Developing a sales pitch is both complex and time consuming. What may work for some buyers might not be right for others. Time is money and whether you’re selling a product, service, or a full solution, you need to captivate your audience immediately.
Nowhere is this more evident than on ABC’s Shark Tank, a reality series that finds entrepreneurs attempting to sell their big idea to a panel of successful investors.
The program is a textbook example of making a successful first impression by being properly prepared to nail your big pitch.
Here are five tips for perfecting your sales pitch from the sharks of Shark Tank:
1. BRING YOUR A-GAME
Let’s face it; we get pumped when we talk to someone who brings his/her A-Game. If you are excited about what you are selling, it will come through in your pitch. In the Shark Tank, people who are excited and knowledgeable immediately get the Sharks’ attention.
2. UNDERSTAND MOTIVATION
Know what you want to say in the most concise and informative manner that addresses real pain points for your audience. In other words, what will motivate them to work with you? In Dan Pink’s latest book, he discusses how understanding real motivation can transform how you sell. In the Shark Tank, the Sharks are motivated by why something is different and how what you’re offering will fix “something.” If you can’t demonstrate that in the first 40 seconds, you have already lost ground.
3. USE EXCITING VISUALS
On the Canadian version of Shark Tank known as Dragon’s Den, a team seeking investment utilized gymnasts to demonstrate that their product – add-ons to seeing glasses that would prevent them from falling off – actually worked. This definitely got the panel’s attention. It was interesting, it was different, and it proved that the product worked. Three of the five “dragons” invested in the company.
4. KNOW THE POWER OF THE MOMENT
When making the pitch know how much room for negotiation you have. Being able to make the deal on the spot could mean the difference between a yes and a no. Like in the Shark Tank, if you capture their interest with a good pitch, you can make a deal right there in that moment. Once you walk out the door, however, it could be over.
5. NEVER GIVE UP
The most common advice that the Sharks give: “never give up.” This applies to everything in life! Perfecting your sales pitch does take time and patience. Be sure to learn from each experience and bring that to the table for your next pitch.
Note: a version of this post was previously shared on the salesforce.com blog.