Five Sales Mistakes from The Apprentice

27 March 2012


There is a lot to be learned from watching The Apprentice, particularly for improving your sales skills and tactics in Dubai. The contestants are high flyers in their fields pitting themselves against each other to win the prize of £250,000 investment in a new venture.

Now these individuals own their businesses, run financial departments, are risk managers for blue chip companies, and yet…

When it comes to the sales tasks, the failure rate is incredibly high and makes for riveting viewing.

So why do they give TV ratings gold with their poor sales tactics? Well, the majority of mistakes can be put down to these five points.

1 – They Panic

The greatest mistake anyone can make when approaching a prospect is to panic. You should be prepared, and before you go anywhere near the prospect, you need to know exactly what you are selling and why that person would want to buy it off you. You need to have practice runs with your sales team so they have a memorised the script to the point where they can talk the benefits of a product naturally.

2 – Resorting to the Boiler Room

boiler room
Would boiler room tactics work on you?

The Apprentice is a high-pressure sales environment and the temptation is to resort to Boiler Room Tactics; which is never a good idea. Making a prospect feel uncomfortable and pressured is a major turn off. Boiler room tactics have a justifiably bad reputation and if you find yourself, or see a member of the sales team, starting to use these tactics, you know the sale is already lost.

3 – Poor Preparation

Because The Apprentice contestants have less than a day to design a product and put it to market, they often don’t prepare adequately and are selling a product they know very little about. One of the most stunning cases of this was when the Series 7 teams were asked to create a concept magazine. Without finding out the current state of the magazine market, the teams created a lads mag and a magazine aimed at the over 60 market. One was highly offensive and the other condescending. When they tried to sell the magazines to publishers, the response was cringe worthy. In the real world, your sales team often has no input into product creation, but you can make sure they know everything about it before they hit the streets.

4 – No Clear Leader

Without a designated leader, your Dubai sales team will fail because they do not know what they are supposed to be doing and start making it up as they go along. There is only one person who disproves this theory in any series of The Apprentice UK, the Irish salesman, Jim Eastwood. Because he is a natural, he can sell just about anything to anyone. However, born salespeople like him are few and far between, and so a designated leader will help steer your sales team to success.

5 – Bad local knowledge

One of the best examples of failed tasks on The Apprentice is the lack of local knowledge. Not knowing where the best place to sell your product means your sales team can work their socks off without making a single sale. If you are launching a new range of frozen yoghurt, which end of the Mall of the Emirates is going to be a prime spot? Or should you be down on the Walk in JBR? Find the sweet spot so your sales team in Dubai can hit their targets.

If you don’t have access to the latest series of The Apprentice, search for ‘The Apprentice UK’ on where you’ll find the best clips from previous series.

Start your course today!

We offer a comprehensive curriculum that covers all of the essential topics. Our experienced instructors will provide you with the support and guidance that you need to succeed.

    Get in touch

    Advance your career and achieve your goals

    Enter your details below & we will be in touch to discuss how we can help