While browsing the web for a bit, I happened to stumble upon an article on Boston Magazine that had an interview with Kevin O’Leary. Most people know O’Leary as Mr. Wonderful, the guy who always sits in the middle seat on Shark Tank. During the interview, O’Leary was asked what would result in someone walking out of the tank with a deal. It turned out that O’Leary had been performing a little study about this. Here were his three findings:
- People who got the deal were able to articulate their opportunity in 90 seconds or less.
- People who got the deal were able to convince the sharks that they could execute.
- People who got the deal knew their numbers.
Whether we end up on Shark Tank (hard) or end up sitting in one of those five seats (much harder), we would be thinking about these three findings as a way to identify quality deals and make them happen. However, for those of us who do not get to go on Shark Tank, it is important to apply these three findings to our businesses.
With the rise of smartphones, multitasking has gone up. As multitasking goes up, attention spans go down. If you cannot convince someone in 90 seconds that you are important and that your product is good, you will lose that person’s attention. For many YouTube videos, most people stop watching after 10 seconds. The number of people who watch the entire YouTube video is minuscule compared to the number of people who actually viewed the video. This process works similar to a food chain where plants get the most energy (sunlight) and the animals on the top of the food chain get the least energy (because other animals got to use the energy from the plant first). In the beginning, everyone is eager to hear what you say. However, as you continue to talk, the energy level goes down. You need to “wow” the person you are talking to before their energy level hits zero.
After “wowing” someone, you have successfully talked the talk. Since the person’s energy level is higher, you want to keep that energy level high. In order to do that, you need to make sure that person sees you are a responsible person who walks the walk. Saying, “I will run 8 miles today,” and actually running the 8 miles are two different things. Metaphorically speaking, you want to be able to tell the person you are talking to that you will be able to run those 8 miles.
Now you have the person listening to you and absorbing everything that you say. The final part that seals the deal are your numbers. You could have a remarkable opportunity and be responsible, but it’s all fluff if you are getting 0 visitors on your blog, have no social media presence, and have a business going through financial decline. Not only do you need to have the numbers, but you need to have the numbers that click in the person’s mind. Since you gave a big boost to that person’s energy level, that person is able to show a greater appreciation towards your (good) numbers. The numbers offer tangible evidence in your ability to deliver what you say you will deliver.
Although getting on Shark Tank is very difficult, it is very easy to learn valuable lessons about business from the sharks themselves and while watching the show. What are your thoughts about Mr. Wonderful, his little study, and Shark Tank in general?