The Sales Apprentice 2011: Sales Training & Business Development Tips From The Hit TV Show, Week 2

Here is my video log of sales tips, business development strategies and personal development thoughts from The Apprentice, week 2. It’s worth watching whether you watch The Apprentice or not. The transcript is below for thos who don’t want video…

Transcript of the video below…

Hi, my name is Gavin Ingham. Welcome to week 2 of my sales tips from The Apprentice! Now, you know, one of the questions that people ask me is, “Why? Why The Apprentice?” and I think people who read my blogs and watch my videos, they tend to fit into one of the three categories.

  1. Category 1: People who watch The Apprentice… that’s the people who enjoy the apprentice and they enjoy my blog and video blogs.
  2. Category 2: People who sometimes watch The Apprentice… maybe they don’t even watch but they enjoy the blogs.
  3. Category 3: They don’t watch The Apprentice… they don’t watch, maybe they are not interested, maybe they have lost interest in it and a lot of them maybe they don’t actually watch this or listen to this and you know what… that is actually a shame. Because these blogs, they are not really about The Apprentice, they are really about sales tips, they are really about business ideas, they are really about things that we can learn from the show, whether that’s what people did on the show or whether that’s what people didn’t do on the show.

I am not trying to dissect it, I am not trying to even say, “Hey look they should have done this that or the other”. Because ultimately we don’t know, we don’t really know what happened, we don’t know how it was all edited or how it was all cut. I have spoken to several of the Apprentices, met several, worked with quite a few of them and you know the stuff is cut all over the places, people are shown how they (the production crew) want to be shown.

So to tonight’s show… there were all sorts of tips, all sort of ideas that I could have picked to talk to you about. But first let me tell you a bit about the task.

Tonight’s Apprentice Task


Tonight’s task was to create a mobile phone app, a mobile phone app. That’s an app that goes on your phone and then to see which team could get the most downloads.

The two teams, boys versus girl,s were lead by Leon on the boy’s team who is a Fast Food Marketing Manager and Edna on the girl’s team who is a Chartered Business Psychologist.

The boys created a product which was called “slang-a-tang” and the idea was you could hit the app on the phone and it would give you an accent from a place in the world or a part in the country just for a bit of a laugh.  On the girls’ team they created something they called “Ampy Apps” and what that was, it was really just a noise, they were talking about things like if you were in a crowded room with your friends and you wanted to gain their attention or someone was annoying you or somebody was talking in the cinema which kind of sounded to me like you make even more noise!

Anyway, that was what they created and they went out and they made presentations to try and sell these – some to online magazines which could promote them and also to a live audience at some kind of technology event.

Now, there were all sort of tips and ideas that we could have got from tonight’s show but something that stood out for me was my first one.

Do you add value or are you just background noise?


Think about it for a minute, do you add value or are you just background noise? In tonight’s team there were some people who stepped up, they took action, they looked to see how they could help others, how they could rescue sales pitches, what they could do to save things… And there were others who just laid back and went, “You know what? I am not going to do very much. If I don’t do anything then nothing can go wrong”.

I think it is really important that you add value; I think it is also important that you sell something that adds value. I looked at this product as a whole and I thought,  “You know what? Sir Lord Alan was talking about this and saying that when he was young there weren’t these business opportunities around and to look at the speed you can get to market with this but take one day and you got ten thousand downloads but yeah where are you going to be tomorrow? Where are you going to be the day after? You can’t really built a sustainable business that’s adding any value that is really serving any use to society of a cow making a noise on a phone! Sure, you can make a bit of money on a quick download and you may be able to repeat that over and over again. But that itself is not a sustainable business idea.

Be positive.


The second thing that came up for me tonight is that I think you need to be positive when you are selling. Both teams at times were not particularly positive but in particular the girls. I would say at least half of the girls team did just not believe in what they were selling.  Now on the other hand, you might say, “Well that’s not very surprising because it wasn’t very good” but on the other hand they needed to get it, they should have seen it as what it was. I think it was Melody said after coming out after one of the presentation, she said, “What can you do? Your pitch is only as good as your product.” To me that sounds like a really great excuse for not winning the presentation.

Charm does not a presentation make.


The next thing that came around for me, still around presentations and sales presentations, actually was “charm does not a presentation make”. There is a chap called Vincent and he’s got slightly longer hair and he seems to, and certainlyhas been cast as a bit of a ladie’s man… someone who fancies himself as good with the women, sees himself as charming. I am pretty sure he is an IT software sales person and last week we saw him going in and smooching to try and sell some stuff.

He tried to do that on a presentation tonight and I always think it is unfair as I say to judge people on these presentations because we don’t really see enough to know what really happened but from what we did see, he ran out of things to say. He was struggling with what to say and he kind of turned to the team and said, “Can someone help me here” and I thought what was really important there was that you can’t just go on a charm offensive when you are making a presentation. You know, you have to have a plan. You have to know your audience. You have to know what you are trying to achieve. You have to know what your objectives are.

So charm does not a presentation make.

Appeal to your audience.


Next one, you have to appeal to your audience. The presentations that were made live to the technology audience were quite interesting because Edna decided to make the presentation for the girls team and, on the one hand, he was well spoken, she was well dressed, she was clearly confident but she wasn’t connecting with them. There was no connection, there was no similarity, there was no thought in her head going, “Hey! Where are my audience? Why are they listening to this? What do they want to get out of this?” And when you make a sales presentation, that’s really, really important. The boys, on the other hand, they were dressed up, they were doing funny voices, it was lively, it was whacky, there were lots of them involved, it was fast, it was moving… which was exactly what these kind of people would have wanted.

Have A CTA!

Next point! When you make a presentation you should always have to have a “Call To Action.” Edna just kind of went, “Well thank you” and walked off. The boys on the other hand were Calling To Action, CTA, Calling To Action. All the Call To Action is, it’s asking your audience to do something as a result of being in your presentation and right from the start the boys were suggesting, “Hey look you should download this. Hey download it now while you are listening to us. Get on your phones and do it now. Text it to someone else. Get someone else to do it”. They were saying things like, “First 50 people in the room get…”- I didn’t even hear what you get but you get something, so they were encouraging people to do that.

Know your clients.

Final one, know your clients. You know, I think tonight the boys outperformed the girls. There was an argument at the end which I will talk about it in a moment that the girls maybe had a better product. I think in some ways they did and some ways they didn’t. But I think that the point that wasn’t allowed to be made very well or it was not backed by Sir Lord Alan was the important one, that was there was one website which got more hits than the others and the girls got on that website and the boys didn’t. And although the boys were ahead in the morningwhen it was left to see who will download the most over the rest of the 24 hours, the girls went away and beat them by ten thousand downloads to four thousand. I believe a large amount of that was down to being on a global website.

Now, when they go in to the board room Sir Lord Alan knocked the boys, he said, “Your product wasn’t really global.” He was right, it wasn’t really global. The girls’ product was global but only in a kind of rubbish way but it was more global so that was true. But he also knocked them because the guys who turned them down said that their product was stereotypical… it was stereo typing people. It stereotyped Aussies, it stereotyped people from Wales, it stereotyped whoever it was that was doing it. Now that is true but the boys made a good point and they said it was just a joke, it was just a bit of fun, and you know that’s a fair point.

What was hilarious then  was that Sir Lord Alan after Leon decided to bring back Glen and Alex, Sir Lord Alan said to Glen who was a software guy, he said to him, “You know what? Techie people do not usually make very good business people.” And I thought, “Well hang on a minute, that is a much more serious stereo type than the one you just accused the boys of making” because at least theirs was light-hearted. Yours is serious and you are saying that on prime time TV to a bunch of other people out there. IT people do not make very good business people as a general rule!!! There’s a stereotype I think a lot of IT people will argue with you about!”

Anyway, three boys left fighting it out and it was quite interesting because Leon who we all thought I think was going to get thrown out managed to stay in and Sir Lord Alan decided to keep the IT guy too and throw out Alex.

Why did he throw out Alex? He threw out Alex because Alex did very little yesterday or last week as it probably was for them and he did very little tonight. He stayed in the background.

Now a lot of people said nothing’s changed. This series is the same as every other series. I am quite interested to see whether it is going to change now because previously I think a really good tactic would be to lie low. A really good tactic is to stay out of it. You could often spot the winners from The Apprentice because they don’t really do very much for the first few weeks or if they do they do it well but then they stay fairly low and then suddenly at the end they get this surge off. Clearly Sir Lord Alan is looking at this that he needs a proactive action taking business partner. He told Alex that if he was in this room again he would be out, but he was going to keep him because he had got a business that had got a million pound turnover from nothing and therefore he kept him. Alex on the other hand he felt wasn’t take activity, he wasn’t taking action. So what do we learn from that?

You need to take action.

You know what? There were a lot of tips in tonight’s program and I am sure you all got some too. Why not share with me your best tips from last night or if you didn’t watch it, if you are in another part of the world and you have read this and learned from the tips, why not share with me maybe some examples of you using these tips or some other tips that you think would be useful?

If you want to find out more about me, if you want to go and read more blogs, more stuff, not just see videos, go and have a look on . I will talk to you soon.

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