Want to know what it’s really like after you get a deal with a Shark from ABC’s hit show Shark Tank?
‘I’ll make you a deal’. Hearing that from the mouth of a Shark was like magic. Suddenly I was living the entrepreneur’s dream. I just pitched my product to original Shark Kevin Harrington (you’ve seen him on Season 1 of ABC’s Shark Tank) and I was sure I was on the rocket ride to riches.He loved all that my Body Language for Profits system could do for people including closing more business deals and solving some unique personal challenges like talking your way out of a traffic ticket, even interpreting secrets hidden in online dating profiles.
Kevin is the inventor of the infomercial and behind the success of products like the Ginsu Knife, the Food Save and the Ear Wax Vac. And I just knew he was the one to take my system to the masses. I had me, a great program and a Shark. What could possibly go wrong?
‘You’ll do great.’
Have you ever thought you were ready to roll with a solution the marketplace really wanted and thought it was perfect… and then you were told to start over?” That’s what happened when the phone rang the next week.
He wanted to pitch my 2 book one DVD kit to the home shopping channels. But I needed to reposition it to fit their market which is 70% women. (here’s a tip. When someone tells you to reposition something that’s code for throw it out and start over.) I needed to solve small, achievable problems in 3 DVDs, 2 CDs and a re-write of my book. Then he said. ‘Oh and one more thing….Tony Robbins failed when he went on QVC but I could do way better than him. People are too busy to try to have a great life any more. They’ll love your tiny solutions.’
This wasn’t going to be as easy as I’d planned. It was going to take real work and real out of pocket expense. The risk was high for me both in time and dollars, but the potential payoff was huge.
It turns out that Sharks often ask for product redevelopment before they move into action. After lots of research, scripting and designing, I targeted the women’s market from the problems I solved right down to the color of the box. This was virtually the same info I had been teaching sales teams for years. Just a few shifts in the terminology I used did the trick. The small tweaks made all the difference.
After 6 months of development, my Persuasion Point kit was ready I found myself on a conference call with the VPs at the Home Shopping Network. . They loved it. We spent hours on the phone. (Nobody get s that kind of time with them) It was targeted perfectly for their audience. They’d call me in a week. It was the longest week of my life. I felt like I was on the 1 yard line ready to score a touchdown.When the phone finally rang, they said their first PO would be for….wait for it…..zero. It turns out they are only working with celebrities now. They said ‘Just go out and make yourself a celebrity then call us back, we like the product’. ‘Um, Yeah. I’ll get right on that, I thought’
I felt like a balloon that had popped. But I had to pick myself up and figure out what was next. I thought about giving up but quitting was not an option. Have you ever felt like that? What’s that one thing you could pick back up and find a way to make it work? The only people that lose are quitters!
Back to Kevin I went. He said ‘Make the book a best seller on Amazon before we pitch to another shopping network. We don’t want to hear the same thing again’. That was the last thing I wanted to do. I was getting married in 4 weeks and was near meltdown on all levels. How was I going to find the energy? But I found out it only takes about 350 sales to be a category bestseller. Hmmm, I thought. That’s doesn’t sound too hard. Isn’t it funny how things that seem insurmountable aren’t once you dig into the details?
So I put together a killer sales letter and sent it to 40 of my professional speaker buddies to send to their list. And it worked! For days, orders poured in and Persuasion Point was the top selling book in the self help/communication category, even a top new release on Kindle. This was easy!
The power of community is amazing. When you’re going for something big, people will step up to help if you ask. But you have to ask! What are you doing to build your network? What associations are you involved with? How are you helping others? When you help, people will be there for you when you need it.
I was sure I was on my way to air time on one of the home shopping networks. When we pitched to the rest of them, they said being a bestseller wasn’t good enough. Come back when I was famous. After all that work, I was crushed. Only a visit with my good friend Jack Daniels could ease this pain.
Kevin said, “Forget the home shopping networks, we’ll do this ourselves. Make me an infomercial to test.’ He said you’ll either be a wild success or completely fail. Most of them fail. I just couldn’t walk away, even knowing the odds. I just had the feeling this could be big. Who wouldn’t want to know how to talk their way out of a traffic ticket?
I didn’t know much about infomercials so he sent one to model. The Wax Vac — a vacuum for ear wax that he’d sold millions of. Certainly traffic tickets were a bigger problem than ear wax, right? After months of writing, filming and testing I found out the answer is no. The infomercial didn’t test well enough to get a shot on TV. Who knew earwax was such a big problem? Not me. So after cleaning out my ears with the Wax Vac I had bought, I picked myself up and worked to figure out another plan.
Here’s what I knew. My product was great and really worked. I just didn’t know what sales channel would make it a true financial success. I had to find another way. Should I just resign myself to selling this at the back of the room at my talks? People line up for them when I speak, but I just knew it could be bigger. I couldn’t bear the thought of giving up.
THE SOLUTION RIGHT UNDER MY NOSE
It turns out that what I was looking for was right there all the time. The internet. I made separate web pages for each problem I could solve with the kit and targeted the women looking for those solutions. People who want to get out of traffic tickets are hard to find. So I dropped that from the primary hook and turned it into a bonus. It’s preventative and people just don’t want to buy that kind of thing. They want solutions to problems they already have.
The easiest group to target are ladies who are internet dating. They always want to know more about the guys they’re browsing…They want to avoid the heartache of another bad date and reel in the right guy. So I focused on that aspect of Persuasion Point. Who knew I’d be the online dating doctor? Both men and women are using the tools to know more about who’s really behind the dating site profile. And sales are growing.
Just ask yourself, what niche are you not even thinking of? What are you overlooking that could be your cash cow? How can you refocus focus your marketing to reach it? As my Shark said, success comes from solving tiny, achievable problems. And now I know he was right.
My journey with this project isn’t over yet. New opportunities continue to unfold every day. Did it turn out how I envisioned? No. Would I do it again? Yes. Every single bit. There’s nothing like a Shark to make you swim faster, swim stronger and find a way. Now go jump in your tank. The water’s not bad!