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Published On: Thu, Oct 15th, 2015

Learning From Our Mistakes: Priceless Sales Lessons from Problematic ‘Shark Tank’ Pitches

TV shows like the Shark Tank make great viewing for many of us and watching someone pitch for an investment in their fledgling business is entertaining, but it is not always representative of how things work in the real world away from the cameras.

Whilst the program is primarily designed as entertainment despite the fact that it serves a real purpose and the money on offer is genuine enough, there also some priceless lessons that can be learnt from those that failed in their pitch but went to achieve success afterwards.

Learn from the experts

The panel of celebrity investors on shows like the Shark Tank are often successful millionaires with cash to invest in a return for an equity stake and they also often have some valuable experience to share with their potential new business partners.

If you are just starting out with your business and do not currently have a cohesive lead management system for example or a perhaps are giving out mixed messages about your business at present, these titans of business can often put you on the right road to success, especially if you are doing it with some of their cash.

Even if you fail in your pitch to win investment, there are often some worthwhile lessons and business intelligence that you can gain from the experience.

Polish your presentation

Even if you have what you believe to be a killer-product which is going to take the market by storm, if your pitch is not polished and professional it will probably lead to rejection.

If you want to stand out amongst the thousands of startups who are all looking for the seed capital that will set them on their way, you will need to work on and perfect an excellent presentation that sells you and your business in just the right way.

A TV studio environment might be an unusual environment in which to ask an investor for money and sell the benefits of investing in your business but it does help you to visualize just how important it is to be visual as well as convincing with your numbers and answers when pressed for details.

photo 401(K) 2012 via Flickr

photo 401(K) 2012 via Flickr

Core message

One of the issues that affects many pitches in an adverse way is when you attempt to send out too many messages.

You should ideally concentrate on a core message and stick to what you feel is the unique selling point of your business rather than trying to fill in too much detail with extra information that can provided at a later date.

You only get a few minutes to sell the concept and the reasons why you think your plans will succeed so stick to a core message and then fill in the details when you are asked by a potential investor.

Never give up

Actors and singers rehearse continuously in order to be able to deliver a faultless performance and you should aim to take the same approach by practicing your deliver until you feel that you have got it pitch-perfect.

Not everyone will be sold by your message no matter how well it is delivered, so remember that and never give up.

There are plenty of examples of entrepreneurs who drowned in the Shark Tank but subsequently went on to win the investment they needed and created successful businesses.

Guest Author :

Tanya Mueller has worked in a variety of marketing roles and knows how to make a difference. She enjoys taking the chance to share her experiences and insights online and is a regular contributor to a number of B2B websites.

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