My wife, Chrissy, loves Shark Tank. It is probably one of the most popular shows on television although most people probably won’t admit it. Chrissy not only watches it on Friday night where most of the new episodes appear, but also three or four other nights a week where they do reruns. There are some of these we’ve seen at least three times. I’ve often thought that it would be a good idea for every job seeker in America to watch Shark Tank. Here are some of the lessons:
The first lesson is to look and be likable. When people come out on shark tank dressed nicely, smiling, looking sincere, like they’re there to help other people with their product or service, and come across as simply nice always have an advantage. The ones that come out looking like they think the world revolves around them, overdressed, trying to look sexy, communicating, “Im da’ bomb,” or a guy who communicates, “I’m a stud,” already have a strike against them. You could almost see the sharks bristle when they walk into the “tank”. First lesson: look and be likeable!(It is amazing to me how many seemingly poor ventures get funded by the Sharks when they are presented by a really likable person. If you ever watch the show, see how many times one of those sharks says, “… I really like you” and then offers to back the person in spite of the product’s flaws.)
The second lesson is to have something clear,different, even if simple, to say. So many people get on Shark Tank and really don’t know how to tell a simple story about what they do and what they’re about. Often, they get through with their presentation and the sharks have to ask them, “we don’t really understand… what are you trying to do?” The Sharks get lost in some roundabout, unclear story about what they are being asked to invest in. Second lesson: keep it simple!
The third lesson is to know exactly what benefits your product or service providing others. A product or service that, “revolutionizes the world in 10 different ways” never sells. A person only needs two or three features, advantages and benefits in order to make a sale. They have to be very important features advantages benefits i.e. ones that can’t be found any other way. Over the years both Chrissy and I have noticed that the most popular Shark Tank products have been targeted toward one simple problem. They seem to be the quickest to get funded by the sharks, and also the most successful. Third lesson: know what you’re selling!
The fourth lesson is to anticipate objections. Often it only takes the sharks a few questions to reveal that the presenters don’t appear to have been totally “truthful” with the sharks. By asking questions, the sharks discover credit issues, debt issues, partner issues, etc. they didn’t reveal in their presentation. When this happens, the sharks feel deceived, like the seekers of the investment are trying to “put one over on them.” Most of the time these folks get sent packing rather rudely. Fourth lesson: know what the objections to you being hired are and reveal them, so to speak, in your presentation.
The fifth lesson is to have a simple solution to a difficult problem, demonstrate how it works, then ask for the order. No matter how complicated the product might be, the most successful Shark Tank solicitors present their solution in a simple manner, demonstrate it, the ask for the investment. Candidates interviewing need to do the same thing. “The companies that I’ve worked for in the past had a problem with…..(accounting, IT, sales, customer support, marketing,Production, manufacturing, etc.). And here is how I helped solve the problem….I can do the same for you. Now, when can I go to work?” Here is where the specific features of your ability become advantages to the company you have worked for and how those companies benefited from them. This communicates to a prospective employer that since you’ve done that for past employers, you will do it for them. You then, simply ask for the job.Fifth lesson: sell features, advantages and benefits, then ask for the order.
Shark Tank lessons for the job seeker!