Step into the fast-paced world of ‘Real Marketing Real Fast’ with me, Doug Morneau. Each episode is a power-packed journey through the twists and turns of digital marketing and website acquisition. Expect unfiltered insights, expert interviews, and a healthy dose of sarcasm. This isn’t just another marketing podcast; it’s your front-row seat to the strategies shaping the digital landscape.


Tips on how to use the 80/20 rule to grow your business

  • There isn’t anything that would have more pay off than thoroughly wrapping your head around the 80/20 principle to grow your business.
  • With the 80/20 Rule there isn’t really anything you can do about it. You can only work with it.
  • I completely reoriented all of my sales thinking around the 80/20 principle, and that’s my book 80/20 sales and marketing.
  • The first thing to understand is that sales and marketing is not a convincing people process. Sales and marketing is a disqualification process.
  • The Five Power Disqualifiers
  • If you start to look at customers, the first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to figure out who we’re not going to sell to, it greatly simplifies your entire life.
  • Everything you do in sales and marketing is racking the shotgun.
  • You really can outsmart a lot of sales situations, but you have to play by a different set of rules than everybody else is playing by.
  • Get really, really good at one form of traffic AND one form of conversion

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There isn’t anything that would have more pay off than thoroughly wrapping your head around the 80/20 principle to grow your business.

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Doug:  Well, welcome back listeners to another episode of Real marketing Real Fast. Today I’ve got joining me in studio, Perry Marshall. Now, Perry’s author of 80/20 sales and marketing. So today’s episode is about the 80/20 rule. And I’m sure you’ve all heard of this before, but he’s given us some very practical things to consider when we’re looking at how we’re spending our time and our money or a company’s time and money in sales and marketing. In addition to that, Perry’s going to share a little bit about Google AdWords at the end, so make sure you stay tuned to the end.

Doug:  I think you’d be a little bit surprised and maybe shocked as I was when I heard his commentary and his comments and suggestions about the current status of Google and Google AdWords. So without further ado, I’d like to welcome Perry Marshall to The Real Marketing Real Fast Podcast. Well, welcome to The Meal marketing Real Fast podcast. I’m super excited to talk to you to Perry. So welcome to the show.

Perry Marshall: It’s great to be here. Thanks for having me. It’s an honor, we’re gonna have a good time today. We got a lot of crazy stories to tell.

Doug: Well, I hope so. Looking at your background and the people who recommended you bring me back to old memories of Dan Kennedy’s cassette tapes and big binder so I’ve got some gray hair for some of our listeners who know what cassette tape is so why don’t you share with our audience just a bit of your superpower, your experience and how you’ve come to this expert status where you’ve got these top gurus around the world saying “you’re the guy”

Perry Marshall: Well, you mentioned Dan Kennedy and when I was about 28 years old, I was a bitterly struggling sales rep with a year and a half old baby at home and a wife and spiraling credit card debt, and a sales career that was crashing and burning. In fact, I got demoted a few weeks later, and then I get fired a little while after that, but this one afternoon, I wandered into a Coliseum in Peoria, Illinois. It was rodeo of all these sales and marketing people like Zig Zig lar and, those kinds of people. And the last person the day was Dan Kennedy. And rather than giving some kind of rah rah speech, what Dan said was cold calling is the worst form of grunt work devised by man and you shouldn’t be doing it and you should be attracting people to you instead of chasing them around and it was “wow”.

I actually found somebody who is admitting the ugly truth about what all this is really like. And he managed to levitate about 300 bucks out of my wallet which is a minor miracle because is probably the last credit card that had any room on it and I went home with like you said, the tapes in the manuals and I started digging in and it really was a big paradigm shift. I didn’t know what direct marketing was. I didn’t know what copywriting was. The Internet hadn’t really caught on quite yet at that point. But, I went home and I started studying print advertising and direct mail pieces, and all of this, and I started experimenting with it.

My experiments were very small and very meager. But considering how small and meager they were, they did sort of work and so it was really helpful, and I really was almost circling the drain for the last time. I’d gone from engineering into sales, and if you go into sales and you basically fail for two years, well, now what are you going to do? I can’t invent a story. So I was really anxious quite frankly, and we were drowning and well, so I get fired from this job, but I’d managed to give a good job interview to this other company who made me a job offer before they found out that I just gotten fired and so I came back from Thanksgiving and started this new job.

Well, the new job was similar in certain ways to the previous job, but the difference was they had a website, and they sold nationwide rather than having a territory of Illinois and I think the interview question that got me the job was the guy said “so, let’s say we didn’t have a bunch of money to put you on planes and have you see all these customers what would you do?”, and I said, “Well, I’ll figure out how to sell to them via phone and email”. And they liked that answer, so they hired me.

Doug: That’s great.

Perry Marshall: So what this was, this was probably eight or 10 person company, couple a million dollars a year. They were basically just doing software project development for different companies. And they had this little about 10% of their business a couple a hundred thousand dollars, which is not much was selling this hardware and software that they wanted to turn into a full-fledged product business, and they had just enough money to hire me and put me in charge of that so that’s what I did.

Doug: That’s really cool.

Perry Marshall: And they had a website. This was 97, Okay, so I would say the internet really started hitting full force around 98 or 99, so it was just a little bit before the wave was really catching. Of course, websites back then we’re really simple and stuff, but our customers were using the web and I had enough sense to realize that “Hey”, all those sales letters and print ads and everything that I’m reading about in the Dan Kennedy newsletter a website is only slightly different from all that, it’s pretty much the same thing, and we’re just generating leads here, and so I was learning copywriting and direct response principles and return on investment and search engine optimization and all that in 97, 98 and it was working.

It’s funny was I was literally one of the first people that I ever met that actually was making a living via the internet and then I ended up doing a few little side projects. I ended up building another website and doing some other things on my own and selling some stuff on eBay and doing the kinds of things that made the Wild West happen, and so eventually or four years after I got hired, we had completely replaced all the consulting work with product sales. We’d grown the company from two million to four million dollars a year and a big public company came and bought us for $18 million dollars.

And so I parachuted out with some stock options and what I said to myself was “Wow, you’ve been learning this direct marketing stuff from a seminar here and there and scouring newsletters and stuff like that. What if you actually got good at this?” That’s kind of the direction that I was pointed then when I hung out my shingle. What if I really got good at this?

Doug: That’s an awesome approach.

Perry Marshall: I committed myself.

Doug: I love this space. I’ve been in this space for a long time as well, and you’re right, there’s opportunity there, and I can’t help but think there’s more opportunity today than there’s ever been for people that want to sell and understand direct response and use the tools that are now available to us online.

So one of the things I noticed that you are often quoted for is an 80/20 rule. And we started the discussion before we started recording, but I think it’d be a great topic for us to dive a little bit deeper and just to get our head around as we’re looking at sales and marketing and tools and tactics and people and team. What does that mean to you and how does that play out in the marketplace?

Perry Marshall: So there isn’t anything that would have more pay off for you as a business owner, as an executive, as a salesperson, as a marketing person, than thoroughly wrapping your head around the 80/20 principle. So what the 80/20 principle is this deceptively simple thing that’s really very deep. It’s sort of like if I said, “Hey, playing the guitar that’s not really very complicated, It just has six strings” Well, 80/20 is kind of like that in a very beautiful way. 100 years ago, a guy named Vilfredo Pareto figured out that no matter which country he studied, it always seemed to be the case that 20% of the people had 80% of the money in 80% of the real estate. And 80% of the people had 20% of the money and 20% of the real estate and, which meant that basically, the haves had 16 times more than the have-nots.

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There isn’t anything that would have more pay off than thoroughly wrapping your head around the 80/20 principle to grow your business.

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And you were either in the haves or the have-nots. And of course, this is what everybody argues about every single election and inequality and executives are making too much money and all of that stuff. Well, what Pareto was saying was that this is a law of cause and effect. And it’s actually everywhere, It’s not just people’s, it’s not just business, it’s not just money, it’s the size of files on your hard drive. And it’s which roads in your town get the most traffic, and it’s which airports have the most flights going in and out, and it’s the size of craters on the moon, and it’s the sales people in your sales organization. All of these things are 80/20.

And it’s because it’s a law of nature. It’s like a law of physics. There isn’t really anything you can do about it. You can only work with it, and you can only decide whether you’re going to be which side of the inequality that you’re going to be on. And a lot of people don’t realize this, but it’s true. There’s nothing you can do to prevent the fact that 20% of the people are going to make 80% of the money. What you can do, is you can create more wealth, so everybody has more, which is what’s been going on for the last hundred years. Everybody has vastly more, and we are eradicating poverty, but you don’t eradicate poverty by chopping off the top because that can’t be done.

The way that you eradicate poverty is with alchemy, you create wealth. Silicon Valley, make sand independent ships, and if that isn’t alchemy, I don’t know what is. There’s all the sand in the desert that you could possibly want. They make it into chips and then people turn ones and zeros into labor-saving devices and this called software, and so look, that’s why the internet is such an amazing place to do business. Now, is it crazy? Is it dangerous? Is it ruthless? Yeah, it’s all those things, but it’s blazingly exciting, So, there’s a twist to the 80/20 principle. Not only is it true that 20% of your customers write 80% of the cheques and 20% of the employees produce 80% of the work and 20% of the salespeople produce 80% of the sales.

And 20% of the marketing campaigns produce 80% of the leads. That’s all true, but it’s also true again, 20% of the 20% produces 80% of the 80%. What that means is 4% of the salespeople sell 64% of the stuff and 4% of the customers, send in 64% of the orders and 4% of the products account for 64% of the product sales. And then you can do it again. You can do it again. So 1% produces 50%. And this is all over the place. It’s in Facebook campaigns, It’s in Google campaigns, It’s in landing pages. It’s in accounts receivable, it’s in accounts payable. It’s all over the place. And so when I realized this, which is about 15 years ago, my brain just went on fire. And I was … “Oh, my word, this is everywhere, this is all around me”

And so I completely reoriented all of my sales thinking around the 80/20 principle, and that’s my book 80/20 sales and marketing. It’s also really the thinking behind the Google AdWords book, the Facebook book, the local advertising book that this really is very deep and it simplifies everything that you do because everything that works in sales and marketing actually works because of 80/20.

Doug: Well, it’s interesting that you mention that because yesterday I read what I found a very disturbing article on LinkedIn. I’m not going into the details of it other than I’m going to respond and trying to figure out how. Where I live up in Canada, the Canadian media is now saying that it’s unfair that major corporations like Google and Facebook are taking all the advertising revenue because they provide a public service of journalists and are proposing that if your money’s not spent locally, that you should not have a deduction as an advertising expense. And I’m thinking well if you guys were relevant and you guys produced results I will spend money there.

The reality is you don’t produce results so that’s why I don’t spend money there and you’re not a government service. So you’re right the people that are on the other side of the 80%, the people that are getting 20% of the revenue are now starting to cry foul, and I just say, “Hey, welcome to life”. Who said life was going to be fair? You’re either going to produce a good product and stay relevant, or you’re going to be like Sears or Blockbuster and you’re going to become not relevant and you’re going to close shop.

Perry Marshall: Well, one of two things is going to happen with us either A, they’re going to get their way, they’re going to take away the tax deduction for businesses to buy advertising from LinkedIn, and Google and Amazon and whatever. They’re going to take that away and then they’ll kill a bunch of small businesses and unemployment will go up and the tax revenue will go down, or this will go away and die a quiet death and people will go on doing what works and doing what’s productive.

But you can’t legislate a failed newspaper industry back into existence, oh, my word. I get what they have angst about, I get it. I know … Most of the world advertising money gets plowed into Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple. Yeah, I know. And they’re enormously powerful. There as powerful as the top 20 countries in the world. Okay, well, but see, that’s 80/20, and it’s … Well, good luck trying to break that up. Good luck.

Doug: So how do we take advantage of this now, with the internet providing the tools that they’ve got. We no longer have to spend huge amounts of money on analytical tools, you can use Google Analytics and start to make some sense of what’s producing and what’s converting. How do you help people drill down in where they’re spending their effort?

Perry Marshall: Okay, so the first thing to understand is that sales and marketing is not a convincing people process. Sales and marketing is a disqualification process. I’ll tell you a story, I got this friend named John Paul Mendocha and John hitchhiked to Las Vegas when he was 17, and he became a professional gambler. Dropped out of high school senior year, and he spent three years becoming a professional gambler and he was mixed up with an organized crime ring. And he was doing all kinds of really not very savory stuff, shall we say. One day he is sitting in a restaurant booth and these two guys across from are having an argument and he was … “Yes you will, No, I won’t, Yes, you will, No, I won’t” and outcomes a Glock and the guy points it at the other guy’s head and he says “Yes you will”.

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John is 20, 21 years old. He is sitting in this restaurant booth across from these guys watching this and he suddenly realized, “Dude, if you don’t get out of here, it’s going to be a gun pointed at your head, It’s time to move on.” So John just left. At this point, he spent three years of his life being a professional gambler, which yields a lot of street smarts shall we say, and he gets a job working as an entry level sales person for a technology company in Southern California and his boss plunks 206 sales leads on his desk and he says, “John, I want you to meet with all 206 of these people and I want you to go out and get these orders off the street” Really old school.

John looks at this and he reflects on all of his experience with being on the street and dealing with people and playing poker and everything else he’s like… There is no way that 206 of these people are even remotely worth meeting with. There’s probably 10 and so he put together something that he calls The Five Power Disqualifiers and he says I’m going to call these people and I’m going to ask them a series of questions and I am only going to meet the ones that match the disqualification criteria and so here’s what The Five Power Disqualifier are. These five things are always true anytime, anybody sells anything which is a pretty good list. Number one, they have the money.

If they don’t have the money they’re not buying. You can sing Kumbaya with them. You can show them baby pictures. You can tell them they have a nice fish on the wall, But if they don’t have the money, they’re not buying. Number two, they have a bleeding neck. They have some kind of urgent problem. Maybe they need caffeine, and they’re at Starbucks, and they’re going to give you three dollars or maybe they’re having a heart attack and they’re going to buy $75,000 worth of heart surgery, but they got to have a bleeding neck or they’re not buying. Number three, they buy into your unique selling proposition. Number four, they have the ability to say “Yes”. Now, I found one of the reasons that I was failing in my sales job was I was spending all my time with people who couldn’t say “No” to me, but they couldn’t say “Yes”.

Maybe some engineer where he could think it was cool or not, but he had to get sign off from his boss or some purchasing guy or somebody, selling to the wrong guy. The last one was it fits their overall plans and so John would get on the phone and he would find out “Okay, do you have the budget for this? Do you actually have you know some horrible urgent problem that we actually solve with this thing? And do you buy into the idea that you need this kind of an approach, and are you the guy that makes the decisions?” and he went through them all and he called him all. He actually had about … I believe he had about 12 meetings and he sold six and then he goes back to his boss he’s … “What, you mean you didn’t meet with the other 192 people?” “No, I didn’t and I’m not going to.”

Those are the Five Power Disqualifiers. Now, if you start to look at customers, the first thing we’re gonna do is we’re going to figure out who we’re not going to sell to. It greatly simplifies your entire life, and it narrows your focus and it kind of almost cleans out your headspace. When John, same guy, became a professional gambler, the way that it happened was, he was in Vegas just living by his wits for a few weeks. It didn’t take very long for him to go, “Man, this is harder than I thought it was going to be” And he goes to this gambling bookstore. He is looking at all these gambling books. He’s trying to get better at it. And he gets into a conversation with this other guy that’s also at the gambling bookstore.

And he finds out this guy runs a group of Gamblers and he goes “Well, do you think you could teach me how to do what you do?” And he says, “Percentage your winnings, I could teach you how to do what we do”. And so they make a deal, and so they shake on it and as soon as they’ve shaken hands “Jump in the jeep John, we’re going for a drive”. So they jump in the jeep, and he’s going down the highway. And John says, “Okay, so how do I win more poker games?”. And he says, “The way that you win more poker games is you find people who are going to lose and those people are called marks. You don’t play other professional poker players, you want the guy who just flew in from Wichita with $5,000 of his mother’s, grandmother’s inheritance money and he thinks he’s going to win big and lost wages, you go after that guy”.

And he goes, “Well, where do I find that guy?” And he goes “Here, I’ll show you” and he stops at this place, and they get out of the car and he takes him into a strip club. So there’s these women and dancing poles and rock and roll and biker dudes and there are all this noise and distractions and skin and everything and this guy Rob, who has taken John into the place. Rob always carried a sawed-off shotgun inside his jacket everywhere he went. He takes the sawed-off shotgun out of his jacket. He holds it under the table. He opens it up, and then he slams shut. So it goes shhhh. And they call that racking the shotgun. So he racks a shotgun in this noisy strip club. And there are a few biker dudes that are over in the corner and they turn around, they’re like … “What was that?”

They’re ready to rumble. And the and the club owner gets really alarmed, and he comes over there and he goes, “What’s going on over here?” And Rob goes, “Hey, man, don’t worry about us, I’m not causing any trouble just teaching the lad lesson, not going to do that again”. He says to John. “John, did you see those biker dudes turn around when they heard that noise?” And he’s like… “Yeah”, and he goes, “Don’t play poker with them, they’re not marks. You play poker with everybody else”.

Doug: That’s funny.

Perry Marshall: Well, everything you do in sales and marketing is racking the shotgun. Go ahead.

Doug: And there are some easier ways too. I think back one sales manager when I was actually working for somebody else and this might sound oversimplified to people but we were a selling an industrial commodity. And so one of the ways I started building a territory was I found the delivery trucks for several of our competitors, and I followed the mark the roots and the days they delivered. And I realized that because their commodities are things that are used up, you often run out of them before your delivery. And I just started calling those people three or four days for the delivery truck. It didn’t take very long to figure out they ran out of stuff. It didn’t take a bunch of rocket science to figure out you know, these guys were buying the same products that we sold under a different brand. And so it was just a very simple way of identifying who had the budget, who could make the decision. What they were buying, and slowly taking the business away from our competitors.

Perry Marshall: You really can outsmart a lot of sales situations, but you have to play by a different set of rules than everybody else is playing by. And that’s exactly what you did. You preemptively sold to people that you already know. So you knew they had the money, you knew they had a bleeding neck. You knew they bought into your unique selling proposition. You knew they had the ability say yes. And obviously, it fits in their overall plans since they were buying this stuff every day. And so you preemptively went in and you scooped it.

Doug: Yeah, it was a way to get-

Perry Marshall: A lot of times, you got to just [crosstalk 00:26:47]

Doug: Got a “Yes”.

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Perry Marshall: You got to sit up and look around and “So, what’s really going on here? There’s, gotta be a shortcut”. I’ll never remember what a revelation it was just to discover that there was this thing in the world called mailing lists. I was going through manufacturers directories, and I figured out that in just about every company there was in every engineering department, there was a guy named Dave and so I would call some company. I get the receptionist, I’d say, “Hi, can I talk to Dave in engineering?” And she’d go, “Oh, do you mean Dave Wilson?” I go, “Yeah, Dave Wilson”. I didn’t know Dave Wilson, But then I get this guy, all I know is I’m talking to Dave and engineering I’d start asking him questions, and I would hope that I could get somewhere, get some information out of the guy before he hung up on me.

I didn’t realize … you realize you could buy a mailing list of 2000 people who buy 480-volt motor drives? “Come on” Now, again this is probably a little outdated, but even now I bet three times in the last two days I’ve given people the idea of “Okay, go hire somebody on Upwork or fiver or someplace like that or Amazon digital Turk and go scour the internet and find out the names of all these vice presidents of manufacturing or whatever, what have you so that we can put these people on a mailing list and start some benevolent Chinese water torture on these people” because you have something they need.

Doug: That’s the world I live in. It’s not outdated, It still happens today. So there’s cold email. So you can buy data, and then there’s a space that I work in and you can rent data and the reason I like renting data is because when I get access to somebody’s mailing list, so if I get access to a list that’s maybe 300,000, 400,000 names of people maybe that have a health issue, the publisher owns that relationship and they send my message like you said all we need to do then is everyone that doesn’t respond just by default disqualifies himself and the people that hit your landing page to your video sign up for your lead magnet then become prospects but is people “Well, how many did you get?”

Well if you send out 300,000 if you got 3000 prospects would that be good? So you’re right, that still works today.

Perry Marshall: It still works, it’s very smart and-

Doug: That’s more than 80% of my revenue to make your point that’s probably 99% of the revenue for my company is renting data like that.

Perry Marshall: Well, So perfect that we happened to stumble on that topic and my goodness, what a revelation and I started to see the world so differently because what I started to realize using this terminology that I’ve been giving you that somebody is racking the shotgun somewhere all the time. Every day emails are being opened and Facebook posts are being read and purchases are being made and this data is going somewhere and you don’t have to just “Oh my goodness”, if you’re just stumbling around and cold calling and like shoveling through piles of manure, or find one little Sapphire every now, and then you’re almost certainly doing something wrong.

I’m not saying it’s always going to be easy but you ought to always be able to tell at least whether you’re getting warm or not and man I just spent so much of my time just wasting it, just coming through manufacturers directories and trying to see people that didn’t want to see me and being a pest and oh my word just what a … when I get that new job I went from being fired because I wasn’t making the cut to I think the first commission cheque totaled out to be the best month I’d ever had in my career. And people were calling me, they were emailing me, they were filling out these forms on our website, “Yeah, I want to … I need to get some information on these pro fee bus cards that you sell”. And I would email them back and I would answer their questions.

And we talk on the phone and they were actually eager to talk to me because they couldn’t find anybody else who knew what they were talking about, and I started making sales, and it was the best form of therapy. It was better than therapy “Wow”. Somebody actually wants to talk to me. And seriously, my confidence had just been cratered from all the time that I spent like nobody wants to talk to me. I’m a pariah, I’m just this guy trying to sell these cables or trying to sell these connectors or trying to sell these sensors or trying to sell this technology that nobody is ready to buy or whatever it was and man that’s a brutal path man that’s a … People get depressed, people get strung out over that stuff.

Doug: They do, and I’m a big fan obviously of making sure you’ve got good creative and good marketing copy and landing pages that load quickly and all the tracking but I had this conversation with somebody just a couple days ago and I said that even if your sales page sucks and your up on email sucks, if you send enough of them you’ll make sales. So in a perfect world, you want to dial it in and make sure that it’s working but you got to make some calls and as you said I’m not a huge fan of cold calls there. So the attraction marketing obviously works a lot better when somebody’s warm and pre-qualified and I think it was Matthew Kimberly calls it the red velvet rope. So not everybody gets in the club. You need to get in behind the red velvet rope and how you do that as you qualify. So to your point. Do have the money? Do You have a problem I can solve? Do you like what I’m selling? Do you have the ability to say yes? And does it fit into your overall plan?

Perry Marshall: Exactly. Yes, we would all like to use attraction marketing. The unfortunate truth is that a lot of us are going to start out just finding our way however we can manage to do it. Well, think of it like this … Think of it as a series of steps, So let’s say everything you’re doing is cold. Well, the next step is that when you get a hold of somebody, they actually know something about you because they got a letter in the mail or they got an email or they saw something you were doing on Facebook and they’re … “Oh yeah, okay, I think I might know who that is”. And then the next step would be they didn’t call you but they did actually request some information so they’re a little warmer than in the previous scenario.

And the next step is maybe they attended a webinar or something like that and you can message them in the chat box and eventually get to … they’re calling you with money in their fists ready to give it to you. But there’s usually a series of stages and the way that you get from nothing to something in this game is you tinker with it, you inch with it. You learn some copywriting and you learn something about how to get Facebook ads or Google ads or whatever and you take surveys and you ask customers questions. Customers could tell you a lot of interesting things if you just ask them the question and shut up. They’ll almost write the sales copy for you if you just listen to what they have to say.

I’ll never forget … a long time ago I was calling on a customer in Boston and he went on this big rant about how all these companies just make everything so confusing to buy this certain technology. And I was … “Dude, I wish I had a tape recorder on when you went into that because, you nailed it, that’s exactly the problem. I’m not even disagreeing with you, everybody has just made this into a giant morass”. So the guy had a big grin on his face. He was kind of proud of himself, he was actually ready to listen to something that I had to say.

Doug: That’s cool. I did that with a lease. I use it a lot of work in the hospitality sector. And we were setting up restaurants and coffee bars, and I went into the Law Society this big prestigious building and they had this big empty space that I thought I should open up a coffee bar for a client and I went and talked to the controller and he said “Yeah, you and all the other big franchises have already been here” and I said “So, O’Neil if you can have anything you wanted in your foyer for your office building that you’re on, what would you have?” And he told me what he would have and I went and I hired an architectural designer to draft a full-color rendering of what this will look like and then we created a menu and I went back to see him anyway “Man that’s exactly what I’d like to have downstairs” and we signed a deal, a 10 year deal.

Perry Marshall: That’s beautiful.

Doug: And people said “how did you do that? Well, like you said I listened to his problem was and we had other coffee franchises that wanted to be there. We are independent. A nobody an individual guy because you pay attention, you ask some questions, you shut up, you come back, you present, address his problems, his concerns and you’re off and running.

Perry Marshall: Sounds like he had the money, had a bleeding neck etc, pretty good. That’s good.

Doug: Tell me a little bit more. Let’s talk a little bit about how you work with your clients or what sort of service you provide the help guide them through this the 50 million options of advertising and marketing and growing their business.

Perry Marshall: 80/20 says that, 50% of your results are going to come from 1% of what you do and it really is true and so what that means is the fastest thing that you should be trying to do is get rid of 80% of what you’re doing so you can focus all of your efforts on the 20% that actually works and the 1% that really, really moves the needle. What I’ve always said is that you need to be good. Really, really good at one form of traffic and one form of conversion so there’s really three things to marketing, Well there’s four. There’s traffic conversion, economics and 80/20. So you get traffic into the store or to your website. Conversion is you convince them and economics is money changes hands and value goes both directions and 80/20 is that there’s levers and all of this.

So you need to get good at one form of traffic, one form of conversion. There are lots of forms of traffic. There’s Google AdWords, there’s Facebook, there’s LinkedIn, there’s Pinterest, there’s speaking at seminars, there’s sending out letters, there are all kinds of things. You need to pick one thing that has already shown some promise and you need to get really, really, really good at that one thing. You can’t get good at six kinds of online advertising. It’s just about impossible, but you can get good at one. One way of getting the eyeballs and then you need one good way of converting a prospect to a cell.

So it could be maybe you’re really good on the telephone, maybe you’re a really good copywriter. Maybe you make killer video sales letters, maybe you go see people and you’re magical when you get in front of somebody or maybe you’re so good at text messaging that you can get somebody to buy something from you by texting them, I don’t know. Whatever it is, get good at that one thing because if you’ve got one solid form of traffic and one way of converting that traffic to a sale, then you can get better and better at the traffic. You can get better and better at the conversion and then almost always other things will start to build up around those things and supplement what you’re doing but you have to get good at the one and the one. You make a decision, “I am going to get good at Google AdWords, if it’s the last thing I do, and I’m going to get good at, let’s say, doing these webinars every week, if it’s the last thing I do”, and if you do that, you’ll have a thriving business.

Doug: Well, that brings up a good point, because you’ll hear people say, “Oh, I tried that and that didn’t work” and which is incorrect. I’m trying to think of who it was that said, I think it might have been Gary V. He said, “You tried it, It didn’t work. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work, that didn’t work for you at that time”. So to your point, you need to get good at it. So it’s unrealistic to expect that you’re going to run your first AdWords campaign, you’re going to turn into a seven-figure sales effort out of the gate. Now, it’d be nice if it would happen but the reality is, you’re going to make a bunch of mistakes. You’re gonna have to learn and keep going back and learning and learning and learning and pulling those dials to make it work.

Perry Marshall: Well, So let’s take AdWords. I’m the guy who wrote the book on Google AdWords. So what about AdWords? Well, several things. First off, if you go to IsawForMe.com, which stands for … is AdWords for me, you can take a quiz and it’ll give you on a scale of one to 10 how suitable your business is for Google AdWords on their search network, on their Display Network, It’ll give you a competitive index. It’ll give you a lot of intelligence just there because AdWords isn’t for everybody, So that will help. Another thing you need to know about Google AdWords is, Google tries like crazy to get you to make decisions that are good for Google and bad for you.

In fact, they’re really bad at this and I go so far as to say, you should never take a phone call from a Google rep. because they’re almost always at least unintentionally lying to you. The scripts they’ve been given, the way their system is designed. Their interface is designed to extract money from you. Their interface is designed to extract stupidity tax from you. You need to go get trained by somebody who’s impartial. This is what we do. Now, you could not believe me, and you can let Google clean out your wallet. But I always say never, ever, ever put a German Shepherd in charge of the ham sandwiches and you never put the casino in charge of your card game. So you can’t trust Google … up until three years ago, they had a motto of “Don’t be evil,” they dropped that they’re now objectively evil, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them.

You can get a tremendous amount of traffic from their system if you know what they’re doing, and you hunker down and you sharpen your saw. And it takes time, it takes money. But a great thing about Google is once you got it going, it’s very consistent and it’s very predictable and it can bring you a ton of new customers every week, every day, every month, generate sales leads and all that but you must sleep with one eye open.

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[just click to tweet]


There isn’t anything that would have more pay off than thoroughly wrapping your head around the 80/20 principle to grow your business.

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Doug: Yeah, we’ve had good success with Google AdWords, But to your point, years ago, if you remember Overture, yeah, before it was Yahoo. They called and I took their call. So they said, “Hey, let’s help you put together an ad campaign.” They were trying to get people to use the platform. So they helped me put together an ad campaign, they helped me establish a budget and what was funny was they severely underperformed on the amount of traffic they delivered and they seriously underutilized my budget. They probably used about 10 or 15% of my budget, But it had a happy ending because I got one good lead off of their ad campaign within two weeks and closed a six-figure sale.

To me, I was right that point out, I was hooked, I went “Okay, this works for me, it works for my business”, even though the guys that run the platform, I wish they could have delivered me as much traffic as they promised because maybe I would have got six sales like that, but I got one and that was the beginning of my admiration for paid advertising.

Perry Marshall: Well, that’s how it tends to go. And what most people don’t realize is that once you tap in and you get something to work, there’s usually other stuff under the surface if you start digging around. There’s usually something else and something else. It becomes a virtuous circle because you start getting some traffic then you can start optimizing your landing pages and your sales pages. You start getting good at following up and everything starts giving you more ability to buy more advertising, which gives you more data, more speed, more customers, more track record to go on. More examples of what works and more of what doesn’t work, and you start trimming and refining. And it just keeps going.

It’s really a magic carpet ride when you get the whole thing put together. It can take a while. But I got a whole bunch of customers that are addicted to this. It’s like a video game that pays you a whole lot of money if you win. So it’s worth playing, but you must sharpen your pencil and you must take it really seriously.

Doug: Well, it also comes down to measuring and tracking what you’re doing, like you said, the 80%. I look at that as the same thing with the ads and the advantage of those types of platforms is it’ll tell you which ads are performing which ones aren’t. So you can tweak test and continue to optimize your ad so you get higher producing ads if you bump them by 1% here and 1/2% there over and over and over again. You’re just basically generating more revenue.

Perry Marshall: It’s a continuous improvement machine. And yeah, you should always be testing your ads. You should always be trying to beat your controls. That’s what the name of the game is. A friend of mine, Larry Kim, founder of word stream. Word stream has this greater tool, and so word streams been in and out of hundreds of thousands of AdWords account. They’ve assessed them all and you would be amazed at how few people rotate ads and test them. Regularly delete non-performing keywords, regularly adjust their bids. Most people just don’t do the basic disciplines that it takes to make it work. And once you’ve got the thing kind of dialed in, It’s not rocket science.

It’s more … Well, okay, if you know how to play the guitar, then you just need to pick up the thing and play it every three days, stay in tune and stay in practice and then you watch those things like a hawk. It’s an incredibly rewarding thing. I was telling somebody just earlier today is the fact that people try … people always want to outsource AdWords and pay per click. Well, you can do it and in fact, if you want to do it you can go to marketers247.com and we got a whole bunch of people who make themselves available on our talent board. That’s like the Perry Marshall talent Board of all my customers that do this stuff.

You can outsource but that said PPC is literally one of the hardest things in all of business to outsource. Outsourcing bookkeeping is easier. Outsourcing HR is easier. Outsourcing shoveling snow is easier. Outsourcing laundry and cooking and all that stuff are fairly easy to outsource. AdWords, copywriting is hard to outsource, and so I suggest most people, especially small businesses, you should figure out how to delegate a bunch of $10 and $20 an hour tasks that you’re doing all the time and do the $500 an hour task which is an AdWords or Facebook advertising or some form of PPC where you can at will get in front of people who are buying what you sell and you get to the front of line.

Doug: Last back, your 80/20 rule, so you’re outsourcing what you’re either not good at or there’s not paying you the way that you should get paid.

Perry Marshall: That’s right. It’s the 80% then only generates 20% of your results. And seriously outsource your laundry. Outsource your cooking, outsource your honey-do projects. Outsource shoveling snow, mowing the lawn do all that long before you outsource some like AdWords. You’ve got to be very careful.

Doug: So where’s the … As we wind up, I Want to respect your time today, but I want to ask a couple more questions. So where’s the best place for people to find you? if people want to learn “Hey”, what’s Perry all about? What’s he doing and how can I learn more about him or find out how he’s working with his customers?” Where should they track you down?

Perry Marshall: Go to perrymarshall.com/8020, p-e-r-r-y-m-a-r-s-h-a-l-l.com/8020. And what you’ll find there is my book 80/20 sales and marketing which has 400 reviews on Amazon, 4.7 stars. Dan Kennedy said if you don’t know who Perry Marshall is, unforgivable.

Doug: I saw that.

Perry Marshall: You buy that book for a penny plus shipping. It’s a penny plus 699, $7 in the US, $14 outside of the US. We’ll give you bonuses that don’t come with the bookstore version of the book and you’ll be able to watch an exquisitely designed sales funnel and I action. You can learn a lot just from seeing how we do our emails, how we do our up sales. How we do our website, all that stuff. How we communicate with our customers. You can learn a great deal, and the book will totally change the way that you think about sales. It will actually make making decisions about sales much simpler because you’ll see “Oh, here’s the 80, not very productive. Here’s the 20, that’s very productive. And if you can do that you can solve almost anything.

Doug: Yeah, I have a bit of a cheat I do the days I don’t feel focused, and I just have a posted note on my computer, and basically it says three things and what that is a reminder for me is, what are the three things that I can do today that have the most impact on my business? So that means a lot of the other things just don’t get done.

Perry Marshall: It’s like Gordon Ramsay when he goes into these restaurants, the first thing he does is he shreds the menus. “Why do you have these lot keys in here? And why do you have these tacos? And why do you have this chicken chow mein and why do you have all these weird things?” “You need one signature dish that’s going to blow people socks off” and he strips it down to its bare essentials, and that’s that’s what all of us need to do especially in the 21st century when we have a gazillion option. Well, you don’t need a gazillion options to be happy. You need one thing that works so do the one thing [crosstalk 00:51:48]

Doug: The three things.

Perry Marshall: If you do three important things today. You can take the rest of the day off.

Doug: Well, thank you. I think that’s what I’m gonna do when I’m done with the interview. I’m gonna head out to the river and sit and just get some fresh air and join the Eagles down fishing. So the last question.

Perry Marshall: I think that sounds like a great idea.

Doug: Well I think so too. I’ve been looking forward to it all day. Thursday’s is my podcast day. So I just love connecting with people and having these types of conversations. So my tough question that stumps everybody, let’s see if you can make it past this one and that is, who’s one guest that I absolutely have to have on my podcast.

Perry Marshall: I’ll give you two. One of them is Megan Macedo, meganmacedo.com she has a brilliant approach to storytelling which is extremely authentic and I’ve learned a lot from her. She started out as my student and she still is, but I am also her student. In fact, I went to writing retreat she did a few months ago. Another person that you should have on your podcast is Tim Francis who is actually a fellow Canadian he’s from Edmonton. But he now lives in Austin, Texas, and he’s an 80/20 fanatic. And I think both of those people would be great on your podcast.

Doug: Excellent. Well, I just wanna say thanks so much for taking time out of your day. We’re all busy. And it’s just great that you can come and share with our listeners, give them some tips and help them to clarify and think of a way to evaluate, hold up to the light, if you will, what are you doing all day. What are you doing under the guise of sales and marketing and just really be honest and take the 80% of the stuff that’s crap, throw it out or give it to somebody else and spend your time where you’re making a difference for your company or your employer’s company. So thanks so much, Perry.

Perry Marshall: I want to thank you for having me on and I really liked the places we went and I loved your thing about following the delivery trucks around, yes, that’s good, old-fashioned guerrilla marketing if there ever was such a thing, so that’s great.

Doug: Yeah, I tell people, marketing is not about spending money. It’s about doing things that work and lots of stuff that we do in terms of joint ventures and simple tactics like that really cost nothing, but they produce massive results.

Perry Marshall: Indeed.

Doug: Thanks again. Thanks for tuning in listeners. I hope that you got some valuable takeaways. Maybe we’ll have to check back in with you and you guys let us know how many of you are going through the tasks you’ve got in your desk, and delegating the 80% and moving over to the 20% to the dark side of making things happen. So thanks for tuning in and we look forward to serving you on our next episode.

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[just click to tweet]


There isn’t anything that would have more pay off than thoroughly wrapping your head around the 80/20 principle to grow your business.

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"Innovation isn't just thinking outside the box; it's about setting the box on fire and building something extraordinary from the ashes."

Doug Morneau