3 Little secrets to help you sell better than Apprentice Contestants

Hi everyone,


Welcome back to my monthly blog for Moore and Smalley.


My name is Alistaire Jama and without sounding like one of the candidates on everyone’s favourite business competition show –  I’m an expert in improving sales performance for all types of business.


This month I would like to focus on what we can all learn from the spectacular TV show “The Apprentice” which started its current series last week.


In the Kennedy Ross office, we call it the annual “let’s have a laugh at the salespeople competition” and despite my sarcasm it’s still proving to be as enjoyable as ever.


I watch it with my wife who is an Optician, peeking through her fingers, because of the cringe worthy levels of embarrassment, brought about by the candidates as they plead for a second chance, beg for a sale or hide from view, circumventing their sales responsibilities.


All of which could be avoided if they had a system they could follow, because everything works better with a system;


“random behaviours create random results, systems allow to you measure what you do and improve performance”


Professional success is usually about having a system and sticking to it.  My recently published book “Sellology” explains, in practical detail, how to create your very own sales system.


Having a system like “Sellology” could also save you from embarrassing moments like the ones seen in last week’s episode.


One thing I did notice on the show was the contestants do seem to be receiving good tips on improving sales behaviours, so I picked out three of the best so you can benefit too:


3 Secrets to selling better than Apprentice Contestants


  1. When planning, if you decide to engage an expert then listen to his/her recommendations.

The girls spent ages reviewing the potential prices and then when their expert recommended they should go down Portobello Road to sell their goods they ignored the advice and went elsewhere.


  1. When selling make sure you are speaking to the PAN, the person with the “Pounds, Authority and Need”.

In other words the decision maker.


We saw one group of lads selling to a chap in a shop who didn’t have the authority to sign off the purchase, completely wasting everyone’s time, when there was no time to waste.


  1. If you are tasked to go and get sales, then go and get them. Unfortunately, not everyone had that approach on the boys’ team. One candidate explained that he was waiting for people to come to him.


That’s ok, if you’ve got all day and under no pressure.


However, as we all know in the Apprentice one thing you don’t have is time.


I much preferred the approach of the boy’s sub team leader, who created the most sales by being direct but not pushy.


He used open questions such as “how can I help you today, what is it you are looking for?”. This engaged his prospect who in turn became more receptive to what was being sold.


Needless to say the boys in ‘week 1’ were the winners.


So in summary; if you want to improve your sales you need to have a system that:

  • Is based on expert knowledge
  • Is targeted in the right place
  • …and will engage your customers.


All of which will improve your sales performance.


If you would like to improve or refresh your selling skills then  Sellology” is the book for you, I strongly recommend you go and get a copy (but then again I would). It’s available on Amazon and any feedback is really appreciated.


Thank you for reading…


My next blog post will discuss first line management and the benefit of (surprise surprise!) a robust system to manage with, so between now and then ask yourself this question.


“When managing my staff/team, what rationale am I using?”


In the next post I will be showing you why your answer to that question could be holding you back from significantly improved results.


In the meantime, thanks for reading and if you have any questions, thoughts or considerations with regards to what I‘ve said then contact me anytime.


You can also check out our website www.kennedyross.co.uk for further information and our free “Business Style Awareness Test – What’s your style when you sell?”


Happy selling!


Ali Jama is most renowned is his selling skills and knowledge of selling. He recently self-published a book ‘Sellology Simplifying the Science of Selling’, which after three weeks has 14 five star reviews and countless messages of positive feedback.