7 years ago
February 21, 2017

3 Lessons Salespeople Can Learn from Shark Tank Investors

How can you make your way to the top and land a career in sales? Here are three valuable lessons from the Shark Tank.

Rhys Metler


“Do you want to be rich or not? Let’s get focused on that, buddy,” Kevin O’Leary once said on an episode of ABC’s Shark Tank, a popular show where entrepreneurs can pitch their ideas to a panel of high-profile investors. Business is business, and whether you’re trying to start a company or launch a career in sales, there are some lessons that are universally true.

Did you know that there are over 22 million sales professionals working in North America alone? This might be surprising to you if you’ve been trying, and failing, to land your next sales job. While it’s a big industry, it’s also a competitive one. Employers receive an average of 250 resumes for each position available. How can you make your way to the top and land a career in sales? Here are three valuable lessons from the Shark Tank.

1. “Convince me why this isn’t the worst idea I’ve ever seen.” – Robert Herjavec

In the shark tank, the team of investors often want entrepreneurs to focus on what their product can do for them—they want to be convinced that it helps them in some way. Talking to clients isn’t just a game of wheedling them into buying something—it’s about explaining how, and figuring out how the product can help improve some aspect of their lives.

2. “Do you want to be rich or not? Let’s get focused on that, buddy” – Kevin O’Leary

Kevin O’Leary, also known as, “Mr. Wonderful”, is typically one of the harshest sharks, and ruthlessly focused on money—with results. In a Harvard study of top-performing sales people, researchers found that the best salespeople didn’t stress out too much about losses, but expected them as part of the job. Even the most successful sports teams experience loss, but if you let that affect your performance, you’re not going to ever win a game. Focus on the end-goal: landing a client, and getting commission.

3. “Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world.” – Mark Cuban

The world of today’s sale pitches is different from pitches before the internet. Consumers are more informed than ever about the products they want—they don’t need a simple explanation of how something works. The way you can provide value to them is by knowing their industry—the industry you supply to—inside and out. If it’s medication, find out some of the routine complaints doctors and nurses have so that you can work that into your explanation, and so that you can explain how your product or service solves a very specific problem. Being more knowledgeable can give you an edge over other salespeople, as well.

Are you aiming for a career in sales? What lessons have you learned from Shark Tank? Let us know in the comments.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.