The founders of a Gold Coast training and recruitment company have scored a Shark Tank first by securing investment from three of the sharks in a deal which values their business at $625,000.
Jack Corbett and Ryan Tuckwood, founders of ISR Training, jumped into Network Ten's Shark Tank Australia hoping to get internet pioneer and Shark Tank judge Steve Baxter to bite and they successfully walked away with the Brisbane-based entrepreneur on board along with Greencross founder Dr Glen Richards and US-based investor Andrew Banks as equal partners.
The three sharks agreed to collaborate with ISR Training and invested a total of $187,500 for a collective 30 per cent stake with the company which is looking for national and international expansion with its modern and ethical approach to sales training and business coaching, as well as its cutting-edge digital training platform.
Jack Corbett says pitching to the five sharks, which also included Boost Juice founder Janine Allis and Red Balloon's Naomi Simson, was "very real".
"The Sharks are not in there to mess around, there are there with a purpose so I had to really slow down, and answer their questions and though I felt we had a good story, a good company and good metrics, they also wanted to know the micro details of my life on a personal level, and were able to peel these back in such an organic way," Corbett says.
"As they say, the product or service can figure itself out they are buying into the person."
"You also need to know your numbers more than anything else," he said.
"We were able to portray our growth projection with logical scalability, which really appealed to the investors."
Mentoring the main motivation
The 2017 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur award winners Jack Corbett and Ryan Tuckwood, who were listed in Business News Australia's Gold Coast Top 40 Entrepreneurs Under 40, agreed the main motivation for chasing the Shark Tank investment was to gain the experience and mentoring of one or more of the investors on the show.
"Without a doubt, the knowledge and expertise that these individuals have was a massive motivation to succeed," Tuckwood says.
"To us money wasn't the main reason we decided to go on the show, it was the elite level of support, mentorship and leadership we could potentially receive from some of the best business people in Australia," he says.
"We were pretty strategic with our valuation and were confident that it was an inviting proposition, backed up by our results over the last four years. The money was purely to accelerate the vision we were already actioning."
"We initially went in with Steve as our target, but walked out with three intelligent business minds, being Steve, Glen and Andrew, joining our board," Corbett says.
"All three complement our business and its ethos, Steve being in the tech space was drawn to our innovative SWISH (Sales With Integrity, Selling Honestly) sales method being available 24/7 365 days a year through our digital platform and its prospects on a global scale.
"Andrew has a strong recruitment background, which is another part of our business, and Glen is a huge investor in people so our ethical practice in sales training really resonated with him."
ISR is a sales training and business coaching company providing an innovative approach to helping people and businesses to increase their sales, through a digital or in-house SWISH Ethical Sales Course and personalised one-to-one mentoring programs.
ISR has worked with hundreds of businesses to date including Certainty Wealth, Empire Property Group Australia, Service.com.au, Luxury Escapes, AutoGuru, Ignite Travel, BBC Digital, Subway, Tor FX and Palm Lake Resorts.
Changing the perceptions around the word 'sales'
Tuckwood says their mission is to become the number one sales organisation in the world as well as change any negative perceptions around the word "sales".
"For me, it comes down to two things. We listen and we tailor.
"We understand that there is not one size fits all and we have created our education to hit all personality types.
"Then we have arranged a magnitude of education, real world experience and on the job coaching into our SWISH sales method. SWISH stands for selling with integrity & selling honestly.
"I think here in Australia, it's really struck a chord with people as we're truly a nation of people that just want to do right by others, but they don't want to be salesy.
"So, for us to create a program that removes you or the client feeling uncomfortable in a sales environment has really gone down well and most importantly, of course, it's getting results and people are doing so whilst maintaining credibility.
"Our approach to sales is about being ethical and honest, and our aim is to change any negative perceptions about salespeople being bullies, liars and manipulators by creating a new generation of sales people.
Business News Australia