy? This principle reminds us to focus on the 20 percent that matters.
The problem is that many of us spend too much time beating a dead horse; romancing the 80 percent, when we should be giving referrals to and cultivating long lasting business relationships that matter from the 20 percent. Remember, 20 percent of your activities produce 80 percent of your rewards.
Who are the 20 percent? They are the active go-givers, the people in your network who you like and trust, who do their best to get to know you and your business better so they can know what kind of referrals that would benefit you the most. Notice I said “active.” They are willing to meet with you for a “get better acquainted” breakfast or lunch outside of the networking meeting.
Be one of the 20 percent!
Got the message?
Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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