How To Get More Out Of Every Minute

Back in 2010 I read an article recently about the entrepreneur Mark Cuban, one of the men who started (a web radio company). Having sold to Yahoo for on paper profit of $1.7 billion in 1999, Cuban went on to acquire the Dallas Mavericks basketball team – a team who were decidedly down on their luck and who not surprisingly, couldn’t get bums on seats to their games. They were a failure both on the field and on paper.

Nowadays the Mavericks are up there with the best of the NBA, but back then, observers must have been wondering, “Why the heck would you buy a team that’s so unpopular – and unprofitable!?” Cuban knew something that these people didn’t. The one secret that can turn ANY organization around, whether they’re in the business of basketball tickets or the business of bagels.

No matter what business you’re in, you’re in the same business – SALES.

So what did Cuban do to turn around the Mavericks? He got selling.

The first thing Cuban did was boost his sales team from 5 to 20 and got them on the phone calling lawyers, car dealers and basically anyone who was a candidate for basketball tickets. Not content with sitting back and egging his sales team on from the sidelines, Cuban would often get on the phones himself and call prospects. If he heard people gossiping he’d remind them of something which I suggest you put on a sign and blow up for your sales (or for that matter, your whole) team to see:

Every minute of every day is selling time

This phrase really stayed with me because I think that as business owners and operators we can often forget that every minute of the day is precious when it comes to growing our business. Wherever possible, we should be using every minute to sell.

Question: How much of your time is spent being bogged down in needless paperwork, in meetings which don’t require your presence or ploughing through emails which could have just as easily been communicated to you, by your team face to face? Think about how much time you can reclaim by reworking the minutes in your day.

More to the point, when was the last time you got on the phone and started looking for more customers? Obviously your sales team can work the lower tier of your selling model – but how many new relationships which will lead to new sales have you made this week? None? Now’s the time to remember that every minute of every day is selling time. How are you going to use your next few minutes? Replying to an email that you could just as easily communicate to a colleague in person? Or using that minute to sell? Which is going to ultimately be more profitable and valuable for you?

And how did Cuban’s aggressive selling strategy work? Well, by utilizing every minute of his own and his team’s time to sell, the Mavericks consistently now sell out every single one of their 41 regular home games. That’s 18,147 seats to sell for EVERY game – pretty serious results.

The fact is, his sales team didn’t achieve those 18,147 sales by calling the same prospects over and over again, leaving voicemails. They did it by having a leader who lead by example and who demonstrated in a very real way that every minute of every day is selling time.