Before he became “Mr. Wonderful,” Kevin O’Leary of “Shark Tank” scooped ice cream for his first job. Since then, he went on to build a company that has since sold for $4 billion and is the founder of O’Leary Financial Group.
“Business is war. My job is to salt the earth my competitors walk in, burn down their market shares, steal their customers, take all of their profits and go home and hug my kids,” O’Leary told ABC News’ “20/20.” “[I] get up in the morning and do it again.”
To O’Leary, 61, the hardest business job in the world is sales.
“Every business has sales. If you have no sales you have no business,” O’Leary said. “I don’t think it’s ever been more competitive than it is now. We not only have competition within our own country, but we have the world competing for our customers.”
Watch the full story on ABC News’ “20/20” Friday at 10 p.m. ET. And check out the “Shark Tank” shark and sales expert’s five top techniques to making a sale below:
1. Walk the Walk.
In this technique, it’s important for salespeople to know who they are and what they’re selling.
“Number-one rule: great salesmen and women understand it’s their destiny to be a salesperson and to be great,” O’Leary said. “It has to be there all the time, 24-7, no chink in that armor.”
2. Feel the Love.
O’Leary said salespeople need to be passionate about their products.
“You have to love the product you’re selling. You have to have an emotional bond with it. It has to be oozing from every pore that this is the greatest product you have ever sold,” he said.
3. It’s All About the Perfect Pitch.
“Don’t dribble on. Capture your audience immediately. Communicate your vision for why the product belongs in their hands. That’s the perfect pitch,” O’Leary said.
Of all the thousands of sales pitches he has heard, O’Leary said there has been one constant factor in companies that were able to gain an investor.
“In every case, that person was able to articulate the opportunity in 90 seconds or less,” O’Leary said.
4. Be Kind, Not Nice.
“I don’t trust nice people … I don’t believe that someone can be nice all the time,” O’Leary said.
“Every product has its merits and its downsides. Don’t lie about a product … as if there’s no problems at all. Create that bond of trust. That’s paramount.”
5. Be Sticky, Not Gummy.
Salespeople should know when to stop talking, O’Leary said.
“In sales your best friend is time and it’s also your worst enemy. You have to make a decision whether they’re ultimately going to buy from you or not,” he explained.
“As soon as you understand that they’re not, don’t waste your time. Cut them loose. Gummy people just keep going after the sale and wasting everybody’s time.”