AOL's BUILD Series recently welcomed Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, and Kevin O'Leary, four of the sharks a.k.a. investors from ABC's Emmy-award winning series "Shark Tank." They shared some cool behind-the-scenes facts about the show's production process in anticipation for their big milestone, '$100 million dollars in deals' episode airing later this month.
When it comes to the production process, you may or may not have known that each entrepreneur's pitch takes a lot longer than the condensed TV version.
"I think the producers Mark Burnett, Clay [Newbill] and everybody do a great job because those pitches can sometimes run two hours long or an hour long and they accurately cut it in eight minutes, put some music right before, Kevin is about to say something rude to somebody and [then] they go to commercial.", explained John.
"As Daymond said, they can go on for an hour and a half, two hours, but we know that they're going to edit it down. So when we get mad, we'll start cursing at each other, yelling at each other and the entrepreneurs will be like 'what the hell is going on!?!', laughingly added Cuban.
When it comes to small deals on the show Cuban admitted that certain deals do indeed get made with the entrepreneur just for that amazing feel good story kind of moment.
"If it's a relatively small deal, let's say $50,000 or $70,000, a lot of money, but relatively small compared to some of the big ones we make, and there's a kid or somebody that's a feel good story, Daymond hopes that nobody takes it and then he's waiting for them to walk out the door so he can go 'Dang it, wait a minute, I'm going out there to get them.'" Case in point: Daymond John, when he made a last minute deal for this couple.
It makes for great TV and John agreed with Cuban's sentiments citing that he felt bad about them getting turned down and is a sucker for these kind of moments on the show.
Another interesting behind-the-scenes fact about the show is that in each taping the entrepreneur must speak with a psychologist after they pitched to the sharks. Why you might ask?
"So they come on, they pitched, we asked you questions, they edited it down, the first thing they have to do is they have to go talk to the psychologist on the show whether we agreed with them or not just because they have to make sure we haven't scarred them for life. After they talk to the shrink, they got a deal, then somebody who works for one of us because we're on to shooting the next deal, will talk to them and discuss what is going to happen, find out more about them, because there's really not an in-depth vetting process. There's no extreme vetting for the deals before they come on the show. The people behind us that have to do the work when we agree to a deal, go nuts sometimes", elaborated Cuban.
Along with speaking with a psychologist when they come on to the show for their taping, there's also a "no-shop clause" to which Corcoran explained:
"We're all asking for the entrepreneur(s) to sign something so they won't shop the deal because that happens all the time. We [would] make a deal, they shop around and get a better deal and leave us hanging."
"Shark Tank" stopped that from happening in order to preserve the integrity of the show and the deals shown in each episode.
Finally, when it comes to customer acquisition costs, the costs can add up prior to being on the show but with the powerful platform like 'Shark Tank', the customer acquisition cost is now zero if the entrepreneur strikes a deal! The reason why as O'Leary stated is because "they don't have to acquire customers, every time they air and re-air in syndication or they get an update (see ABC's 'Beyond The Tank'), [that's] more customers for free". Each successful deal pays off long after they leave the panel of sharks in their respective episode.
So to those casual viewers at home, these facts alone show how intense, helpful and potent this show truly is!
Catch the sharks in a special episode of 'Shark Tank' celebrating $100 million in deals airing Friday, February 24th 9pm on ABC!