Although the quality of the business that’s carried out in The Apprentice can vary year to year, the series does offer a valuable insight into various aspects of the professional process. Sales is an area covered extensively every year. The contestants often boast about their sales prowess, but this confidence doesn’t always translate to success in the boardroom. This raises the question, what can we really learn about sales from The Apprentice?
1. Let other people speak
All too often, the contestants on The Apprentice interrupt each other and even potential customers when trying to make a sale. As well as being irritating and rude, interrupting other people creates a negative atmosphere and makes it more difficult to build a useful and mutually beneficial business relationship.
Although it may seem counter intuitive, listening is often more important than making your pitch. Customers want to know that a business is genuinely interested in their needs and requirements, so talking over a prospect and working too hard to get your point across can do more harm than good in the long term.
2. Don’t blame other people
Another staple tactic of contestants on The Apprentice is to blame their colleagues when things begin to go wrong. Whether in the boardroom, a client meeting or a presentation, the contestants instantly look to shift the blame when things don’t go their way. As most professionals will know, passing the buck is a very poor business tactic. Most customers will respect a company and its sales team more if they take responsibility when things go wrong and offer solutions to put things right.
3. Timing is everything
If there’s one thing that rubs potential customers up the wrong way, it’s poor timekeeping. Despite claiming to be the best business minds in the country, the contestants often struggle to stick to appointment times and continually turn up late for important meetings and events. You should always stick to the schedule and meet deadlines promptly in sales. Customers appreciate reliability. No one likes to be kept waiting, so learn from the contestants’ mistakes and keep a close eye on the clock.
4. It’s all about strategy
Regular viewers of The Apprentice will know that it’s all about strategy. The clearer, more concise and simpler a team’s strategy is, the more likely they are to succeed. Making a sales strategy too complex or convoluted inevitably leads to confusion and mistakes. By keeping your message clear, your sales team will be focused and better able to convey ideas to potential customers.
5. Be honest
Customers don’t like being misled. Contestants on The Apprentice often try gloss over their mistakes with exaggerations and embellishments. This usually backfires and makes the sales team look dishonest and untrustworthy.
Instead, sales teams should ensure that they know their products inside and out and that all claims they make can be backed up with evidence.
If you’d like to learn more about improving the quality of your company’s sales approach, explore our site today.