The Apprentice: Selling Task

Team Apprentice team building

Week seven of The Apprentice and there are ten candidates still left in the process.   The program starts with the usual 6 am call and extremely short notice to get up, dressed and an overnight bag packed.  The more than a little unusual shot of a grown man stuffing an over-sized teddy bear into his bag was a little disconcerting to say the least, but then Jason never fails to surprise.

The teams meet Lord Sugar at the Tower of London, a bizarre choice of venue given that he goes on to explain that this week’s task is to select three items to sell to the caravanning community, not many of which are generally seen around the Tower of London, unless they are cleverly disguised as ravens.

Kurt was selected to become the project manager for Endeavour, on the basis that he once went on a caravanning holiday when he was nine, and Myles said that caravans were banned in Monaco so ruled himself out of the running.  Neil offered his services for Evolve.

With the PMs in place the teams then split up, with half going to see vendors with a view to selecting two products to sell, and the others heading off to the Motorhome and Caravan show at the NEC to find a top-end product to attempt to sell to the public.

In a bid to ensure that Team Endeavour got their choice of items to sell, Myles went into overdrive for praise and indeed, love, for each and every product.  Sadly for him his enthusiasm was over shadowed by Leah and Natalie attempt to drive down the prices, much to the vendors’ obvious annoyance.
Team Evolve take a different tack and all three members show genuine enthusiasm for the products so it came as no surprise to anyone that they won their first choice items to sell—the adventure box and electric bike.  Kurt’s team had to be content with the fold up chair and boat box.

With the lower value items taken care off, attention switched to the boys at the NEC.   Neil and Jason managed to tear themselves away from the retro campervans and instead decided the sales figures for the folding trailer tent spoke for themselves.  Meanwhile, after cleverly identifying that the caravanning target age group was the over-50s, Kurt and Alex forgot this fact and opted for the retro campervans aimed at people in their 30s.

With the products decided the real part of the task began. Team Evolve got off to a slow start and you began to wonder if their choice of products were actually the correct ones for the market, but slowly Luisa began to get her technique down, much to the disgruntlement of Jordan who struggled to sell anything.

Over at Team Endeavour, sales of the folding chairs were taking off, although not too many people seemed too interested in the boat boxes—a fact probably not helped by the fact that Natalie thought the middle plank of the boat is actually a picnic table.

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Alex had his nose put out of joint when Kurt tells him that at 22 he is too young to sell campervans to the over-50s.  22?  Blimey, the paper rounds in the valleys must be very gruelling!

In another shock moment, Jason appeared to be coming into his own on the sales front.  Maybe he’s found his niche in selling trailer tents to pensioners as he managed to bag the first sale of the high price item.

With Kurt and Myles failing to get anyone remotely interested in buying a campervan, Kurt decided that maybe a bit of “eye candy” would help so enlisted Leah to come over and join them.  A sexist tactic that almost worked, although the fact that Leah seemed genuinely more interested in the product than the other two probably worked more in her favour than her looks.

With the day’s sales drawing to a close it was back to the boardroom for the all-important figures and firing.

Kurt’s Team Endeavour failed to sell any campervans and only shifted a few boat boxes and chairs, their sales total came to just under £1500.  Neil’s team managed to sell 3 trailer tents at £10,000 each and along with a few electric bikes sales their tally came to a whopping £33,000 and they were crowned deserved winners.

Kurt decided that Natalie and Alex should accompany him in the boardroom, Natalie because her negativity lost them their first choice products and Alex because he was behind the decision of choosing the campervan over the trailer tent.

Lord Sugar couldn’t forgive Kurt for choosing the wrong product and not selling anything so he was quickly dismissed.  However, his finger hadn’t finished and in the first double firing of the series, Natalie was also shown the way to the awaiting taxi outside for being in the boardroom for the third time.

How would your teams fare in one of our Team Apprentice team building challenge?

 

 

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