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Why This Shark Says You Don’t Have to Be One to Succeed

Source | LinkedIn : By 

Selling is not only about making a sale to a customer or a client. At heart, it’s also about persuading someone to see your side of things and reach an outcome that ideally benefits both of you. Some people misunderstand this concept. They think it’s all about coercion and manipulation, when it really involves getting people first to see your side of things, then take the appropriate action. True, the same techniques can be used to sell you a car or a purse or some other item you may or may not need. But it can also help convince your child to eat more vegetables instead of candy. Like every other ability we may have, it’s not the skill itself that is open to criticism— it’s where, when, and how it’s applied.

The magic about knowing how to sell effectively is that anyone will respond to a good sales pitch. Even Sharks. Each of us on Shark Tank has, at one time or another, used a sales technique on a member of the panel. And it often works when we want to take a deal away from someone else. But not always.

When Mark Cuban came on the show he couldn’t help promoting himself as the owner of the NBA Dallas Mavericks. Through his first season on Shark Tank, Mark used professional basketball “shot clock” timing when he tried to pressure us to decide if we were in or out of a deal. This gave us twenty-four seconds to either go along with Mark’s offer or reject it, which gave him an edge. It worked at first, but eventually the rest of us decided this wasn’t a pro basketball game but a cool business decision, and by his second season on the show he dropped the idea.

Lori Greiner has used her own version. She once tried applying pressure to us by taking her checkbook in one hand and her pen in the other before saying to the pitcher—our term for the entrepreneurs who appear on the show seeking an investment—“I’ll sign this check right now and give it to you,” meaning the full amount the pitcher had requested. The effect was to take the deal out of our hands. This was powerful the first time she used it. The next time, we were less impressed.

Demonstrating our selling skills on Shark Tank is fun, but a TV studio is nothing like the real world, where you run up against complex issues such as building a relationship from scratch and identifying the wants and needs of prospective buyers.

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