ALTI's Apprentice Boardroom Report For 2/18/05 (Episode #5)

Allan's 2
Why Bren Failed
running time 2:18

Game Analysis
Strategies for Episode Six
running time 3:44
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Practical Lessons From The Apprentice
Passion, Diligence, Sales Systems and Negotiation

After last weeks episode (#4 - Dove TV Commercial) I began to think that being Project Manager was a high risk move when every losing PM had been fired. Fortunately, in this weeks episode, The Donald broke his streak and found another person other than the PM who was more deserving of hearing his famed  two words, "Your Fired!"

In watching tonight's fifth episode, (converting an Airstream trailer into a mobile service business) here are some practical lessons that you can apply to your business:

It Takes Passion to Win
Erin Elmore of Magna Corp. said, ""I was shameless, okay? I was shameless, and I got people in that door. Michael doesn't have that fire in his belly to just do everything." Michael questioned the validity of her claim, and she reiterated her point: "You gotta do what you gotta do to win, and he just doesn't have that fire". 

Erin is right, to excel, you must have passion. Most importantly, as a leader and owner of a small business, you need to hire passionate people who believe in your business and will fight for your cause because just one lack-luster performer could cost you everything. In this case, the people in charge of marketing & promotions (Michael and Stephanie) specifically Michael, could have easily secured $74 in additional sales by being a team player instead of choosing to waste time by complaining about selling. 

--- SIDEBAR ---
This type of sales avoidance is also called sales call reluctance, make sure when hiring sales people that you use a good evaluation system that also measures for sales call reluctance.  Hey Michael, I know someone who can help you with that problem.  

Listen to my audio analysis of why Bren failed and learn how he could have corrected the problem sooner possibly saving his team from defeat.

Don't Give Up Too Soon
Angie of Networth Corp. sold her idea of a mobile casting call and made guarantees that it would perform. The team, despite some skepticism, gave the idea fair opportunity. Not only did the team overcome an adversity of securing a casting agent, but managed to develop an ad-hoc sales system and strategy that picked up pace even though the day got off to a slow start. By sticking to the plan the team came out victorious. When trying something new, there is a delicate balance between being overly reactionary, giving it a decent shot, and sticking that clearly does not work.  Do you know how to tell the difference between them?  Hint: it has to do with completing a repeatable "cycle". In the meantime, what do you do if you sense a strategy is off to a bad start? Tweak and make minor adjustments before abandoning a strategy all together.

Develop a Sales System 
I have to argue that selling mobile spa services (quick manicures, speedy facials, and massages) to the stressed out people of New York City, has got to be a far easier and simpler sale than paying for an interview with a casting agent. However, part of the success behind Team Book Smarts was the development of a sales system, where the street promotions team would "raise interest", Tana would close the deal. This system took what was an easily objected sale into a more discreet environment where a second person could be more persuasive to a person who has already expressed interest. In sales, this is call pre-qualifying a prospect.   

Negotiate For The Commitment
With the help of Chris and John, Tara of Networth Corp was able to secure a casting director after 3 hours of failed efforts by Angie. What went right? Tara was able to articulate the benefits and with Chris and John's help, she was able to ask for a commitment by eliminating downside risk to the Director. One of the most successful negotiating strategies is to eliminate or reduce downside risk to the party you are negotiating with and in doing so, secure a commitment. Just remember, the art of negotiation is to always make deals that are win-win.

Shameless Plug: 
Is your sales process sending pre-qualified prospects to the closer?

ALTI Consulting and our team of specialists can analyze and review your current sales process, and make suggestions to help you increase closing ratios. To get your sales process reviewed, give us a call, or shoot us an e-mail, (206) 984-9560 or

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Twelve Candidates To Go - Who Will You Pick?

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