The 30/30/40 rule and why it MATTERS!

The 30/30/40 rule really separates the winners from the losers.

How well someone understands this rule sorts the mediocre recruiter from those at Presidents Club, seperates the wheat from the chaff, and makes or breaks careers in our industry.

The thing is, though, it's so simple - people don't get it.

THE 30/30/40 RULE

30% of the people you meet are going to like you right away, for a reason they can't verbalize.

"I just like that guy!"

30% of the people you meet are going to hate you right away, for a reason they can't verbalize.

"She just gives me the creeps!"

40% of the people you meet represent the difference between success and failure, because they evaluate you for a period of time before deciding whether to like or dislike you.

"How can this individual help me to accomplish my goals?"

Several lessons can be gleaned from examining this "rule" and its implications:

1. The difference between someone who billed $100k last year and $300k is the ability to say NEXT! Don't work with those who don't like you - they will create new obstacles for you 100% of the time. (upcoming blog entry about this by itself)

2. Mediocre recruiters and sales people deal EXCLUSIVELY with the 30% that like them right off the bat, even if they aren't producing results. There is a saying that "100% of your sales come from 20% of your targets." This is a misnomer and it comes from developing and holding on to unproductive relationships.

3. The 40% group are where the opportunities are. They represent more critical and analytical mindsets - you know, like ones who develop into hiring managers. The represent those who don't ALWAYS go off their initial gut instinct, but try to quantify the benefits of establishing a new relationship.

The 40% group is what "selling" is all about.

Good sales people are those who can convert 25% of the 40% into fans. Great sales people are those who can convert 50% of the 40% into fans, and superior sales people can convert upwards of 75% of the 40% (or an additional 30%) into fans.

Methodologies and philosophies such as SPIN selling, NLP adapted to sales and others can help provide the framework to understand and deal with the "undecideds", but first it's imperative to recognize their existence. So now as you interact with people, try to guess what category they fall into. As your skill increases with each type so will your results.

My advice is very straight forward: Spend the majority of your time strengthening your relationships with the 40% who are undecided. Some of them will need to be nurtured, some will need to be strongarmed and some will need to be abandoned. But no matter the interaction, keep in sight the value YOU are bringing to the table. You are there to bring them the talent they need to keep their operations moving in the right direction. You are there to give them an edge over their competition. You are there to help them meet their hiring metrics.

But you're here now, and that means even if you haven't CALLED them the 40%, you're trying to refine your skills to deal with them.

Create your champions and cheerleaders, don't wait for them to follow you. . . . give them reasons to!


Art Pitcher

Views: 1122

Comment by Maureen Sharib on August 19, 2008 at 10:59am
Fascinating post. Thanks!
Comment by Art Pitcher on August 19, 2008 at 12:06pm
Thanks Maureen! A high compliment coming from someone as talented as you!!
Comment by Sally Raade on August 19, 2008 at 2:24pm
Hi Art,

Great post! I also think it's up to the person's attitude on how they view things....
I'll go hunting with you any time! Have a great week!
Comment by Amitai Givertz on August 24, 2008 at 5:47pm
Art, super post.

I'm going to feature it this week in my round-up.
Comment by Art Pitcher on August 25, 2008 at 12:47pm
Thanks AG!


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