The Apprentice 2015, Week 9: Quickfire business lessons

Lord Sugar gave the remaining candidates the "serious" task of selling expensive London property this week - here are 2 important lessons learnt

Apprentice mogul Lord Sugar set the teams on a property task this week; the eight candidates had to become real estate agents and sell mid-range and high-end properties across London.

A “serious task” according to Sugar, as opposed to previous challenges, the process would get the better of Scott and Selina who both exited but on different terms.

While being part of the winning team, Scott declared that he had made the decision to “exit” as he didn’t feel he needed the millionaire’s investment to which Sugar responded “he didn’t deserve to remain in the process”, while Selina’s “negativity” and “volatile” attitude saw her fired in the boardroom.

Despite the controversial turn of events, there were some key business lessons raised by the episode which we’ve outlined below…

Winning new business is a business in itself

For the first part of the task, both teams had to meet with property developers to pitch to sell their property portfolio of apartments and houses. However, team Connexus PM Joseph and fellow team member Selina failed to build a rapport with either developer and went in head first. They chose to talk numbers and commission, forgetting to listen to the client and massage egos in order to win their business. Claude remarked that Joseph had gone “steaming in and was far too buillish” which was a “!poor business decision”. In the boardroom, Lord Sugar said Joseph lacked “sophistication”.

Yet, on team Versatile, PM Richard and team member Varna were successfully able to “build up a patter” and really engage with the client. This ability to listen and manage the client relationship enabled them to secure a high-end Canary Wharf development – the very property that Joseph and Selina wanted.

See also: How to attract new customers

Know the importance of developing a word-perfect pitch

When pitching to prospective customers or clients, fluffing your lines or failing to deliver answers to reasonable questions are a no-no and will hold you back in business. On showing a potential buyer around a flat, Scott from team Connexus forgot a number of details – both basic requirements about where furniture would go – and more detailed questions about the area. His lack of knowledge on both areas meant he undermined the pitch and didn’t get a sale.

By creating a simple 60 second elevator pitch and remembering it word-for-word, you’re more likely to get customers and clients to buy-into your proposition. Read our guide here on how to develop an elevator pitch in four easy steps.

See also: How to sell


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