Alana Spencer, who was crowned the champion of The Apprentice 2016, spoke about why it’s important to admit your mistakes in business ‘ and to also learn from them
This week was a teleshopping task, which is always one of my favourites. We didn’t get to do one during my time on the show. Around two years ago, there was an episode from The Apprentice series where someone managed to sell a really high-ticket item and it won them the task. This task is very much all about taking risks.
Brittany and Akshay were the project managers, and after putting himself forward in the boardroom in previous weeks – he really had something to prove. Britney is kind of the opposite to that actually. She has been in the winning team a lot as opposed to Akshay, who’s been in the losing teams for a total of 8 tasks. Brittany didn’t have as much to prove.
This task was about picking products that people wanted to purchase as an impulse buy, items that are easy to sell. It’s all about putting people in the right place, so it was important for the teams to place their best sellers and best talkers in front of the camera while putting the person with the cool head behind the camera. The person behind the camera was in charge of choosing the price, whether to decrease it or keep it the same.
I really liked seeing Britney this week. She went with her decision to sell the ring, and also put herself in front of the camera and being the one to sell the item. She was really impressive this week. She knew the product she wanted and wasn’t afraid to go for it. Their smaller products including an owl, an inflatable and bedding which I thought, were quite unusual choices. I thought the other team chose better lower ticket items which more sellable items because you can talk through the benefits of their product.
So, it is hard to describe the benefits of a light-up owl compared to the benefits of a massage gun. They were much easier to explain and demonstrate on camera. It was fairly obvious that the task would be determined by how many sales the team got on their ring. It’s a product that is sold on these sort of shopping channels quite a lot and something that I think, given a good demonstration, did have potential.
The other team sold a snail cream which had that great story behind it, and also a steamer. So, they chose very good low-ticket items which are very easily explainable. The products had good stories and they were easy to demonstrate. If we were going on products alone, I would have put my money on Akshay’s team. But unfortunately, I think they failed in the actual selling of the products. It was the quickfire lowering of the price that was a mistake, Akshay panicked. He lost his nerve and lowered the price too much. I think he’s a very good salesperson and if he had put himself in front of the camera, I think the team would have done a lot better so. I think it was bad team positioning, which actually contributed to their failure the most.
I think Britney kept a very cool head throughout the task and she was one I really liked from the beginning of the show. She was holding back at first and it seemed as if she was hiding in the background. What I realised is that she was just doing good things in the background but wasn’t the loudest and so we didn’t get to see much of her. And now as the process is nearing an end, she’s really starting to blossom. So, I think she could be one to win this year’s Apprentice. I think Brittany and Harpreet are my front runners. Those two I think might be my final two, but maybe it’s still a bit early to call it.
It was really sad to see Akshay leave because he seems like a really good, genuine guy. And it was nice to hear him say that he’s going to get back to carrying on with his business because sometimes people aren’t on the show for the right reasons. Him wanting to get back to his business, I think is a really good sign. He was really good at owning up to his mistakes and I think that’s what kept him in the competition for so long, even though he was in the boardroom so many times. Lord Sugar likes it when people can admit that they’ve made a mistake but then learn from it. I think Akshay should have put himself selling the products – and it might have been a different outcome.