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‘Tale Means Business: Leverage the 80/20 Principle to Grow Your Sales



'Tale AlimiDuring the lunch break at our recently held Business Growth Masterclass, my administrator commented that we always seemed to get a certain ‘type of participants’ coming to our masterclasses. She had made the same statement during the last class a few months ago, but I did not pay much attention to it.

After the class, I spent time thinking about our participants and the commonalities she had noticed. That’s when I saw the 80/20 principle actually coming to play.

This principle is an old principle also known as the Pareto principle developed in 1906 by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. He found out that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population and this principle has been extrapolated to other areas of life; from time management, to hiring staff, finding good relationships and even to growing your business.

As I took a deeper look at our client base in the last one year, I realised that 80% of our referrals were coming from 20% of our clients – who were also referring people who were like themselves!

So how can you leverage this principle to grow your sales?

Identify your 20%
Look at your clientele for the last 1 year and identify the top 20% that have contributed to 80% of your revenues. Even if you are in the retail business, you will most likely have a select number of clients who buy more than others on a regular basis.

Find their commonalities
Discover what they have in common. Is it their income bracket? Gender? Lifestyle preferences? Dig deeper and collect data about their demographics and psychographics so you will understand them better. You can take it further by interviewing some of them to find out exactly why they have chosen you instead of your competition.

Give them a higher incentive
Once you have identified your top 20%, create a higher incentive for them to keep buying from you, give them preferential benefits and encourage them to refer more people like themselves through a referral scheme.

Find more customers/clients like them
Imagine what will happen to your sales if you find more customers like your top 20% who buy from you the most? Your business will experience exponential growth! Target your marketing activities to people with similar characteristics like you have identified in point 2 and they will most likely want to buy your products or services.

Use your time wisely:
Once you have discovered the type of people, or location or marketing activities that are bringing in the sale in your business, spend 80% of your time on those activities so you can increase your results!

This is quite a simple principle; if applied properly, it will give you results in growing your sales.

I have put my top 5 sales nuggets in a free worksheet that you can download HERE. I will also be doing a live broadcast on Facebook to discuss them further.

'Tale Alimi is the Co-founder and current CEO of Owoafara, a fund matching and business support platform for African MSME's. She is also the Lead strategist of Tale Alimi Global; a strategy consulting boutique focused on working with visionary and forward thinking SME's to take their business from small to scale. She is the author of Uplevel and her latest book Small to Scale. She has a Masters in Business Administration from Lagos business school, a certificate in personal coaching from the coaching academy UK. She is a social innovation fellow with the startingbloc institute in the United States. When she is not thinking about innovative business models, she is an avid fitness enthusiast. Learn more about her new startup Owoafara:( Get daily business inspiration when you follow her on twitter ( and get an insight into her life on Instagram (


  1. "changing moniker"

    October 8, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Thanks Tale. …The article was helpful.

    • Tale Alimi

      October 26, 2016 at 10:10 am

      You are welcome

  2. .....just saying

    October 9, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Brilliant article. It’s worying the most insghtful articles hardly ever get any comments here.

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