I recently published an interview with the CEO of TELEBrands, a leading company in the field of direct response television marketing. A.J. Khubani approximated that half of the company’s innovative products are developed in-house and half are found within the outside inventing community. He also explained a little bit about how these products are found. But I wanted to give you an even better idea of what that process is like. Have you ever wondered what your chances are? How you would fare? Independent inventor Steve Fisher had the opportunity to pitch his product in front of Mr. Khubani. Here’s the scoop!
“I’d never really even watched infomercial television stations. But then ‘The Pitchmen” premiered and I discovered there was a whole industry out there. My partners and I really began to enjoy watching it. The concept was fun. We’d been developing our product for about six months when we decided to play around with the video camera one afternoon and pitch our invention in Billy Mays-esque fashion,” Fisher explained.
It was also on “The Pitchmen” that Fisher first heard about TELEBrand’s inventing casting calls. He wasn’t sure that his product was perfectly suited for the industry, but he went with it anyway.
“We thought our product was in the right ballpark. Unfortunately, Billy Mays had died several days after we shot our video, so we had to clean it up and edit it before submitting it.”
Fisher sent TELEBrand’s an e-mail stating he thought his product could work with their product line and including a link to his website and to YouTube (where he had uploaded the video of his pitch).
“We received a form letter in response, thanking us for our submission and informing us that that they received thousands and thousands of entries. But about two weeks later, we got a call back. They wanted us to fly out and pitch our idea!”
Fisher does believe that his unique way of describing his product helped him get a call back.
“I asked if we needed to change our pitch to be more businesslike. And the TELEBrands representative said ‘No! By all means, bring the pitch you sent us.’ So I think at least they were entertained. We stood out.”
The day Fisher pitched to Mr. Khubani and his team, he was one of thirty other inventors present.
“The TELEBrands team was great. They knew several of my partners had to fly out the next day, so they bumped us up in line order to make sure we pitched that day. My presentation had a rough start – I thought I’d be able to march in and hit them with it, but Mr. Khubani asked us to introduce ourselves and tell where we were from first. But I caught up eventually and was pretty pleased,” explained Fisher.
Fisher was pretty excited when Mr. Khubani complimented him on his pitch several times. Although TELEBrands ultimately informed him that the timing wasn’t right for his product, Fisher loved the experience.