The challenge set this week required the candidates to produce and host a “selling hour” on a TV shopping channel. Infinity was the winning team, managed by Brittany, who professed that it was her childhood dream to sell on TV. Akshay, who’d previously boasted that the “could sell a lion a cage”, managed team Diverse.
On Brittany’s team, Harpreet and Akeem did an appalling job of selecting items to sell. The team secured the highest priced item to sell thanks to Brittany’s charm, but the rest of their product offering consisted of a handmade solar-powered owl lamp (with emphasis on the handmade), a bedding set and an overpriced inflatable flamingo. Akshay’s team took a more strategic approach, selecting items that had clear selling points and could be effectively demonstrated on TV. Their product offering included a massager, a portable clothing steamer and a face cream made of snail slime, with the air fryer as their star item. Arguably, Akshay also did a better job at the production end than Harpreet and Akeem too. But the numbers don’t lie (see last week’s blog!) and with six boardroom appearances and eight out of nine losses it was time to say goodbye to Akshay.
Let’s look at what we learned.
- Be passionate about the product
Psychological studies have shown that we are more persuasive and effective when we believe in what we are selling. Being passionate about the product – the tanzanite ring, with a recommended retail price of £4,000 – was what persuaded the supplier to let Brittany’s team sell it, and this is what won them the task. By contrast, Stephanie and Kathryn focussed on capturing information about costs and volumes and didn’t give the impression that they cared enough about the ring to do it justice when selling. Having said that, being passionate about the product can be difficult if the product is not much cop. Just how much can be said about an overpriced inflatable flamingo? “It’s lightweight”, declared Akeem.
- It’s not actually okay to bark orders, Harpreet
Last week Harpreet in the kitchen was likened to Gordon Ramsey on speed. This week she could be compared with a caffeinated Stanley Kubrik. She dominated Akeem when it was his turn to fulfil the role of producer, shouting orders for him to relay into Brittany and Aaron’s earpieces while they were presenting. And when it was her turn to produce, she continued to issue orders in panicky tones, despite not having much to say. As above, what can be said about an overpriced inflatable flamingo? “You can transport it from A to B quite easily” she insisted. Astonishingly, at the end of the task, Harpreet said in her piece to camera, “If you know what you’re doing and you know the way to win and succeed, you should be able to bark out orders”. No Harpreet, you should not.
- “The doing is often more important than the outcome” (Arthur Ashe)
Mainly because of Harpreet’s shocking performance (and Akeem’s lack of any sort of performance) it felt like the wrong team won this week. Task winners are decided according to who makes most profit, and yes, team Infinity made more money, but it seemed like they made poorer choices along the way. If success was based on the process rather than the outcome, I feel team Diverse might have won this week. Ho hum.
Management Speak of the Week
We won’t hear from Akshay again, but he’s been best by far at buzzword bingo throughout the series. Let’s allow him this final moment, as we remember his motivational message to the team at the beginning of the task: “Let’s go out there, be ourselves, have fun and make history on those shopping channels”. *chokes back sob*
Ones to Watch?
Another great week for Brittany.
In next week’s challenge the candidates will be creating a baby food brand. Who will milk the opportunity, and who’s future is at rusk?
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