SSA#33: Pareto Rules (part 2)

More Money, Less Work

How to master Pareto's Principle In Sales

In 2018 I joined the number 1 SaaS company in the world as an SDR: Salesforce.

My goal was clear - rise to the top as fast as possible!

And my job was simple - make the cold call, book the meeting and close the sale.

Truth is, it felt like a rat race.

I was busy all the time but still not getting enough done.

My monthly target seemed out of reach.

And my performance was average.

I questioned if sales was really the right career choice for me.


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Meeting The Mentor

One day my manager pulled me into a room.

He told me I had to work with a new account executive based out of Switzerland. His name was Gabriel.

Things were not looking to be more promising.

I was assigned to help Gabriel open the doors to some of the most difficult accounts in Switzerland.


Naturally, the first thing I did was to check him out on LinkedIn.

I couldn’t believe it!

The guy was only a couple years older than me.

How was he already making multiple 6 figures?

I thought it would take me at least another 5 years to get promoted to his level.

It seemed pretty unfair to me.

Either he must have lied during his interview or he’s got the cheat codes I don’t have.


But then, something unexpected happened.

Gabriel invited me to come to Switzerland and join him for customer meetings.

Now, I was truly shocked.

BDRs like me never go to customer meetings.

And the best part of it, all expenses paid by the corporate American Express card.

Zurich, here I come!


It was a sunny October morning.

It felt so refreshing to get out of rainy Dublin and much to my surprise, Gabriel was already waiting for me in his black BMW convertible.

He was nothing like I expected him to be.

Tall guy, good looking, wearing his casual suit and sunglasses with long hair.

How is this guy a senior account executive?

He looks like he’s enjoying life way too much to be this successful.


Speeding through Zurich in his convertible, Gabriel told me his career story.

He started out as a BDR himself and he lived in Portugal with his grandmother.

He was making cold calls for a Swiss-based tech company.

He told me…

“You know, Chris, I never enjoyed making cold calls. All I wanted to do is surf the waves outside my grandma’s house. But it needed to be done. I knew that what stood between me and those waves was booking 1 outbound meeting per day. That was my goal. If I could book 1 meeting every day, I would make 200% of my quota every month and they would promote me fast to account executive.

I swore to myself that I would not stop making calls until I booked that 1 meeting. Only after that was accomplished would I allow myself to grab my surfboard and jump into the waves. Some days, I would never get to surf. Other days, I could go surfing at noon.

But you know what, Chris. It didn’t matter: I got the most uncomfortable task done first thing in the morning. And once I did it, I rewarded myself."


15 months later, Gabriel was promoted to strategic account executive and moved to Switzerland. Today, he is the Global Account Manager for one of the largest Salesforce customers in Switzerland, a well-known luxury brand.

His career success comes down to one cheat code he shared with me:

Do your most uncomfortable task first thing in the morning.


Eat That Frog

There’s actually a great book that describes this phenomenon: “Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy. No, it has nothing to do with French cuisine.

The title of this book is based on a quote by Mark Twain who said:

“if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, you will have the satisfaction of knowing it’ll probably be the worst thing you’ll do all day”.


So what does this have to do with Pareto’s 80/20 Principle in sales?

Simply this: your most uncomfortable task is what will bring you the best results.

  • Cold calling that CEO? Do it first thing in the morning.
  • Preparing that challenging demo presentation? Do it first thing in the morning.
  • Following up on a deal that has stalled? Do it first thing in the morning.

For most of us, the most painful things are exactly what we need in life to make progress.


The Power Of Mornings

But why should you commit to doing your most painful tasks first thing in the morning?

Here are 3 powerful reasons:
  1. Willpower is a finite resource.
    It’s much easier to resist a chocolate bar at 6am in the morning than 6pm at night. Think of Willpower as your mental energy tank. It gets more and more depleted as you progress through the day.
  2. Cognitive capacity.
    Our brains can only process so much information in a day. Making cold calls is like doing a workout for your brain. You’ll have much better stamina in the morning when you’re fresh.
  3. Your environment
    The level of distractions increases later in the day. In the quiet morning hours, you are less likely to be distracted from your most important task. And your prospects will be more available, too - before they run into their first meeting.

Do this: Listen to your fear and discomfort.

They will reveal the 20% of tasks that will bring you 80% of your results.

Commit to tackling your most uncomfortable tasks first thing in the morning. Block the first 2-3 hours of your day and commit 100% to completing them.


Remember, be like Gabriel: you don’t get to surf the waves until you booked your first meeting.


Want to increase your sales income while working less?

Consider joining our private coaching mastermind to get your sales performance to the next level.





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Christian Krause

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