Ansell Henry is best known as ‘the man with the cool glasses’. Acknowledged for his sales skills and ‘likeability’ by Sir Alan Sugar, he finished 3rd in series 2.

Known as a sales specialist, he works with small and medium sized businesses to help them fix their sales issues.ansell-henry

During ‘the business end’ of The Apprentice I have invited Ansell to guest blog and pick up the lessons to be learned from the sales related tasks. After all, who better, someone who has been through the prickly process with notable success.

By the way, Ansell is an associate of Effective Marketing and will be delivering open seminars with us soon.

Task 7 – Selling bike pods, sleeping body bags, cat play boxes and lover’s dog leads in Manchester and Liverpool.

This reminds me of selling to trade task I completed in my series, my team chose to sell coat stands and concrete cube lights. It is a simple task as long as you have a structured approach by choosing the right product within the constraints (a product that will sell and achieve great profit and not necessarily one you personally may like) and target the appropriate audience so your limited time is managed to its full potential. It is critical you qualify the suitability of your product/service prior to the face to face meeting with the customer. This saves both parties precious time and ensures you are aiming accurately towards your desired outcome.

Mona and Lorraine were Project Managers this week.

Mona led her team well and they followed her. All her team sold and Mona’s negotiation was good, she kept calm and stayed customer centred when closing.

Lorraine didn’t manage the cold calling process with her team, i.e. a targeted plan with an effective call structure. You can’t be disappointed if you have not devised a plan and manage the progress. When presenting her product in one meeting she shot from the hip without preparation. It was also embarrassing to watch Yasmina and Lorraine clamber for the large pet store presentation. Clearly both looking for board room glory rather than assessing who was actually best to do the job. At some presentations they did not ask for feedback on their product which was evidently not well liked. On a positive they did sell, which was what this task was about. Lorraine’s sub team did undermine her. They were laughing and joking when she phoned. It seemed they did have the attitude that if they lost then it would be Lorraine’s downfall as they obviously felt they were much more capable than their PM.

This was a sales task and if you don’t sell you are in trouble. Philip has had a personality clash the last couple of weeks with Lorraine and acted unprofessional on occasions. I think it was the right decision that he was fired this week.