What Shark Tank's Talbott Tees Can Teach Us About Selling - Zendesk (2023)

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Article| 7 minutes read

Tips for successfully selling your product to high-profile prospects.

from Josh Bean,Director, Marketing

Last updated on March 16, 2022

  • sales methodology

What Shark Tank's Talbott Tees Can Teach Us About Selling - Zendesk (1)

While the averageshark tank Viewers can watch the show for entertainment value, the hit ABC series also provides training on how to successfully sell your product to high profile prospects.

One particularly successfulshark tankBusiness that offers valuable sales lessons isTalbott-Tees. When they appeared on the show in 2012, Shane Talbott and Steven Nakisher, founders of designer beverage company Talbott Teas, presented their product as "couture cup" and "stylish". But it wasn't just the elegant formulations or 23 flavorful blends that caught the sharks' attention.

The Talbott Teas duo already had an amazing product and successful sales. The company's sales had grown from $100,000 to over $500,000 in three years with a 50% profit margin. On the show, Talbott and Nakisher demanded $250,000 in exchange for a 20% stake in their company.

After Nakisher provided the deal details and Talbott emphasized the creative aspect of the deal, they eventually partnered with investor Kevin O'Leary, who invested $250,000 in the company for 35% equity. Admittedly, the justice wasn't what the duo originally called for (and is a good lesson in honing negotiation skills). Nonetheless, the deal was a success.

How Talbott Teas convinced the Sharks

What Shark Tank's Talbott Tees Can Teach Us About Selling - Zendesk (2)

A sale is never just about a good idea or a great product; It's about your ability to sell the product and convince the customer of its value. The founders of Talbott Teas knew that it took more than a great business idea to sell. To get the money they came for, they had to make the sharks feel goodWorking with the duo.

Knowing customer needs, preparing for the pitch, and nurturing the customer relationship are three proven selling strategies that Talbott Teas has infused with new flavors to convince the Sharks the business is worth the investment - and you can use these strategies Your own sales efforts.

1. Know the customer's needs

During their sales pitch, Shane Talbott and Steve Nakisher offered the sharks delicious tea. The pair had clearly researched the sharks' preferences — each shark seemed content with its own sample (e.g., the duo presented "Chocolate Almond Allure" to investor Kevin O'Leary).

When you, as a salesperson, truly understand what the customer needs for their business to be successful, it is easier to build a trusting relationship that could result not only in a current sale, but also in a readiness for future appreciation.

  • Create comprehensiveBuyer Personalities.Talbott and Nakisher already had an idea of ​​what the Sharks cared about (e.g. price points) before they got into the tank. Sales reps can better identify customer needs when they have a general idea of ​​who the ideal customer is. Work with your marketing team and identify the ideal customer's demographics, values, issues, etc. Distribute these to your sales team.
  • Use a checklist to research prospects.When Talbott and Nakisher walked onto the field, they didn't know which shark was going to bite, but they were prepared with answers that would fit any questions potential investors might have. Using your buyer personas as a basis for ideal customers, research each potential business’s touchpoint, budget, and size (and all other important information). Check this information on the company's website and on social media sites such as LinkedIn.
  • Match the value of your product/service to the needs of your customers.You can have the best product/service in the world, but if it doesn't solve the ideal customer's problem, it's worthless. Sharks Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, and Robert Herjavec didn't make an offer to Talbott Teas -- not because they weren't impressed with the deal, but because it didn't suit their appetite or passion for investing. Don't put off a sale to anyone who doesn't benefit from your business. Instead, focus on your buyer personas and their needs. Show how you can solve the customer's problem, e.g. B. through case studies of similar companies that have benefited from your product/service.

A sale is about the needs of your customers, not your business. Communicate that you understand these needs and demonstrate that you've done your research on the client's business and industry as you move on to the sales pitch.

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2. Prepare for the pitch

Talbott and Nakisher came into the tank ready for their pitch. Their presentation was an excellent mix of sales figures and conveying the high quality of the product. The duo were also primed for the Sharks' post-presentation Q/A session.

Follow the approach used in theirsshark tankPitch when it comes to showcasing your own product or service:

  • Practice your presentation.A goodsales presentationrequires a lot of preparation and practice. In addition to the numbers, add facts that prove the value of your offer. For example, Talbott and Nakisher shared that their tea was on Oprah's favorite things list in 2010 and that they also featured it on QVC.
  • Back up your claims.Talbott and Nakisher proved they knew the tea business inside out. They cited facts about the tea industry's steady growth and how fast Talbott Teas grew ($100,000 to more than $500,000 in sales over three years) and why. For your own pitch, research industry reports and create materials such as case studies that show how your product/service has helped other companies grow.
  • Be ready with answers.When asked about Talbott Teas' five-year plan, Talbott immediately replied that they wanted to grow the company into a lifestyle brand and expand into more teas and licensing opportunities. Nakisher followed the company's exit strategy (a liquidity event), to which O'Leary replied, "You know what you're talking about." Make a list of possible questions before your pitch so you have accurate answers. Check your CRM for data on current customers. What are their questions and concerns when they use your product/service? Your audience might have similar questions.

Go into a sales call with knowledge about your product/service and the industry you are in. Also, make sure your message is consistent with the company's brand identity. Talbott Teas is a luxury brand - the couple presented it as such and used words like 'elegant' to describe the product. Talbott and Nakisher also looked good on the pitch in smart business attire.

Your entire presentation should set the tone of how the customer relationship with your company will be.

3. Maintain the customer relationship

The presentation of the Talbott Teas was about quality interactions with the Sharks as well as closing the deal. The lesson? Don't spend all your time selling to the customer. Instead, think of your interactions with customers as relational rather than transactional.

You build trust and a relationship faster when the customer doesn't feel like your only concern is the purchase.customer managementand nurturing strategies are critical to building a successful customer relationship.

  • May becustomer orientedwith your sales tactics.As previously mentioned, the Talbott Teas duo offered the Sharks tasty tea samples to initially build trust in the company's product. Start your customer relationship on the right foot. Use lead generation strategies that are customer-centric. For example, offer your expertise on Quora and answer questions specific to your industry. Deliver an amazing customer experience before anyone becomes a customer.
  • Follow up promptly.Talbott and Nakisher were quick with almost all of the answers to the Sharks' questions. When you first engage with a potential buyer, be sure to let them know exactly when you will be doing itfollow up. Make a promise and keep it quickly to build her trust. Ask how the prospect would like to be contacted (e.g., email or phone). Useyour CRMto track and organize every customer interaction.
  • Build the relationship over time.Before theshark tankEven airing the episode, Kevin O'Leary brought in two other sharks - Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran - who popularized the company along with Jamba Juice. Customers are more likely to upgrade later if they think you value their business. Not only help your customers better understand your product/service, but also provide advice on how best to use your product based on their specific needs. Be available on different channels (e.g. email, social media) and respond quickly to questions.

If you're not sure if your sales reps are spending enough time nurturing their customer relationships, check yoursCRM reports. For example, the Call Duration report shows how long sales reps spend on the phone with prospects. Team up with yours tooMarketing-Teamto offer quality careContents, like email courses,Videos, e-books, case studies, etc. that solve customer problems

Above all, be authentic in your customer interactions. Prove that you care about more than just closing another deal—you want to add value.


What Shark Tank's Talbott Tees Can Teach Us About Selling - Zendesk (4)

Talbott Teas' successful pitch is proof that a sale requires extensive preparation and is more about the relationship than the transaction. With the right strategies and your CRM, you too can convince potential customers to invest in your product or service – now and in the long term.

But how did Talbott and Nakisher's relationship with sharks develop? With the help of O'Leary, John and Corcoran, Jamba Juice bought 100% of the company and is now selling itTalbott Teas in more than 440 Jamba Juice Stores. Talbott is the VP of Innovation and Nakisher is a member of the Board of Directors. Not a bad deal, right?

Zendesk Sell provides a customer-centric CRM that helps organize and manage valuable business information at every stage of the sales pipeline. Try sellingfreiToday!

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3 keys to unlocking a measurable sales pipeline

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