Shark Tank Tips for Your Ad Sales Pitch!
When it comes to ABC’s show “Shark Tank,” this writer confesses to being late to the party. I only began watching this season and I’m hooked. (Get it, hooked). Bad pun aside, the show provides an excellent primer into business subjects like marketing, pitching, funding, and the benefit of strategic partnerships. It’s also a lot like pitching ad sales to potential clients. Like the entrepreneurs on the show, advertising sales representatives generally have a short time to make a big impression. They’re going to have to be passionate, but prepared to answer tough questions about the product and its value. There may not be a “Mr. Wonderful” in your meeting, but there will be decision makers wanting to know how investing in this product is going to get them to their long term goals. You’ll also need to anticipate their objections and be prepared to combat them. Potential investors want to know that bringing you on as an ad sales partner won’t work as a liability against them.
Viewers of the show know there are several questions you’re going to get from anyone you are asking to invest in your product. Avoid being like so many of the flustered entrepreneurs on the show by being prepared with these answers when you pitch your prospect:
- What Are Sales Right Now? In terms of ad sales, the prospect wants to know reach. How many people get exposed to your site, newsletters, or mobile app or are reading your print publication.
- What’s Your Valuation? In the Shark Tank valuation is business worth; in ad sales it’s your business reputation. Testimonials by happy clients go a long way to building credibility.
- What Kind of Equity Will I Receive? Be more than a vendor—be a partner. Ensure that you are just as invested in their success as they are.
- Is This Profitable? How will making a deal with you benefit them in the long run? Case studies and referrals work well here. Show them what you’ve been able to do for others to help gain their confidence in your ability to work for them.