Lessons Learned From Watching Shark Tank

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Article by Wendy McCance

My favorite show is Shark Tank.  I love watching what people are pitching and how they try to get a parnership with one of the sharks. The best part of the show is watching the sales skills these people use to close a deal. Maybe it’s the salesperson in me, but I do spend an awful lot of time yelling at the television when I know a person is about to blow it.

Tuning in to watch this show has been incredibly valuable for me.  It’s helped me to hone my own skills simply by sitting back and watching a pitch unfold.  I have learned some valuable lessons that I can use as I build my own business.

Here are the lessons Shark Tank has taught me.

1.  Listening to the questions and concerns of the person you are pitching to. It is the most important thing you can focus on.  Having a good sales pitch means nothing if you can’t answer the questions and give reasonable explanations about any concerns that might be mentioned.  If you can demonstrate that you are paying close attention and can show that you are truly putting your attention on the person you are pitching to, the likelihood that you will establish a relationship is greatly increased.

2.  When you are offered what you wish for, grab it with enthusiasm.  Looking for something better when you are already offered what you stated you wanted is not only offensive, but most likely will lead to no deal at all.

3.  When going into a sales meeting, know your information and state what you are looking for.  It’s like any meeting with a prospective client.  If you are able to state right up front what you have to offer and why you are seeking them out specifically, you are taking any of the guesswork out of why you are approaching them.  A clear understanding of what is on the table and your goals for working together make for a fluid transition into a partnership.

4.  If you are spinning your wheels and aren’t moving forward with your business, a serious assessment needs to be done.  Success shouldn’t take years of debt and little sign of forward movement.

5.  Putting money into your business is expected.  Living on the street because you used up all of your money is foolish.  Don’t be so short sighted that you lose everything pursuing your dream.  I don’t know many people who would want to work with someone because they are showing desperation for a sale either.  If you can’t run your life, how can you run your business?

6.  Learn as much as you can.  There will always be people who know more than you.  Many people would make a great mentor as you navigate your way through your career.  At the same time, it isn’t wise to depend solely on someone elses experience.  Not only does that leave you vulnerable, it will not help you to move forward if you rely solely on others to get you there. Research everything that comes to mind.  Take classes.  Join networking groups for mutual support.  Read, read, read.  Don’t rely on others more than you rely on yourself.

What have I missed?  What is some of the best business advice you can think of?  I would love to hear from you.  Share your opinions in the comment box below.

Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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8 thoughts on “Lessons Learned From Watching Shark Tank

  1. I’ve awakened the dogs yelling at Shark Tank and fools throwing away opportunity hand over fist. I am always surprised when the pitch people have to discuss an offer in private. Scenarios should have been discussed prior to the pitch so that the designated pitch person can speak quickly and authoritatively to a “limited time” offer. Love that show!

  2. Great advice, Wendy. I watch that show also. Very nerve wrecking with respect to those pitching their products. Too bad some of these individuals don’t do their due diligence. Some are so ill prepared that it just cracks me up when they are cornered by the sharks. Good read. Blessings.

  3. It’s too bad more people that go on the show, don’t take the time to watch Shark Tank for a year and learn some of the valuable lessons you have prior to going on and winging it. It really is frustrating to watch them blow the opportunity of a lifetime by not knowing what exactly it is they want or by not seizing a great offer when it is before them.

    • I think some people just absolutely can create but have no sales ability at all. Those are the ones who need someone in there who can do the negotiating. The best pitch I heard recently was a guy who came in and stated right up front who he was, the name of his product and why he was pitching to the sharks. he let them know exactly what he hoped to achieve by getting in front of them before he went into his pitch. It was brilliant and worked very well for him.

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