Business lessons from shark tank Watching reality television shows can feel like a massive time suck for motivated entrepreneurs. But for savvy business people who are always looking for opportunity, there are some lessons to be learned from the hit reality show “Shark Tank.” Here are a few take-aways that you can use in marketing your business:

Perfect Your Elevator Pitch

Entrepreneurs have just a few minutes to pitch their product to the sharks, so it’s essential they give a clear, succinct introduction of themselves and their product. This applies to everyone — you never know who you’ll run into and how long you’ll have to talk to them, so start out with a killer elevator pitch, you’ll make a great first impression even if your time together is as long as an elevator ride itself.

Have Solid Data in Hand

On Shark Tank, the people who get the money have a solid grasp on the key figures and details of their company. Without real data to back you up, you’re only making estimates, and business sharks will tear you apart for this, notes Without knowing key details like revenue, growth, profit margin and cost per customer as you market your business, you set yourself up for failure.

Make People Laugh

The investors on the show are real people, not just anonymous piles of cash. By relating to each investor on a personal level, the guests are able to create a connection. This builds trust and confidence and increases the likelihood that Mark Cuban or one of the other sharks will open up their checkbook, suggests By being personable, you can make stronger connections with those who can partner with, or buy from, your company.

Get Your Timing Down

Marketing isn’t about singing your sales pitch like a song stuck on repeat, it’s about making the pitch at the correct moment. Don’t let it be the first thing that comes out of your mouth, but also don’t delay saying anything until your conversation is almost over. The former focuses on you and makes you seem pushy, while the latter makes you appear less confident and the pitch will be rushed.

Sell the Idea

Many products and services are wants, not needs, so it’s essential to paint a picture of how one’s life will be improved by your product or service. Know your target market inside and out, so you can tailor your pitches specifically to them; it will increase your chance of making the sale, or at least make a lasting impression on people.

So the next time you’re parked in front of the tube, make sure you’re not just vegging out. Try to glean something useful from the hundreds of shows that are out there. If you don’t have access to them, says that cable and satellite packages start at just around $30 a month, meaning you can get more marketing and business lessons from future episodes of Shark Tank for a mere dollar a day.