Over the years I’ve seen a lot of posts and listened to the experts talk about the 80/20 rule — also known as Pareto’s principle, (named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who noted that 80 percent of Italy’s income was received by 20 percent of the population.)

Simplified, the idea is that 80 percent of the results come from 20 percent of the causes. It’s about “identifying an entity’s best assets and using them efficiently to create maximum value,” according to Investopedia.

As applied to real estate, it might mean that you should focus your efforts on the 20 percent of clients who generate the most business.

But there’s another law that I’ve been paying close attention to over the past 20 years and I call it: “The other 80/20 rule.” It applies, of course, to real estate, but quite honestly also to any small business or sales organization.

This 80/20 rule relates to one day of relaxing, slacking, taking it easy, going through the motions or literally not showing up for just one day of your lead generation (prospecting) appointment per week.

There are five days during the work week, and therefore, missing one lead generation appointment leads to four days of productivity (assuming you miss just one).

Mailing it in, showing up late, not giving it your all on just one day a week could potentially affect your income by 20 percent!

Think about it: Most of us work five days a week, and because many of you have bought into the belief that “the day I give up on my lead generation is the day I give up on my income 90 days from now,” then it follows that being off your “game” even just one day a will affect the probability of you lowering your own income.

To be more explicit, if you’re currently making $100,000 annually, and, on average, you skip your prospecting appointment one day a week, you’re potentially losing out on $20,000.

Making $200,000? Then you’re losing out on $40,000; $300,000 and you’re losing out on $60,000 … you get the idea. What could you do with an extra $20,000 next year? I’m sure if you gave it some thought you could come up with a few ideas.

Think about the 20 percent rule next time you decide it’s OK to be a few minutes late or you schedule that closing during your prospecting hours.

Every time you do, you could be saying buh-bye to a closing 90 days from now. Slack off at least once a week, and you’re saying buh-bye to 20 percent of your income.

Make sure you time-block prospecting into your schedule, and then protect that time to ensure your pipeline remains full, especially as you go into a slower sales season.

Jeff Glover is a Realtor with Jeff Glover & Associates in Michigan.

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