What drives Kevin Harrington: Inventor of the infomercial, an original shark on “Shark Tank”, As Seen On TV Pioneer, Co- Founder of the Electronic Retailers Association and Co- Founder of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, etc.?

  • “Being able to connect with entrepreneurs on a day to day basis”
  • “I just want to share what I’ve learned to help young entrepreneurs right now”

Kevin credits Zig Ziglar for the foundation of his beliefs for success:

-Obviously having income flow, less going out on the expense side
-But more than that, personal development and having the right mental state
-Building on a strong foundation of long-lasting relationships
-Loving people, and empowering your employees or partners  


Kevin learned from Ziglar all of his sales closing techniques, and has since then been able to impart what he learned to other entrepreneurs.


Today, the content for sales is much the same as always, however the way we present it is much different due to a decrease in attention span.


The key to these sales-closing techniques is authenticity, especially in a millennial population, and Zig Ziglar truly was the pioneer for this way of selling.

  • It is said that by 2020, 50% of millennial will be involved in the “gig economy”, where people have a side-hustle, are self-employed or just under temporary contract.


Where do people with ideas get funding?

  1. Start with people that are close to you.
  2. Then go to crowd-funding opportunities
  3. Investment bankers
  4. Other angel investors
  5. Service-suppliers

Be creative. Think of all the people that could benefit from your business and from your idea.

“Because we’ve got the idea economy now, there’s many, many, many sources. So many more today than when I was a young entrepreneur.”

Connect with Kevin at kevinharrington.tv

Show Transcription

[00:20] Welcome to The Ziglar Show, where we inspire your true performance. I’m your host Kevin Miller and in this show my co host Mark Timm and I bring you a business legend, Kevin Harrington. He literally invented the infomercial, and was one of the original Shark Tank members on the hit ABC show. Kevin has launched over 20 businesses that have grown to over $100 million in sales each, has been involved in more than a dozen public companies, and has launched over 500 products generating more than $5 billion in sales worldwide.

 [00:57] The guy knows business folks. In this show you’ll hear why Kevin credits Zig Ziglar’s book “Secrets of Closing the Sale” as a primary tool that spawned his success. Why businesses need investment and capital now more than they used to, how audiences have shorter attention spans and want authenticity, why he considers us to be in a “gig economy” and an “idea economy”, how instead of employing people he outsources much more these days and he wants to be known as the guy who helps others build their businesses. Connect with Kevin at kevinharrington.tv.

 [02:25] OK friends, here Mark Timm and I bring you…Kevin Harrington:

 [02:33] Kevin, just a thrilled to have you in the show. We gonna dive into your story. I got to start off at your Facebook page and you have a mean there about inventing the infomercial, like Al Gore invented the internet. Is that the significant part of your success story?

[02:58] Yeah thanks Kevin, I have been now 32 years in the infomercial business and the funny thing is that we call it infomercial business today but back in the 80s, the term hadn’t been used to this stage, we didn’t know what these 30 minutes long commercial were and it was very exciting for me as a young entrepreneur back there. At that time, I didn’t realise that it gonna be a global industry. I started filming products and putting contents and that being sold and that was the beginning of infomercial industry.

[05:26] So Ziglar’s show is about inspiration and motivation, the fuel that drives success. You have accomplished a lot and are currently involved in a world of activity, ventures and endeavours. What drives Kevin Harrington?

[05:43] What drives me is being able to connect with the entrepreneurs about day to day business. Because when I was the young entrepreneur, I was kind of alone in the island. I was fortunate that my father was entrepreneurs even though in restaurant business. So I was started working in a young age, learning some of the internal techniques. We used to do a lot of mistakes. And after 30 years now I say that I have utilised mentors in my life, I have learned that now if you want to become successful entrepreneur, you have to help other entrepreneur to become as successful as possible.

[07:32] With all the dramatic business success, why the big effort now to help entrepreneurs and impart to them?

[08:06] Often times, entrepreneurs just focus too much on the bottom lines or just bringing the cash register and making the sale. That obviously is important, you know an entrepreneurs need to be successful, so that is important. But I believe personal development and achieving a right kind of mental state for yourself, for your people, these are some of the foundations on which I build my business on. It is important to learn to develop long term relationships. So at the end I believe that personal development and building a strong foundation with people is important for successful business.

[10:22] Kevin, you’re a business titan and a celebrity, inventor of infomercial as one of the original sharks on ABC’s “Shark Tank” show. And you said this: “I’ve been an entrepreneur more than 40 years. But when you think about all of my business success, the key to all of that success is sales…and Zig Ziglar is the master of sales! I simply would not be where I am today if it weren’t for Mr. Ziglar.” That is a big statement, tell us more about the influence of Zig in your life.

[10:58] I think I can go back and start, when I was nine years old I was selling the news papers on the street corner. So my father was the restaurant tour and he said to me Kevin it looks like you like to go out and meeting new people. So at 11, I started working on his restaurant. I always understood that meeting and creating long term relationships with your customers, with your community was important.

[17:18] You know I have the advantage of spending couple of days with you Kevin, unpacking your story and what I love is that I can’t help but feel like we are having a Paul Harvey moment. For those who don’t remember him, he is kind of tell the end of the story and then come back to the beginning of the story. So many people actually know where have you started. You have too sharpen your sales skills to the highest degree you know as a teenager and that’s the part of your story that I loved so much, not just the humble beginning but constantly searching.  

 [25:49] Couple of things….but wait…there’s more. I want that t-shirt, I want that prophesy on my life.

[28:56] Question on sales, in your organization grooming someone for business success, where would you rate the value of sales skills, regardless of their primary role being in sales specifically?

[29:20] At the end of the day, we were a sales organization. I never forget when we hire receptionist because a lot of people come to visit us on a daily basis. We wanted a happy, smiling person to present us. While travelling a lot of time across countries, when you have to travel 8 hours from airport to reach the company and there is no one even to greet you, so we started from the front desk. So our receptionist has that kind of smile. So this is about the organization. As for the infomercial world, it was while our infomercial was selling vehicles, we could pull out shows, and if you got 30 minutes in order to capture sales, every single word became important. And we learn that infomercial is exactly a 30 minutes’ sales pitch.

[34:34] So I am curious with as you look at sales, it is an infomercial or another format, the point of making a sale is not gonna change in most of the point but I am curious as you have been involved in such a deep level so long, has the content evolved?

[35:07] You know I would say this, the content is pretty much similar and I think when you look at it, let me go back to old infomercials, they were 30 minutes shows. Now, we still run the 30 minutes show but there because the attention span, they have been a little less today, we still creating the selling pods inside 30 minutes but we actually have 3 ten minutes’ pods. So it is still the same content, we just organize it a little bit.

[39:30] I am curious, you mentioned a couple of things. One: having organized differently because of a shorter attention span in the populous, which makes sense. But the other thing you said about the authenticity, I am curious about your take on?

[40:48] Absolutely, I mean when I think what the people are selling today, I know so many influencers that they are basically connecting with the people who are following thing saying this is what I use you know today. Kyle Jenner for example, she is 20 years old and she goes and grab the product which is she using and she says this is what I use, that authentic appeal and she created a $400 million beauty business, just in the last 18 months by just sharing her brands on the internet.

 [43:35] I wanna shift a little bit, you are incredibly known as one of the original sharks in the shark tank. We have a demographic, a significant way of our Ziglar audience. So I am gonna ask again, looking at the climate of the business today, do you see because of the ability to have an idea and put it online, is there a more call for the people looking for investing money, is there more needs of that.

[44:33] This is how I would like to frame the view of that Kevin. When I look at back when I was growing up. It was a corporate environment. People work for companies, you know it was the corporate or college and I came alone, I was an entrepreneur. That was very cool for me but now look at the families, some of the teenagers are starting out.

[56:10] That’s a huge topic for all those listeners who are listening. So we wind down here, I got a couple of questions. You were known for your success in selling dramatic amount of products. So name a product that you were involved in and have a huge confidence didn’t make it and why?

[56:30] It’s a great question. You know I have more than 500 products out in the market place and more of them are failed than have succeeded. We got involved with celebrities using all kind of techniques. We had success but we also got one or two of the products failed. You know Chubby Checker, he created a song called twist. He created a fitness product, it was his idea that I can use music to help you loose weight, so he created a product called a twist seizer. I was actually $500 machine that he created. Visually it was a bulky thing and I invested in it and we lost a half million dollar.

[1:07:46] That was rich and inspiring! Connect with Kevin at kevinharrington.tv, and if you got value, please let us know by leaving a review on iTunes, and thanks for the recent reviews! Coming up next in show 508 we find out what Kevin Harrington’s personal success habits are. Some points we found out…he’s the same weight at 60 as when he graduated high school, he has a 15-min hotel workout ritual, he believes taking care of his fellow many is most important, he has a 30 years legacy plan for his career…that will take him to age 90 and he has fun by attending sporting events. So till then, thank you…for letting me walk with you as we inspire our true performance…together!