When entrepreneurs enter the Shark Tank, they are trying to make a sale. Their goal is to get one of the investors on the panel to lay serious money on the line to support their company. Failing that, Shark Tank pitchers are after the viewing audience, who can give a business major credibility with a spike in sales after the show broadcasts.
Whether it’s on the Shark Tank set or in the normal course of business, selling is a key element of success. Shark Robert Herjavec has some tips of what sins to avoid to get the job done. As Entrepreneur reported, Herjavec’s book The Will to Win: Leading, Competing, Succeeding cautions against some easy pitfalls that can do damage to the ability to sell.
One sin? Not looking the part. Herjavec says it’s fundamental to dress for success, or at least mirror the client’s attire while on a sales call. That is, unless you are Mark Cuban. If you are Mark Cuban, you don’t have to dress up for your client, according to Herjavec.
“Of course, once you’re worth $2.5 billion, you can wear Skechers and a T-shirt to every meeting, like Mark Cuban.”
Herjavec’s other tips include tailoring the sales pitch to the individual customer, listening to the client as much as speaking, and remembering the ultimate goal is to make the sale. Selling to the actual decision-maker, instead of someone who has no authority to close the deal, is also fundamental.
Although Cuban might now have the luxury to ditch the suit for Skechers and a T-shirt if he chooses, he has in the past emphasized the importance of respecting the customer relationship, as expressed to Entrepreneur in 2011.
“It is so much easier to be nice, to be respectful, to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and try to understand how you might help them before they ask for help, than it is to try to mend a broken customer relationship.”
Meanwhile, Business Insider reported last week that the on-air animosity between the sharks, Cuban and Herjavec included, is not put on for the cameras. Because Cuban has more wealth than the other investors, and pitchers often seem to favor him, tensions rise over potentially lucrative deals. Herjavec said this once had a personal effect on the sharks.
“Of course we got offended; we hated him. But I hate Kevin [O’Leary] when he gets a deal from me, and I hate Lori [Greiner] when she steals a deal from me, too.”
Business Insider reported that things changed this year as Cuban’s past deals didn’t always make money and his fellow sharks have changed their approach.
“I think when Mark came in, it kind of shifted everything because he was so big, and he invested in everything. But I think we’ve all figured out how to deal with Mr. Cuban, and I think Mr. Cuban’s lost enough money to realize, ‘Oh, I shouldn’t invest in everything.'”
Shark Tank airs Friday nights on ABC. In addition to Cuban, Herjavec, Greiner, and O’Leary, the show also features sharks Barbara Corcoran and Daymond John.
[Robert Herjavec and Mark Cuban Image: Google]