It’s that time of year again and as we dive head first into the retail gorging that is Christmas, much of the UK like me is glued to the TV each Wednesday, watching the calamity of British enterprise that is The Apprentice! Wonders will never cease as yet another group of the UK “best and brightness” in business attempt to win a quarter of a million pounds’ investment, and a mentor on the form of Lord Sugar one of the UK’s leading and most accomplished business leaders.
Sounds fantastic doesn’t it! The reality, I’m very sad to say is something very different, instead we are presented with such characters as never done a day’s work, can’t count and couldn’t sell a cure to a dying man! Last night’s Apprentice gave us yet another opportunity to observe business in action and the results couldn’t have been more shocking. We will start with the positives, and there were quite a few this week which makes a pleasant change.
Varna absolutely nailed the principle of being interesting to get interested, you have to be interesting in sales to be interested, she nailed relating to the developers, engaging with prospects and talking the talk of the property game. At the same time Charlene was pushing sales on the lower ticket value properties, using the presumptive close to perfection and really showing the kind attitude in the task that could take her all the way. Richard and Varna as double act impressed again and other than these performances it was all a bit depressing really.
Scott and Brett as a double act were poor to say the least! Scott broke one of the prime rules in sales by incorrectly identifying the fridge, washing machine, lounge and dining room. You have to know your product in sales, you need to be an expert in your field to win trust from your prospects. Brett appeared to attempt to missell for the second time in the process, by showing a prospect the wrong plot which I think is just unacceptable, and throughout this week’s task I think both their attitudes were subpar. At one point once their pipeline had died rather than lead generating like Charlene and Gary did which I was very impressed with, they appeared to just sit around do nothing. Pipeline is paramount, and they clearly hadn’t worked on that the previous day.
Joe although clearly a self-made man couldn’t quite make this task his own, and he completely missed the first part of this week as team leader by failing to connect with the developers, and then again with engaging with Selina and their prospects while showing people round the show home. I appreciate some of the candidates might have been out of their depth but it doesn’t take a genius to book as many appointments as you can back to back, and does it take two of you to show someone round a showroom?
We leave the best for last in Selina, who has just been horrid for a number of weeks now, and I really feel sorry for her and the rest of the candidates in the process. It has been clear now that as the process has rolled on, that it has become personal rather than business and I think that’s really quite sad. I am sure that Selina outside of the apprentice is a pleasant and lovely person, but through the vast majority of this year’s program she has portrayed herself as a moody, sullen and often quite a manipulative person who has failed to take responsibility for both her actions, and in actions and inactions. She demonstrated in her comments about Joe this week that she will try shift the blame whenever possible and this not a productive trait. I think her attitude has been poor and as many of us know in business attitude is everything!
As rumours of fixing and producers rigging tasks to make sure that one particular team wins each week, and stories of personal differences boiler over in the form of shoving match between contents its been clear for a few weeks now that this year’s apprentice will be one for the books. Scott’s quitting despite winning this week’s tasks only goes to show that you never know what someone is about to do, will the decision come back to haunt him? I leave you with the question would you apply to appear on The Apprentice? Does the lure of £250K and working with Lord Sugar get your businesses juices flowing? If so we might just see you on next year’s show, just don’t make the mistake of the confusing a bidet and a Jacuzzi!