Ep. 92 | The Five Power Disqualifiers For Sales and Marketing

What can marketers learn from professional gamblers, biker gangs, strip clubs and a sawed-off shotgun? It all ties back to the lessons learned from the 80/20 rule, and the five power disqualifiers and how sales and marketing can use them to win more leads and close more deals. 

In this week’s Rethink Marketing podcast, we talk with Perry Marshall, a best selling author, about his book the 80/20 Rule for Sales and Marketing

“There’s an 80/20 inside every 80/20. So it’s not only true that 20 percent of your customers spend 80 percent of the money; 20 percent of the 20 percent spend 80 percent of the 80 percent,” Perry said. “It’s absolutely everywhere. But hardly anybody teaches this. And if you understand 80/20, you will suddenly see levers that are invisible to everyone else. And you’ll be able to make more money faster with less effort. You’ll be able to eliminate waste. And it’s by thinking counterintuitively.”

Understanding the Levers

Nathan: You use an expression, racking the shotgun, which means disqualifying those that are not engaging and doubling down on those who are. Is that correct?

Perry: Marketing is not a convincing people process. Marketing is a disqualification process. Marketing starts with who didn’t respond so that I can eliminate them. Who do I not talk to? Who do I not pay attention to?

And the problem is, is most people are obsessing about the people that they should be ignoring. They go, ‘Well, I got 19,000 people on my email list, and only 56 of them showed up on my webinar. So that means there’s 18,944 people that, man, I gotta go flog those people.’ Well, probably not. You focus on the people that did do something. And you focus on the small percentage of people that will do a lot. Because it’s all about levers.

Perry tells a story of John Paul Mendocha, a friend who was a professional gambler turned computer salesman. John is given a stack of sales leads and told to get some orders. John already has come to understand the 80/20 rule, and knows most of those leads are junk. But he’s got to separate the 20 percent that are worth anything.

So, he developed The Five Power Disqualifiers.

“And they are the five things that are always true any time anybody sells anything to anybody,” Perry said. “And this was a pretty ingenious list, OK? So here’s the list.”

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Power Disqualifier #1: Do they have the money?

Perry: If they don’t have the money, they’re not buying the stuff. Period. Right?

Simple as that is, I cannot tell you how many meetings I had with somebody, they didn’t have the money, but I don’t know what I was thinking, like I thought if we had enough kumbaya or whatever, that the money would show up.

No. If they don’t have the money, they’re not buying. And you have to ask these questions sooner, not later. John just asked them up front. Like do you have a budget for this? And if they said no, he’s done. Kind of mercenary, OK?

Power Disqualifier #2: Do they have a bleeding neck?

Perry: What does that mean?

Well, have you ever gone to the emergency room with like a broken arm and you thought you were having the world’s worst crisis? And the lady gives you a clipboard and a bunch of forms to fill out with your broken arm and Good Housekeeping magazine. And you sit in the hospital waiting room for two and a half hours before anybody even sees you.

I thought I was having an emergency. She doesn’t think you’re having an emergency.

But then if some guy walks in the door with blood squirting out of his aorta from a gunshot wound, they don’t give him all these forms. They rush him right in and they see him right away. Well that’s a bleeding neck.

And in marketing, in sales, who spends money? The people with a bleeding neck. The people with an urgent pressing problem.

A lot of us, we try to sell prevention. And we should be selling cure for 16 times more money. Because it’s the cure guy that has the bleeding neck. The prevention guy has no bleeding neck. You know you’re going to have a bleeding neck in 20 years. He’s like, ‘yeah, well, whatever.’ And this is all about understanding human nature.

Power Disqualifier #3:  Do they have the ability to say yes?

Perry: This is a huge one for business to business. I don’t know how many times I showed some cool thing to some engineer who could say no to me, but he couldn’t say yes. He could stop me, but he couldn’t give me a green light. I spent a whole hour and a half talking to this guy, and he’s like, ‘Oh, well, you know, you’re going to have to show this to my boss. And then you start all over.

Power Disqualifier #4: Do they buy into your unique selling proposition?

Perry: Or maybe they don’t. Maybe they buy into your competitor’s.

Well I think you got to be very honest about this. Well, does this customer need my USP or do they need the other guy’s USP. And that also is a disqualification thing. For example, if you go to isfbforme.com, it stands for is Facebook for me, you’ll find a quiz. And it takes 60 seconds. And you enter this information. And in 60 seconds it’ll tell you on a scale of 1 to 10 how Facebook advertising compatible your business is.

Well, the reason we made that tool was because if somebody got below a 5 or a 6, we don’t think they should be advertising on Facebook, and we don’t want them to waste their time or their money, or get strung along by us. And so we had this quiz. And so in our Facebook book it says, if you got like less than a 5 on this quiz, see if you can get your money back for this book. Really, just forget it.

But that gives us authority on the other end to say, if you got an 8 or a 9 or a 10, then absolutely this should be the first thing you’re working on every single morning.

Power Disqualifier #5 Does it fit their overall plans?

Perry: Well, they’re not going to remodel; they’re moving to Phoenix next week.

So those are the five power disqualifiers. And they’re true every time anybody sells anything. And you can use them all kinds of ways.