I’m sure you’ve heard of the 80/20 rule. It goes along the lines of 80% of anything comes from your top 20% of something.
80% of the world’s wealth is held by 20% of the people.
80% of the results in a business come from just 20% of the people.
80% of the things people use in a software program come from just 20% of the features.
And so on.
That all sounds nice, but how do you make money from it? Simple. Because there’s one 80/20 rule which, if you use it ruthlessly will make you money. A LOT of money.
Here it is:
80% of your money comes from just 20% of your clients.
Now, you can go get a spreadsheet with all your clients and how much they paid you, sort them in order and prove it yourself …
… or right now you can just take my word for it.
Truth is your split might technically be 90/10 or 75/25. But it’s close enough. And the fact remains that, give or take a few percentage points this rule is universal and can be relied upon. And exploited.
Let me explain. Most business owners treat every client the same. Everyone gets the same level of attention or lack thereof. Which, when you think about it is crazy!
Are you’re spending as much attention on someone who’s worth $500 to you as someone worth $10,000. It’s the guy or girl spending ten grand with you who needs extra love and care.
Actually, maybe doing your little check in the spreadsheet might be a good idea right now because you’re going to want to know who those top 20% are. Because from now on you’re going to spend 80% of your time focussing on these guys and girls.
They’re the ones giving you the most money.
So how can you do this?
Well it depends on what business you’re in, and what each client wants in your industry. But it could be you spend a few dollars on some movie tickets, or a meal at a fancy restaurant.
Maybe you email them an article or something of interest when you see it. That’s always appreciated. Perhaps a personal note on Facebook.
Perhaps you can just pick up the phone and ring them to see how they’re going. You’d be surprised how often this turns into work.
If you’re in a service industry you can do something extra to thank them for their business. An accountant could give them a free cashflow analysis. A gardener could feed and treat their client’s roses.
They’re not big things but they go a long way to making sure their client doesn’t go elsewhere. Because here’s another stat which should change the way you think about business.

68% of clients go elsewhere
because of a feeling of apathy.

In other words 2 out of 3 clients you lose left you because they didn’t feel cared for.
Now, if they’re the smaller clients then it may not matter so much. But if you lose a big client because they felt unappreciated then that’s unforgivable. And it only takes a simple gesture from time to time to keep you top of mind.
You know what works really well?
Sending them a book. It’s not expensive, but it shows you’ve really thought about them. And because they read it – assuming they do – you’re top of their mind for quite some time.
Whatever you choose to do really depends on your customers and your industry. The important thing is you stop thinking all your customers are equal and starting lavishing the attention on your biggest spenders.