So who watched The Apprentice last night on BBC1?
Sometimes this program makes me cringe when I see what some of the ‘would be’ apprentices do or worse, don’t do! I have to say though that I found last nights episode quite interesting. They were back to having a boys team agaist a girls team and they had 10 items which they had to locate and buy for the best price. The winning team was the one who spent the least money. The aim therefore was to test their negotiating skills and see who could drive the hardest bargain. Interestingly the boys team won because despite good planning, the girls just couldn’t negotiate!
The key thing that I picked up about negotiating from this program was when Lord Sugar said that when negotiating, you must know your audience and adapt your approach to suit.
This got me thinking aboout my own negotiating skills (a long time ago I attended a Negotiating Skills course in London which was great fun). The thing is that many of us don’t realise that we regularly use negotiating skills in some shape or form – essentially, we all like to get a good deal! So after the program I wrote issue 3 of my Inspirational Toolkit – 7 ways to negotiate succesfully and you can read it here issue 3 – 7 ways to negotiate successfully
It was interesting watching the apprentice, especially Stella’s tactic of choosing very expensive outlets and then saying it would be rude to negotiate. The girls treated the list as a Treasure hunt game and seemed to be pleased to just get a few pounds knocked off. I was surprised that they weren’t prepared to walk away from the Tartan shop. Sitting down comfortably suggested that they were going to buy no matter what price he suggested. I am amazed that the apprentices don’t watch previous series and learn from them. When Sir Alan Sugar says that the challenge is about buying; price and negotiation is key. Great article!
Hi Nicky thaks for taking the time to comment. I have to agree that I think the girls forgot the purpose of the task and were too determined just to get everything. The only positive I could see was that they planned well and at least they found out quickly what the Bluebook was!
The boys got it right in terms of realising that, when haggling, it is easier to start low and then revise your offer up depending on the reaction of the vendor.
The girls’ approach was to start too high, which left them no wriggle room. Too often they opened with what should have been their ‘final’ offer. And, with the exception of Joanna, they all gave off the vibe of people who were just haggling for show rather than for dough, which only encouraged sellers to stand firm and wait for them to cave in.
It was a prime example of how attitude – by which I mean persistence rather than rudeness – is so important in negotiations.
I agree with your comments, thanks for taking the time to submit them. I think the girls behaved a bit like spoilt children – determined to get what they want irrespective of price! I hope they learn from it.