Swimming with Sharks: The Anatomy of a Pitch

Aug 22, 2016

You may be familiar with the popular ABC show "Shark Tank," where entrepreneurs from across the country try to get "sharks" like Kevin O’Leary to invest in their companies, but you might be wondering: What is a pitch, and what makes one successful?

 

Let's watch to one example from "Shark Tank" as Aaron Krause pitches Scrub Daddy.

 

Wearing a bright orange shirt with a bright, friendly demeanor, he mimics his product: A bright yellow handheld dish cleaner with a smiling mouth cutout.

"And that smiling mouth? It cleans spoons, knives, forks, spatulas, even large serving spoons on both sides at the same time."

With a charming smile you see in the likes of an infomercial, he delivers the final zinger:

"Sharks, with your help, Scrub Daddy will be scrubbing and smiling in every kitchen in the world."

Sound convincing? Shark Tank investor Lori Greiner invested $200,000 for 20 percent of the company.

Within two years, the company made $50 million in sales, the most in "Shark Tank" history.

For anyone else looking to jump into the feeding frenzy that is pitching, investor and "shark" Mark Cuban says there are a four main things to keep in mind.

"What are your core competencies, tell me why you’re great at it, tell me why it’s protectable, tell me how it will scale?"

If that wasn’t enough, time is not on your side when pitching.

Entrepreneurs usually have anywhere from 45 seconds to a few minutes to tell their story of who they are, what they do and why someone should buy into it.

Once you understand these elements of a pitch, you, too, can swim among sharks.