The reality show, Shark Tank, provides a great platform for hopeful entrepreneurs to present their ideas to a panel of industry titans – ‘sharks’ who have made their own dreams a reality and turned their ideas into lucrative empires. The entrepreneurs are there to try to convince the sharks to invest in their product idea.
As a salesperson, you are like the Shark Tank entrepreneur. What can be learned from this reality-show master class of selling and sales techniques to convince your prospect to listen? To buy? If you were sitting face-to-face with a prospect similar to Robert Herjavec, what would you do to lure in the shark?
Robert Herjavec’s success is a rags-to-riches story. His weekly introduction on Shark Tank speaks about being the son of immigrant, working-poor parents. It makes no mention of how Robert himself struggled to become a success. He waited tables in Toronto and took many jobs to get by.
He likes to point out that, unlike fellow shark, Mark Cuban, he did not think that he would be a millionaire at an early age. Robert’s success was born of desperation and determination. Having been fired from his job, he had no means to pay the mortgage or support his family. Leveraging expertise that he had gained, he went all-in to leave a life of mere existence behind. In doing so, he became a raging success.
It’s Not About the Product – It’s About the Person
It’s not difficult to feel Herjavec’s piercing eyes in the Shark Tank. He is intently attempting to see the presenter’s point of view – to determine what they are made of and what is driving them. Robert looks beyond the product and pitch to see the person. If he does not see someone who is determined and fully committed to the success of their venture, viewers can see his body language change as he loses his receptivity.
If your concept, your idea, or your business is part-time, Herjavec calls it a hobby. He has said, “You can’t play at business. Because you’re going to come across a guy who doesn’t want to be a doctor, and he is going to kick your behind. I can’t invest in a part-time entrepreneur.”
Some have said that Robert is looking for passion in a presenter. Passion is a term that has too many shades of meaning. He’s looking for someone who is desperate and determined – as he once was. Someone who has taken the concept as far as he can, and is at a point he is afraid of losing everything. He is looking for commitment, drive, and a resolve to never quit.
The Need To Be Honest and Open
Robert loves to have fun. When he is presented with a wild and crazy idea, he’s almost always the first one to want to try it. But that’s not enough to keep his interest. It’s what we at ASLAN Training & Development refer to as being emotionally open, or receptive. As a contestant on Shark Tank, or a salesperson talking to a prospect, it’s about doing the right things to keep your prospect open, engaged and receptive to the opportunity.
In order to keep Robert’s attention, he wants to know that the presenter has credibility and integrity. Even if past results have not been up to snuff and the business has had some setbacks, Robert gives a listening ear to presenters who are willing to share their failures and their mistakes. Only a man or woman of integrity is willing to do that – to be open and honest, to be transparent, to tell the truth, regardless.
Robert Looks for Realistic People
“Realistic, but optimistic,” he has commented. It could even be described as, “Optimistic, but realistic.” Optimism on its own is said to be a mirage in the mind of a fool. But optimism in the face of realized adversity, along with a well-conceived plan, is a package that Herjavec can embrace. He wants to know that you are all in, because, if he invests in you, he is all in.
Robert Herjavec virtually embodies a perfect customer. He listens intently. He has a servant’s heart, and he wants the same in his partners. He wants to trust the person. When that trust is validated, he is ready to make a deal.
Could You Sell To A Prospect Like Robert Herjavec?
If you were facing a Robert Herjavec-like prospect, would you have all the tools and skills to lure them in? How would you gain and keep their receptivity in order to show your credibility, your determination, your commitment and your passion to help them meet their goals?
To learn more about the ASLAN approach to sales and sales training, see this related post on our blog about “The Genesis of ASLAN.” Or contact us to see how we can help you make your sales team more successful.
Summing It Up
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. At ASLAN, we’re invested in helping your team deliver a more successful sales pitch. We’d be happy to chat about customized sales training opportunities for your business.
If you found this blog helpful and want to go deeper into the concepts we covered, check out our new book, UnReceptive, at unreceptivebook.com.