Book Review: 80/20 Sales and Marketing

This book takes the ideas put forth in Richard Koch books The 80/20 Principle and The 80/20 Individual and focuses them on sales and marketing. Hmm, sales and marketing? Also known as…real estate!

Now, I haven’t read either of those books, but having been indoctrinated in Keller Williams for so long, the 8020 Principle is seared into my brain! This book takes that principle and multiplies it into something you can point at real estate and get results.

To be fair, I just got done reading the book and I haven’t implemented a darn thing—yet! But I see the big picture of how it all applies, and boy is it exciting!

There are so many gems in this book, you could create a tiara fit for a Disney princess.

“The economic value of an email address is huge. Even with social media, blogs, Twitter, and everything else, email is still the center of the marketing universe. The number-one function of your website is to collect an email address from your visitor before he leaves.”

This is so true! Getting your message inside someone’s inbox is like knocking on the door and being invited in. Once you are inside, it’s up to you to build a relationship, an affinity, and guide them into understanding your team’s unique selling proposition and how your team is best suited to handle their unique problem. Because, let’s face it, when we have a problem it sometimes feels as though no one else knows what we are going through. Identify with your potential clients and when they are ready to buy your team’s services they will have already bought into your team’s values and message.

Coincidentally, “Sales is, first and foremost, a disqualification process, not a ‘convincing people’ process! Step past the sick and the lame early in the game, and deal only with the healthy ones left standing. You will save yourself so much time.”

Again and again, I see agents spend way too much time chasing people. Someone might display the slightest twinge of interest in buying or selling a home and the agent takes that as a cue to relentlessly browbeat the poor person trying to convince him to set an appointment.

NO! Stop that! It’s a waste of time. Instead, your job as the assistant is to put a marketing message out there that explain who your lead agent is, what his interests are, how he thinks about the world, and what his values are. The people who identify with that message will call the lead agent when they are ready and say, “I’ve been getting your emails, and I’d like you to come take a look at my house. My spouse and I are ready to sell this house and buy something with more room.” How do I know this? Our team has already experienced it!

I especially love his take on how to hire!

“If you want to join a band, do you have a big long conversation about all the gigs you’ve played and what you think about David Bowie? No. They ask  you to bring your bass and play. Audition.”

This has revolutionized my thinking behind hiring my next VA. As you may know, I had to let my first one go. The quality of her work just didn’t meet expectations. And while having someone perform a task or series of tasks as a test to see how they work has already crossed my mind, I hadn’t thought about holding auditions.

The example the author talks about in the book is for hiring a salesperson. You put up a job posting with specific instructions. Something like “Send an email to this address with XYZ Position in the subject. Attach a letter in Word explaining why you think this position is for you.” If they don’t follow instructions, they are disqualified.

Then ask the rest to call you at a specific time for a phone interview. If they call at any other time, they are disqualified.

After meeting with them in person, say you are left with five people. Tell those five that you are going to hire them for the day. Give them all 50 cold leads and their goal is to return one appointment to you.

See how this weeds out the unqualified and untalented?

Same thing for hiring an assistant. Have them perform tasks and review them based on the outcome.

So you are no longer interviewing people. You are conducting auditions. LOVE THIS!


I’m not kidding…go read this book! Got questions? Need advice? I’m here for YOU! Send me an email: egilbert AT kw DOT com


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