How to get a shark to bite!

I was watching the show “Shark Tank” the other night.  A fellow came on with a product that at first seemed crazy.  He had developed nose plugs that look like small oval band aids that cover your nostril openings.  They allow air to pass through while at the same time filtering out germs, bacteria, fungus, pollution, all types of harmful elements. And according to the creator of these nostrils covers they are 99% effective in filtering out pollutants.

The group of “sharks” who he was making his pitch to all chuckled and were on the verge of dismissing his invention as a who-needs-it-this-is-a-crazy idea shrug when he suddenly hit them with one detail:  He had already obtained a $7 million purchase commitment from a company in Saudi Arabia.

Whoa!  The sharks sat up straight.  $7 million purchase up-front and all the inventor was looking for was $500,000 to fund the making of the nose covers and for that he would give the investor a percentage of the company plus a 10% royalty until the shark’s investment was paid off.

The sharks all started circling him but they weren’t looking to chomp him into bits. They were looking to throw money at him like fishermen throw chum to sharks in order to bait them, hook them, and haul them on-board.

It was an amazing transformation from disinterested to mesmerized. What caused the shift?  Once they heard that the inventor had already acquired a $7 million sales commitment they were ready to open their wallets.

And what does this prove?  All the hype…all the talk…all the brand building and brand imagery in the world doesn’t mean a thing unless it can generate results. And when you can talk about results — “Over a billion served” — you will allay doubts and drive people to your product or service like a, well, a shark to chum!

True story.


About nhbrownlee

Advertising copywriter, Creative Director and state of New York college professor. I love true stories. Who doesn't?
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