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

This year I have decided to cover The Apprentice a little differently. Partly I thought that it was time for a change but also with a large percentage of my newsletter list based around the world I decided that it was also necessary. In my weekly newsletter I may or may not pick up a theme from The Apprentice, like I did this week, but I am moving the Apprentice review and tips into a video format and you can either watch this here on the blog or on Youtube Sales Training Channel.I think this will end up being more fun for those who care and will be better for those who don’t want to know!! Enjoy!


Transcript of Video below…

“Don’t tell me not to reach for the stars when there are foot prints on the moon. I am the best of breed. I am a champion thoroughbred. I am one of a kind. I am a natural born business man. I have a core of steel. I take cut-throat and ruthless to a new level. I am unstoppable. When I do business I mean business.”

Yes, of course The Apprentice is back and I am back too. Sir Lord Alan has got a new format this year and I have got a new format to0. I thought for a change this year we should do things on video so that you could get my tips and my round up, my sales tactics and my personal development ideas a little bit more quickly and in a little bit less time.

So what about Sir Alan’s new idea? Well, this year rather than offering a 100,000 pounds salary and a job, Sir Lord Alan is offering 250,000 pounds to go into a business partnership with him, to set up a business with him. Only it’s a little bit of a strange one right from the start because Sir Lord Alan really is looking for someone he describes as a winner, he doesn’t want to be the Patron Saint of Losers but he also said that this is going to be a very uncivil partnership… not maybe something that I would be looking for in a business partnership with somebody. I don’t know that I want to go into it with them approaching it in that way but off course these are not ordinary people and this is The Apprentice.

We didn’t get to meet our people very much this week other than to say, “Wow! We’ve got some big egos in there,” but off course nothing new there. Sixteen new people, 8 new girls, 8 new boys, all vying to win the opportunity to work with Sir Lord Alan. The first task this week was to buy some fruit and veg, to add some value to those fruit and veg and then to sell them in the streets in whatever format they wanted to try and make back more money than they spent. Sir Lord Alan gave the teams 250 pounds each and off they went, boys versus girls.

The boys this week decided to call themselves Logic not the most original of names I have to say but probably better than the other one they came up with which was Ability. The girls decided to call themselves Venture. These names that they use, they seem to all of them melt into one after nine years or whatever is now. The other two options they came up with were Platinum that was probably even worse and Galvanized which would have been bizarre, “Hi! We’re from team Galvanized.” Sounds like somebody has done it to you, sounds quite scary.

Anyway the two teams set off, the boys deciding that they were pretty much going to juice everything. They were going to buy a whole load of oranges and make orange juice and they were going to buy a whole load of tomatoes and make tomato soup. The girls on the other hand were maybe a little bit more ambitious, they decided to go with a fruit salad and then a vegetable pasta so a little bit more cooking there although we actually didn’t see any of that go on.

I think rather than giving tips today, I am going to give you three tips that came out of it for how to fail at selling!

So here is Tip 1: Don’t Do Any Planning.

Edward, the project manager / team leader for the boys today, he just didn’t want to plan, he didn’t want to do anything, he just went out and spent his money. They bought like crates and crates of oranges and they couldn’t squeeze them all, they just didn’t think it through. So make sure you don’t plan if you want to make sure you fail, that’s tip number one.

Tip 2 for failing: Have No Ambition.

Even though the girls won they only spent 170 pounds and you could say, “Look that’s realism they didn’t have time to make 250 pounds worth of stuff”. But you know what? Realistically speaking they should have done, they should have made the time, they should have spent the money because they should have invested to make more. So I felt, you know what, not very ambitious.

Tip 3: Miss Core Selling Hours!

What a nightmare! The boys were still in the office mid morning making their orange juice. Why? They should be out there selling it at 8 o’clock in the morning, goodness gracious! And the girls weren’t out selling pasta at lunch time. Who can sell veg. pasta in the middle of the afternoon? Answer, not anybody really.

Anyway the results came in and the girls won. They actually turned I think it was a 170 pounds into 592 pounds. The boys, I can’t remember 250 into 390 something like that. It was a straight forward as there was nobody to bring back really. Edward the team leader, he was running away from been an accountant. He’s done his accountancy and he was pained to say that he wasn’t an accountant and was out to try to prove that he wasn’t so he just didn’t do any planning. The result was a slam-dunk and Sir Lord Alan kicked him out really without any thought. Fine, he made a song and dance out of it.. you know, the eleven second gap to wait till he said, “You are fired,” but Edward was always going to be the one getting the chop.

The best piece of advice today came from Sir Lord Alan and it was what he said to Edward at the end. He said to not be ashamed of what you do, “Don’t be ashamed of what you are best at doing”.

I think that’s great advice for salespeople.

When I am going around, I meet a lot of salespeople, a lot of salespeople who are embarrassed to say that they are salespeople. If you met them at a party and you said, “What do you do?” they say, “I am a salesperson” (quiet voice / looking embarrassed) and they are not proud of it. You need to know your market, you need to know what you do, you need to know that you add value, you need to care about your clients and you need to be proud of being a sales person.

We’ve had a tough time in the economy recently and being a great sales person is what will get you out of it. Hey! You know what? That’s it from me for this week. Bob along to my site, see my other posts at my sales training blog and I will see you again next week.

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