The Apprentice Series 11 Episode 4 | Lauren Riley

Wednesday 28, October 2015: Did the claws come out for this weeks episode of The Apprentice? With cat and dog lovers being the targeted victims in this weeks installment of the Apprentice, we find mixed teams competing for the highest profit at London’s Pet Show Exhibition 2015.  Pressure is on and that, the normal cracks start to show as contestants try their best to ensure they are not in the firing line. So were they ‘barking mad’ or ‘feline fine’ at the end of the day?  Ex-Apprentice star Lauren Riley uncovers..

Something has VERY much impressed me about these candidates, particularly this episode, I will reveal exactly what at the end of this post.

This episode was one of those that looks fun to be a part of. Choosing pet products and selling them on during a pet exhibition. To be fair I think both teams did quite well and both project managers excelled at keeping the moral of their teams up, which is important in a sales task.

David’s team picked the balloons, a bit of a no-brainer given the fun factor and previous sales history but they secured selling that item over the other team for their enthusiasm. Although a bit of a false business scenario, a real lesson to be learned I felt. Sales is all about passion for a given product and energy on delivery. It would be a concern of the product owner to think you could go from disinterested to super salesman overnight with no track record. They also had luxury dog beds which I thought looked pretty swish in comparison to the interest shown in them and some t-shirts that they seemed to love a disproportionate amount.

cat and toy

Scott’s team had an electronic cat toy, warming matts and their high ticket item, the bespoke cat beds. They only shifted 4 of these items but to be fair to them the price point was quite eye watering. On reflection perhaps a more mass market product would have served them.

One thing that frustrated me enormously when they were deciding which products to choose, some of them asked the vendors how many they expected (or hoped) to sell at the show with no additional information on what that was based upon. Well that’s a nonsense. I hope The Link App is used by millions of law firms next month but as fabulous as my product is… I am exaggerating but you see where I am going with this. We only saw couple of them, Gary and Charleine I believe, asking the right question; how many have you previously sold at such an event?

At the end of the day it was only ever going to come down to one thing, numbers.

One think that we saw more of this episode is Claude’s famous brutally honest streak, he came into his own this episode I thought. He was considered in his criticism but left nowhere to hide. Selina and Ruth felt the force of that.

At the end of the day it was only ever going to come down to one thing, numbers. Which team made the most from sales over the day? The answer was David’s team. Good for him, he was PM with positivity and not one of his team had a bad word to say about him. A great victory for him but I cannot see him as Lord Sugar’s business partner. This is no slight on him at all but he doesn’t yet appear to have the salesman style ruthless edge characteristic of The Apprentice.

Meanwhile on the losing team it was Ruth that went, this was sad to see as I feel the nation warmed to her and she put 100% into anything she did. It was hard to escape the fact she sold nothing though. In the real world, she had an off day and would go out the next day and I’m sure sell well. This isn’t the real world, its a television show with an agenda. I think Ruth will do just fine after this and good luck to her!

Now for what has really impressed me about the series 11 candidates…their ability to shine in their own right. Although we mostly all got along, my series was riddled with backstabbing when you watched it back. It made for high drama TV wise, but the sort of working environment that was  counterproductive. Now I am sure I will eat my words in the weeks to come as pressure ramps up but these lot seem to have done a good job at giving praise where its due and let the negatives speak for themselves. Its a competition yes but I really hate the connotation the show is famous for, candidates that would sell anyone or anything down the river to get ahead, that’s not real business so I hope we see more of that teamwork in the coming weeks!

About the author

Best known for her appearance on The Apprentice, solicitor Lauren Riley embodies the spirit of today’s modern professional woman, proving leadership and glamour can come hand in hand.   After graduating with an Honours Degree in Law from Lancaster University in 2006, Lauren concluded her Post-Graduate Diploma in Law with Distinction. Entrepreneur Lauren Riley is the proud founder and director of technology development company The Link App.   Find out more here

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