For entrepreneurs and sales people alike, the popular T.V. show has many important lessons for today's marketplace.
Here are five things salespeople can learn from Shark Tank:
1. Know Your Numbers
Too often, entrepreneurs on the show are unable to answer basic questions about their performance, financial situation and efficiency. Lacking answers to important questions is unprofessional and can give the impression of being untrustworthy. The more you know about your product and service the better you will sell when faced with tough questions.
Shark and New York real estate guru Barbara Corcoran praised entrepreneurs from Cousins Maine Lobster and ultimately made a deal with the pair in large part because they had "multiple answers for every question they heard."
2. Be Willing to Sacrifice
Entrepreneurship does not allow for long weekends and a 9:00 to 5:00 schedule; starting your own company means answering the phone at 3:00 AM, living on peanut butter and jelly, and foregoing any semblance of a social life. Hard work is what it takes to succeed. Top performing salespeople also know this to be true.
3. Have a Plan
Entrepreneurs have a vision and plan for success. As salespeople, we must have the same when speaking with potential customers. Shark Robert Herjavec, summed up this sentiment in an interview with "The Daily Beast," saying, "If you don't come out with a great presentation, you're dead. That's a big red flag."
4. You Can't Please All of the Sharks, All of the Time
When looking for an investment on the show, the entrepreneurs do not have to convince all sharks that they are worthy of investing in. They only have to convince one.
For example, fashion mogul and shark Daymond John is obviously the primary target for entrepreneurs involved with fashion, while aggressive negotiator Kevin O'Leary is the perfect match for entrepreneurs who need the business and legal muscle.
As a salesperson, it is wise to learn the background and passions of potential customers in order to target your efforts at the leads that are most likely to pay off.
5. Dress for Success
In every negotiating situation, you always want to look your best. Because people definitely do judge a book by its cover, especially in business.
According to Sharks Kevin O'Leary and Daymond John, it's simple: Dress strictly according to your profession and position, and always dress to kill. Both Sharks agree that this is the single most important rule to follow when suiting up for the work day ahead and for your career overall. O'Leary states, "You have to dress as your clients expect to see you, to their expectations."
Salespeople and entrepreneurs alike must be smart and work hard to achieve their goals. Working hard, having a plan and knowing your business inside and out are the most important components of success, but you must also dress the part along the way.
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