10 Biz Lessons From Ursula’s "Unfortunate Souls" Sales Pitch

Disney villains get a bad rap. If we look closer, many are just… good at business! One of the most misrepresented is Ursula from The Little Mermaid. The deal she’s offering isn’t great. But she’s upfront about the terms and there’s the option to say “no”. Is she really a villain?

Whatever side you’re on, there’s a lot to be learned from Ursula’s infamous “Unfortunate Souls” sales pitch.

Here are 10 business lessons from Ursula’s pitch:

1. Admit to mistakes to create good faith

“I admit that in the past I’ve been a nasty. They weren’t kidding when they called me, well, a witch. But you’ll find that nowadays, I’ve mended all my ways, Repented, seen the light, and made a switch.”

Ursula – Little Mermaid

Admitting mistakes shows transparency and a willingness to progress in the right direction, for everyone’s benefit.

2. Put knowledge, experience and passion on display

“And I, fortunately, know a little magic. It’s a talent that I always have possessed.”

Ursula – Little Mermaid

If you’re good at something, have the experience or training to meet a need, have a passion that drives you to bring your best, put that on display! Make people aware of what you have to offer and what makes you unique.

3. Show that you are in demand

“Those poor unfortunate souls. So sad, so true. They come flocking to my cauldron Crying, “Spells, Ursula, please!” And I help them. Yes
I do.”

Ursula – Little Mermaid

Why do people come to you? What problem do you solve? People seek out products or services when they have a need, want or problem. Make it clear what you address and that people are already coming to you for it.

3. Be upfront about payment and don’t surprise your client

Ursula: “We haven’t discussed the subject of payment.”

Ariel: “But I don’t have-” .

Ursula: “I’m not asking much, just a token really, a trifle. What I want from you is your voice.”

Ursula – Little Mermaid

Ursula is asking a lot. But the key is that she’s upfront about it. There are no surprises.

There’s nothing like hidden fees to incite negative press. Some people may turn away when faced with payment, but that’s far less damaging than people publicly complaining about being duped. That’s bad press you just can’t come back from.

4. The importance of body language

Ariel: “But without my voice, how can I-”

Ursula: “You’ll have your looks, your pretty face, and don’t underestimate the importance of body language, ha!”

Ursula – Little Mermaid

Oh, Ursula! Sassy she may be, wrong she is not. I’m not suggesting seducing clients. But be aware of body language with clients, partners or colleagues. Are you arms crossed or open? Are you fidgety or attentive? Not sure what to do with your hands? Put them in your pockets. It keeps your body language open and stops the fidgeting.

Ursula - Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi58pN8W3hY

5. Create a sense of urgency, and value

“Come on you poor unfortunate soul. Go ahead.

Make your choice.
I’m a very busy woman and I haven’t got all day.
It won’t cost much; Just your voice!”

Ursula – Little Mermaid

You’re a busy person! You’re in demand! You are there for your client/partner/colleague, but there is a limit to the time you can give because you are a valued person with important things to do. “Quickly, now! I can’t keep this offer open for long!”

6. Always start with a contract/agreement

“If you want to cross the bridge, my sweet,
You’ve got the pay the toll.
Take a gulp and take a breath,
And go ahead and sign the scroll.”

Ursula – Little Mermaid

Insist on a signed contract or agreement before any work begins. This protects you both and ensures all parties are aware of, and agreed to the terms.

7. Always show your contract to a lawyer before signing

 Little Mermaid  Signing an agreement
The Little Mermaid –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi58pN8W3hY

This is more a lesson from Ariel than from Ursula. Never sign a contract without first consulting a legal professional. It’s simply good business.

8. Sometimes it’s good to get an expert second opinion

You had a lawyer review your contract. But, are they an expert in your field or industry? Consider consulting an expert on the subject of your agreement before signing anything.

Little Mermaid Friends
The Little Mermaid – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi58pN8W3hY

9. Show the end result

Ursula & Little Mermaid  presentation
The Little Mermaid – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi58pN8W3hY

Remember, no surprises! Just as important as clarity on pricing is clarity on the end result you’re promising. Showing the end result is a powerful sales tactic, but also protects you in the event someone demands a result that was never promised.

10. Use visuals for higher impact

Ursula & Little Mermaid  presentation
The Little Mermaid – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi58pN8W3hY

Pictures, videos and diagrams can create huge impact! Show the problem you address, how you help, what the process looks like, expected end results… visuals are incredibly impactful. Use them.

Video and Image Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi58pN8W3hY