Like many people I know who work in marketing and sales, my guilty pleasure is watching episodes of Shark Tank online. This is a reality TV show where entrepreneurs make presentations to a panel of business personalities with the hope of getting them to invest in whatever the presenter is selling.
Somehow after 10 seasons and 213 episodes, the producers of this show continue to amuse through two simple variables. They find highly entertaining business professionals willing to come on their show to pitch; and they showcase unique business ideas, products, and services.
What is amazing to me is that although no two sales pitches are ever even close to being similar, there is one consistent theme that plays through almost every episode while investors are questioning contestants and evaluating their opportunity. Will the business owner(s) be good people to work with?
Temperament of presenters seems significantly more important to investors than what they are selling. Case and point, I’ve seen an amazing technology invention receive zero funding from investors when they thought the presenter was untrustworthy, while another guest received a better offer than she originally proposed for a simple, silicone placemat because of her relentlessly go-getter attitude.
I think marketers and sales people like me are attracted to Shark Tank because it plays the constant reminder that hard work and a good personality pay off when applied to an entrepreneurial idea we believe in. It reinforces our understanding that relationships are valued more than just about anything else in our business world. If we want to make a sale, we need to make a connection first.
–Lee Sumner, Sr. Research Manager