This morning I had the opportunity to attend a presentation delivered by Robert Herjavec from The Dragon’s Den television show. The program was sponsored by Harry Rosen, a high-end men’s fashion store, and approximately 70-90 people attended the presentation. I was looking forward to the session because I have been a fan of the TV show since it aired six or seven years ago.
Here are a few things I picked up from his 45-minute presentation.
1. You need to be passionate about what you do. Successful people are very passionate about their business which means they will put in the effort that is required to succeed.
2. You have to put in the effort. Although he didn’t say it directly, he did mention several times that it takes hard work to run a business.
3. One of the biggest differences between very wealthy people and everyone else is their ability to think big. Herjavec admitted that he probably would be worth much more than he currently is if he had been able to believe that he could achieve enormous success earlier in his career. He admitted to being in awe of working side-by-side with Mark Cuban
during a taping of Shark Tank
, the Mark Burnett version of Dragon’s Dens.
4. You don’t have to be an asshole to succeed. Herjavec is a genuine, down-to-earth person. During his speech he said there are times he would like to be demanding and rude but in the back of his mind he could picture his mother slapping him and saying, “Don’t be rude.”
5. You need to have goals to focus on. It doesn’t matter whether they are business goals or personal objectives; you need to be able to focus your effort and energy on something.
6. You can captivate people without PowerPoint or multi-media presentations. As a professional speaker, I was extremely impressed how well he kept everyone’s attention during his presentation. Certainly part of this can be attributed to his celebrity status but beyond that it was his ability to share stories and real-life examples. He simply had a conversation with us and everyone listened.
The cool thing about the presentation was seeing how down-to-earth Herjavec was when interacting with people. Here’s a guy who has achieved enormous wealth by traditional standards but he didn’t stand at the front of the room and boast about it. He didn’t brag about his net worth or what he had accomplished. However, he wasn’t embarrassed by his success. It was obvious that he now used to it and comfortable with it. Plus, he admits in his book that he now enjoys the fame and recognition.
It was also interesting learning more about the behind-the-scenes of television programming. Herjavec shared insights about both the Canadian and American shows and the differences between the two.
But, ultimately, it was about meeting the man and hearing what he had to say. And it was definitely worth a morning of my time!
Thanks to Steve Ritchie, an account manager at MicroStrategy who sent me the link to sign up for this event; the power of social media!
You’d think with all of the articles, webinars, podcasts, videos, and blog posts out there about how to conduct sales conversations, that those doing the selling would be experts who rarely have a prospect slam the phone down on them. Sadly, that is not the case.
There are still many sales people who don’t know how to first get a prospect’s attention and then hold it and guide the conversation to an eventual sale
During a recent podcast interview with Rain Today I stated, “Even though there’s a ton of information available, the interesting thing is the vast majority of sales people either don’t make themselves available for that information or use that information. And those that do read a lot of the blogs and information and attend webinars and things like that don’t actually apply the concepts on a consistent basis.”
You can listen to that interview here.
I strongly believe that two things contribute to the problems people experience during their sales conversations:
1. People who have been selling for a long time think they can use the same approach they used 15 years ago.
2. New reps don’t have the experience or knowledge and most new sales people don’t receive any type of formal sales training.
One of the big mistakes both types of sellers make is focusing on the features of their service and not on their prospects and uncovering their pain points so they can position their solution appropriately.
The great folks at RainToday.com have asked me to share some other ideas so tomorrow afternoon I will be conducting a full-length webinar from 2:00-3:30 PM ET. Here’s a glimpse of what I will be discussing:
- Three fatal mistakes many sales people make in the first few minutes of a sales call or meeting.
– How to develop rapport quickly and easily with new prospects (it’s not what you think!).
- 16 powerful questions to gain valuable insights into your prospect’s situation, decision-making process, concerns, and priorities.
- How to effectively transition from the qualifying process to presenting your solution.
- The one way to begin every sales presentation that will capture your prospect’s attention.
- 3 proven strategies that will help you reduce buyer resistance.
- How to gain commitment and move the sales process forward without being rude or pushy.
You can get the full details of the program here. I hope you can join me and participate in this program.
One of my favourite television shows is Dragon’s Den, a popular program that has budding entrepreneurs pitch their business idea in hopes of gaining funding from five venture capitalists. In exchange for the funding, the entrepreneurs give up a share of their company.
Several things struck me as I listened to the pitches on last night’s show (I really dislike that word, but that’s what these presentations are).
1. Overvaluation. Many of the people trying to secure money grossly over-value their company. For example, if someone asks for $100K in exchange for 20% of the company, the business has a valuation of $500,000. I have seen valuations that make absolutely no sense and it’s obvious that the person asking for the money has no idea how to value their company.
2. No revenues. Several of the entrepreneurs do not have any sales or their revenues are so low that they’re virtually non-existent. Unfortunately, the entrepreneurs don’t realize that the Dragons will not invest in their business if they don’t have the revenues to back up their claims. This is particularly true when the entrepreneur places a high valuation on their business.
3. Dumb idea. I don’t profess to be the smartest business person on the planet but even I know that a book written with the intention of reading it to a dog to help the dog fall asleep is a ridiculous idea, not to mention a stupid business venture. A book is NOT a business!
Yet, show after show, intelligent people pitch a ludicrous idea and they are dumbfounded when the Dragons reject it. What’s even more disturbing is that some of these people have invested tens of thousands of dollars in developing prototypes or trying to launch their idea.
What does this have to do with selling?
Every sales call, meeting and presentation you make is being evaluated by your prospect. If you fail to capture their attention, present a solid case that demonstrates how your prospect will benefit, they will reject your idea, product or solution and move on to other opportunities.
BTW: The US version of this show is called Shark Tank and it airs on ABC.