What is Shark Tank, if not one of the best sales training tools on television?

If you love reality television, but would rather watch something that can spark your entrepreneurial spirit rather than numb your brain, Shark Tank is a must watch. What is Shark Tank? It’s an award-winning reality TV show in which budding entrepreneurs try to convince possible funders – the sharks – to invest in their company or product.

In the past five seasons, there have been nut butter pitches, a phone breathalyzer proposal, sippy cups, and hands-free umbrellas, among many other incredible (and not-so-incredible) products. The most successful product in Shark Tank history is an all-purpose cleaning tool called ScrubDaddy that reportedly went on to make over $50 million dollars in sales.

The current “sharks” are venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary; fashion expert and FUBU founder Daymond John; Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban; the proclaimed “Queen of QVC” Lori Greiner, real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran, and technology innovator and investor Robert Herjavec.

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Here are a few lessons every salesperson can learn by watching the show:

Be innovative with your product

Find what makes you stand out from the crowd. Is your product or service exactly the same as your competitors? If not, what sets it apart?

Last year over 45,000 entrepreneurs applied to showcase their product on Shark Tank. Of that amount, less than one percent even made the final cut to even pitch to the sharks. While there are many reasons why certain sales proposals don’t make it to the investors, it’s likely that many just didn’t stand out from the crowd. Their pitch might have been weak, or their sales presentation was lackluster.

Here’s a challenge for you: Before you meet with a client next, review your products and services to see how you can be more innovative. What will make you stand out? Where can you show your customer value? Instead of focusing on what your competitors are doing, focus on what they’re not already doing.

Find the ideal customer

Yes, entrepreneurs are selling to investors on this show, but if they get multiple offers, how do they choose who to go with? On Shark Tank, it’s important to know the background of all investors. It’s up to the entrepreneur to understand the sharks’ strengths and decide who they’d like to partner up with or sell to.

While you can’t always pick your customers in the sales industry, it’s also important to have a deeper understanding of who your customers may be. What are their motivations? What kind of value are they looking for? Once you’re able to answer these questions, you’ll be better in tune to sell your product.

The people with the money are the ones in control

You might be one of the best salespeople in your company. You might even be one of the best salespeople in your industry. Regardless of how good you are, never forget that the people who have the purchasing power are the ones who are in control of the sale.

You can be the neck that urges the head to turn, but trying to force someone to purchase won’t make you the sale.

Know your product

You’d be surprised how many people come on the show not being sure of their product’s actual value, and some don’t have simple answers to many of the questions the sharks ask of them. All entrepreneurs are asked about revenues, profits, expenses, costs of manufacturing, and realistic sales projections. If they can’t answer quickly – and most especially accurately – the sharks will become disinterested and opt out of the deal.

Being prepared is one of the biggest strengths a salesperson can master. Before any pitch – whether it be on a famous television show or one-on-one with a customer – make sure your proposal is well planned, practiced, and executed. If you don’t have the answer, don’t try to fudge one.

Presentation is key

And finally, make sure your presentation is perfect. Are you wondering what kind of presentation? Two types—personal presentation and product presentation. Being well-groomed as a salesperson is important, but you also should make sure you speak clearly, use proper grammar and speak respectfully.

Also, present your product in the best light possible.

If you’re selling wine to rich investors, would you serve it to them in disposable paper cups or brand new wine glasses? Consider this next time you pitch any of your products.

While you’re busy getting your sales pitch up to Shark Tank standards, we can be assigning leads to your sales staff and automating emails so contracts get sent out without you lifting a finger.

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lead-managerLet us help you simplify your sales process.  Sign up for a 30-day FREE trial of our lead management software and turn more leads into customers with less work!

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What tips have you picked up from Shark Tank? Let us know in the comments!