The Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto highlighted the 80/20 Rule in 1896 and this concept was subsequently developed further by engineer and management consultant Joseph M Juran, who named it in honour of the economist.

Whilst the Pareto Principle or ’80/20 Rule’ is more an observation than a law, its’ application within business is well proven as able to deliver impressive results when applied successfully within client strategies.

In his book ‘The 80/20 principle: the secret of achieving more with less’, Richard Koch detailed “In business, many examples of the 80/20 Principle have been validated. 20 percent of products usually account for about 80 percent of dollar sales value; so do 20 percent of customers. 20 percent of products or customers usually also account for about 80 percent of an organization’s profits.”

I work with my clients in developing their short- and long-term client strategies and part of our successes are achieved in applying the Pareto Principle to build Key / multiple-user clients.

Key client strategy is about a targeted focus of resources and should involve all levels of the business from senior management through to consultants and research / resourcer teams.

The focus and activity of sourcing and delivering to these Key clients, should be spread across as much of the business as possible, to include those who are able to provide relevant solutions. This provides multiple touch points within a co-ordinated and ‘partnership’ structure.

The four fundamental phases of a Key client strategy are:

· Research – Map and identify relevant target prospects.
· Qualify – Confirm the specific contacts and define the scope of delivery. Is this the right company and contact?
· Engage – Using the multiple options available to prospect and confirm your specialist ability to deliver quality talent and targeted results.
· Deliver – From initial instruction through to quarterly and half-yearly reviews, ensure there is measurable benefits to your Key client in them engaging you as a talent delivery and development partner.

You’ll achieve important structural and profitable change by allocating time and resources across the business in a structured, targeted and measurable process within your Key client strategies.

Whilst this post is only an overview, I hope it highlights the benefits of this well established and effective business development practice.

How well focussed are you on building your Key clients?

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