Tips on landing big investments on Shark Tank
This is an article ‘Tips on landing big investments on Shark Tank’ by Marc Primo
It might not be every entrepreneur's dream, but getting a slot to pitch in front of Shark Tank investors is a huge opportunity for those who dream big. However, rousing the interests of prominent business personalities like Mark Cuban, Daymond John, and Kevin O'Leary enough to encourage them to dig deep into their pockets is always challenging. Yes, the chance to show how financially sound your business is plus a slot on primetime can be a win already. But the real challenge is long-term winning investments, which can only get you a real shot by reviewing where others stumbled before you pulled it off.
The desire to own one's startup business is more prevalent nowadays. With the younger generation envisioning being their own boss and pursuing their passions through entrepreneurship thanks to digital innovations, who wouldn't want to succeed running their own business? However, all endeavors that achieve great things often come at a high price. Novice people in business need to perform a lot of market research to develop their business models and acquire significant personal and investor capital to make the dream a reality.
While there are plenty of sources for financial assistance for today's entrepreneurs, Shark Tank is the business world's version of winning the lottery. Once your pitch gets a green light from one of the sharks, the uphill road to the entrepreneurial promised land receives added jet fuel that will get you there faster.
Here are five tips you can mull over with your business pitch if you're thinking of landing a primetime slot on Shark Tank.
1. Show respect for the sharks
One of the most crucial skills when pitching ideas to the sharks is to be attentive and learn when to let them talk. Reviewing successful contestants from the past will quickly show you how they give the floor to the sharks when they talk, letting them finish without interruption. The sharks would often go into spontaneous debates about business ideas that might not seem coherent to you. But don't get into the fray whenever they talk things over amongst themselves because they've already earned their stripes to show the world that they are right.
Showing any investor good business understanding by listening to what they have to say and getting the proper context clues from their ideas is always appreciated. Giving the sharks a good impression by being polite and humble can land you a million-dollar investment. So, just try your best to be considerate, only answer when asked, and do not irritate them as much as possible with unnecessary fluff.
2. Be unpredictable in a good way
Most contestants would think that impressive sales numbers are enough to impress the sharks, but there are more factors to consider than just digits. Often, those who pitch ideas with some flair, an inspirational backstory, or a unique and positive business vision stand out from the rest.
One insider tip you should note is that Shark Tank producers give full rein over how contestants would pitch their ideas. Be creative with your set design, and let compelling visuals push some appeal toward the sharks. Showing off your live marketing skills is part of winning lucrative investments, so don't skimp over what you can present without going overtime.
3. Skip the selling spiels
While showing off some flair for your pitch is a good idea, it's also important to note that the sharks don't care very much about how you plan to do your marketing and PR. In a review of successful contestants, these investors are more interested in how passionate the founders are about their products and pitches.
Try focusing on the unique selling points of your products and convince the sharks why they should invest big, just as you did. Present how your product can solve your niche market pain points and what encourages you to formulate evolving solutions for those problems. In short, sell your idea without shoving your plans on how you intend to sell the product to the market down their throats. Besides, sharks won't want to give you money just to find out you'll blow most of it on marketing and PR.
4. Expect the money game
Always keep in mind that all these sharks are masters of negotiation. Frequently, contestants will be lowballed at first, but that's usually the first step to a successful contract. You've gained their interest, so the next thing to do is to justify the correct valuation for our company without coming across as a 'know-it-all.' Be precise on how much equity you can give up and try foreshadowing what the sharks may offer realistically. Once you've determined that, come up with a good pushback.
Be bold and present a counteroffer as the sharks allow that, but always consider that there really is little room to negotiate with such experts in the business. Avoid being too aggressive in how you haggle, and don't let their interests wane quickly with money matters.
5. Try to keep the business idea personal
Most successful contestants do their homework by reviewing the sharks' profiles and being familiar with their personal interests and passions. If your pitch is something close to a shark's heart, you have an excellent chance to play that up on your pitch.
Unfortunately, the truth is that if a shark isn't enthusiastic about a pitch, he or she will frequently make a quick pass. It's always a good idea to highlight that your product speaks directly to one of their passions.
The sharks can be aggressive when trying to find flaws in your pitch, but that doesn't automatically imply they won't make an offer. Carefully address whatever faults they may see in your valuation and keep an open mind when they reduce your figures or give you their recommendations, then simply focus on long term opportunities.
Just believe in yourself and your product
There's no surefire way to predict what the sharks would think about your pitch, and it's undoubtedly challenging to balance the benefits and drawbacks of an offer. Extreme pressure when you are asked to decide on an offer is pretty much inevitable, but aside from the mind and math games, the final say will always be up to you and your business's sake.
Always remember to believe in your shark bait of a product and trust your instincts. Only jump the gun if you've really defined your company's proper valuation and feel confident about the prospects of your business. Needless to say, the real work begins after you've been given a suitable investment offer.