The Apprentice 2016, Week 6: The best business quotes, gaffes and advice

A negotiating task saw the teams scour London for a list of exotic wares. Here are the business take-aways from this week's show...

Lord Sugar went back to basics in week six of The Apprentice with a discount buying task designed to test the contestants negotiating skills.

Teams Nebula and Titan were each given a list of nine items intended to reflect London’s multiculturalism and were challenged to race through the night to buy the items all at the lowest possible price – and to be back by 6am…

Native Londoner Trishna took up project management duties for Nebula, while Courtney cited his experience negotiating with factories in China in a successful bid to manage Titan.

The task should have been a simple one – but even the simplest of tasks can go to pot at the mercy of conflicting egos. Read on to find out what business lessons you can learn from this week’s Apprentice installment…

A lesson in negotiation
Jessica Apprentice

Attempts at negotiating in this task were hit and miss, with contestants exploiting their heritage or, in the case of Alana, simply pleading – “I was nice and charming and he liked me”, she insisted. “You got them because you were nice, but that’s not how business works”, countered Lord Sugar.

However, it was Jessica that left the worst impression. In a cynical and completely transparent attempt to barter on a box of cigars, she claimed they were her dad’s favourite and got the price down by a measly one pound. Lord Sugar’s criticism: “It wasn’t very business like and you used pathetic tactics”.

Business tip: Sellers will see through feeble attempts at emotional manipulation and tactics. Be honest and try and find common ground when negotiating. Learn about negotiation tips here.

Worst communication

Lord Sugar Two Ronnies

Poor Rebecca came unstuck on almost every aspect of this task and it was this that eventually led to her dismissal in the boardroom.

A breakdown in communication over the phone led to a fruitless trip to Streatham to secure African black soap and a tagine. Upon arrival at the shop, the manager showed them some packets of soup and some tahini… which they accepted.

Business tip: Although it wasn’t solely her fault – the manager of the shop had poor English – it’s important to make sure all parties understand the nature of a transaction and what is being bought/sold by communicating clearly. This may come down to annunciation or explanation, but doing it properly will avoid things turning sour later on. Guides to improving your communication skills can be found here.

A logistical nightmare

poster printing

It wasn’t just the team’s negotiating skills that were under the microscope this week, their ability to handle logistics – assessing which sellers to visit and when – was also in focus.

A night with Nebula exposed some rather poor planning. Trishna and her team’s first stop was to get a poster of London printed in a shop that was open until 12pm. This was shortsighted considering there are plenty of printers in the city that are open 24 hours a day and this task could have been left until last.

This decision had a domino effect, causing them to rush from place to place and make mistakes and ultimately saw them arrive late at the end of the task; which cost an additional penalty.

Business tip: Time management is essential if you want to get ahead in business. Being efficient and punctual means you never miss an opportunity and can maintain good working relationships – learn about time management here.

A business lesson on personal development

Sofiane

From the beginning of this episode, Sofiane was accused of not being a team player. For isntance, he took photos of the London skyline instead of contributing to the team meeting and made his own plans to source items instead of cooperating.

It was this behaviour that led team leader Trishna to bring him back into the boardroom to face a grilling from Lord Sugar, who was concerned about his lack of respect for others and ‘lone wolf ‘tendencies. While he escaped a firing, Lord Sugar gave him a “very, very strong warning” and advised him not to be “an autocrat”.

Business tip: Business is always a team effort. Everyone has different skills and different ideas that can all be taken advantage of. Going it alone leaves your weaknesses exposed and makes you prone to failure, so stay strong and form bonds. These tips on personal development are a must-read.

Missed last week’s episode? Catch up on our review of week 5

Catch up on our review of The Apprentice week 4 here.
Catch up on our review of The Apprentice week 3 here.
Catch up on our review of The Apprentice week 2 here.
Catch up on our review of The Apprentice week 1 here.

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