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Lessons From The Apprentice (5.10)

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The Candidates

Synergy: Allie, Andrea, Brent, Pepi, Roxanne, Sean, Stacy, Tammy

Gold Rush: Bryce, Charmaine, Dan, Lee, Lenny, Leslie, Michael, Summer, Tarek, Theresa


Allie takes the boardroom personally and gets on Sean’s case for selling her out by siding with Andrea. Things get heated as Sean defends himself, something he shouldn’t have to do, by saying he was just doing what he needed to do to protect himself. Sean is starting to feel like the odd man out being the only guy on a team with three girls who seem to be pretty close.

While its easy to take things personally, what happens in the boardroom cannot be taken as such as everybody in there does what they need to do to based on what they feel is right. If you believe in something strongly you need to stand up for that. Allies grudge begins to fracture a team that needs to pull together more than anything.

The Task:

The teams are to throw a grand opening event at a Hair Cuttery salon. The team to make the most money wins.

Synergy: Tammy leads her team and realizes that in order to pull out a victory she must first pull her team together, or at the very least put out the brewing fires. Sean knows that the girls will be looking for him to screw up so they can get rid of him.

Tammy had her team spend the day setting up the Salon. That night Tammy and Sean passed out fliers promoting the grand opening the next day. Tammy doesn’t seem to have the same problem with Sean that Allie and Roxanne have. At dinner with just Roxanne, Allie continues to harbor a ridiculous grudge suggesting that Sean “sold his soul” and was only out for himself.

The next day the team was busy dealing with customers getting their hair cut and trying to up sell them on the products. Tammy notes that while a haircut takes about 30 minutes, selling a few extra bottles of product only takes a few seconds and selling those extra bottles might make a difference.

Gold Rush: Led by Charmaine, Gold rush worked out a game plan for the grand opening. All the members of the team felt that the grand opening needed a theme. Charmaine felt that “Grand Opening” was enough of a theme but Tarek pushed hard for one though refused to provide any ideas of what that theme should be. Finally Charmaine caved and they decided to go with the ridiculous “Making You Happy.”

While the team sets up the store, Lee comments that they should be out marketing and selling. The store can be set up anytime, but they should be hitting the streets while there are still people to hit. Charmaine overrules him and keeps the team there as she nitpicks over every small minute detail.

Lee is right. Nobody will care if the shampoo families are lined up perfectly together if they don’t take the time to get anybody in the store to begin with.

The next day Lee and Tarek were sent out with fliers to distribute onto cars or any people they see along the way. Unfortunately, there were no people, only cars and Lee felt that their efforts would largely be fruitless.

While Lee and Tarek were hitting the streets, Charmaine was getting her hair done. After all, there were no customers, right? Charmaine and Michael should also have been hitting the streets as well. Bad move.

What I Might Have Done:

Setting up the store was not a four-person job. First, I would have strategized with the team to develop a solid plan for marketing the grand opening. Then I’d have divided the team up into two, one group to start selling the other two work on the store set-up. A good marketing plan would have made all the difference and I think both teams could have made significantly more than they did.

I also would have advertised some kind of grand opening sale knocking 10-20% off each haircut. I think both teams could have done more to make the grand opening a bit more grand. Balloons, product giveaways, banners, etc.

The result:

Gold Rush made a total of $700. Synergy made 1005.47, $363 of which was off the products alone. It looks like putting time into up selling the products made the difference between a win and a loss.

Back in the suite, the team begin their one-on-one strategizing for the boardroom.

Hypocrite Alert: Somebody put Lee on Survivor, because that’s how he’s playing this game. He first tells Charmaine that he won’t “throw her under a bus”, then qualifies that with an “unless you come after me.” Lee then goes into full CYA mode telling Charmaine that she’d have a better chance going one on one against Tarek (as opposed to himself!)

Lee immediately goes in to talk with Tarek and starts trashing Charmaine, pointing out all of the ways she failed the task. Next, Lee goes to Micheal to strategize on how and why they should get rid of Tarek!

With all the bases covered, Lee then tells the camera that he’s tired of strategizing for all these past nine tasks and that he’s done conspiring and is “not teaming up” with anyone! WHAT?!!! Sounds good Lee but were you having an out of body experience? Lee tells us that he’s just going to protect himself. Nothing wrong with that, but maybe you should have just said that to Charmaine, Tarek and Michael instead of conspiring with each and then denouncing such tactics.

At this point Lee has shown himself to be completely untrustworthy and very two-faced. He as both Charmaine and Tarek convinced that he’s on their side. Look, it’s OK to stand for or against something, but just be willing to stand for what you believe is right. Saying one thing to one persona and another thing to another person is just plain wrong. I think Lee needs to take a permanent religious holiday!

The Boardroom:

When asked, Charmaine said they simply didn’t sell enough product and that was the reason for the loss. Caroline said that there was no real game plan for victory to begin with.

Trump wanted to know why Charmaine was getting her hair done instead of being out selling. Charmaine said that somebody had to go through the process to “understand” what they were selling. Nice try, but wrong. That might have helped when putting together the plan of attack on the sales, but this was way after the fact. There was no intention of using this “experience” in their marketing efforts.

Charmaine also blamed Tarek for being hard to manage, and Michael agreed with that and said that Tarek deserved to get fired. Lee, continuing in CYA mode couldn’t really say anything good or bad about Charmaine’s leadership. Even when asked point blank by Caroline, he continued to give dodgy answers about what he would do. Somebody have this many marry into the Clinton family! Lee takes the art of question dodging to a whole new level.

Tarek and Charmaine went at it for a while, neither of which giving any arguments of substance either for themselves or against the other.

When it comes down to it, Charmaine was the reason for the loss. She didn’t lead her team well, mismanaged time and resources and never really had a game plan. While much of this never really came out in the boardroom, Trump could see it a mile away and therefore Charmaine was fired.

Trump then lays into Tarek. He thinks Mensa made a mistake by admitting Tarek! Tarek likes to lead but any good leader also needs to be a good follower and Tarek simply can’t follow other leaders. Tarek was also fired.

Apprentice 5.10

Lessons Learned:

  • Sales has two parts: getting people in the door (or getting yourself in the door, depending on the circumstances) and then closing the deal. It’s important to be able to convert but you have to be able to get people in the door in order to convert them.
  • Don’t make dishonest promises, don’t say one thing while planning to do another, and don’t play both sides. Say what you believe and believe what you say. While you may get away with playing both sides for a while, it will come back to bite you.
  • While business is serious, don’t take it all too seriously, or too personally. People will always do and say things you don’t like. You can either harbor a grudge or get over it. Harboring a grudge won’t gain you anything, so get over it and be happy and healthy.

Final Four Predictions:

With Charmaine out I have to adjust my final four predictions. I think Tammy showed herself to be a decent enough leader. She lost the first task she PMed (the Grape-Nuts billboards) but the team rallied around her and hailed her a great PM. Now she has a win.

I don’t see Allie making it but I’m also starting to question whether Lee will either. I think he’s been trying to play it “safe” and it may finally be coming back to bite him. But I also don’t see Michael offering much of anything to the Trump organization.

Right now I would say Tammy, Sean and Roxanne have the best chance of any, and for now I’ll keep Lee on my F4 list.

What would you have done, and who do you predict will make the F4?

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

2 Responses to Lessons From The Apprentice (5.10)

  1. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    You nailed it 100%.

    The problem with this group is that NOBODY is showing themselves to be phenomenal. Whoever turns out to be in the F4 will only have proven themselves to be adequate enough to bypass the others, but is there a star here? If there is, I’m not seeing it.

  2. Igor M. says:

    Stoney … doesn’t your final 4 change every week? 😉

    Ok … Sean, c’omon, stop defending your self. You did what you wanted to do. If you feel this was a right move, do not talk about it. Just move on and tell the other girls to do the same.

    Allie ….. for some reason she annoys me. If I had a wife like that…, no, I’d never have a wife like that … will I? I hope not, I’ll kill my self.

    Lee is a “politician”. I think that he should have let it all out and told it like it is that Charmaine screwed up. Instead he looked like a fool trying to avoid answering anything. Lee …. how can I hire you if you do this to me? Donald.

    Charmaine was awful. What was the plan??? To give out fliers? Are you kidding me? You were chosen to be on the Apprentice and then you place your entire strategy on fliers. Wow … what are the producers thinking about there. Disappointing. Then she gets her hair done … she should have been fired by her team.

    Even though Tarek “sucked” at many tasks, it was not his fault they lost the last task so I wouldn’t get rid of him just yet. The reason Trump is firing more than 1 person at a time shows that the show is losing popularity. He is cutting it’s time by doing this. Not enough advertisers??? Something is wrong.

    What would I do??? Well, thinking on the spot and not taking 2 hours to brainstorm …

    1) Get the close by businesses involved. Let them give a Discount Card to every purchase with a special Promotion just for their customers. Put a deadline.

    2) Dress up the store front. Make it look like an event.

    3) SELL PRODUCTS!!! The other team hit the nail.

    4) If I had time I’d do direct mail.

    5) How about telling people they’ll be on TV? If this would be allowed I’d take advantage of this.

    6) Give out prizes for every haircut… something.

    These are some things that flew into my head in 3 minutes. None of these ideas are phenomenal, but they are better than just giving out fliers.

    I think Lee will be flying out in 1-2 weeks. Michael will definitely not be an apprentice. Allie ……. can I fire her?

    My top 3 are Roxanne, Tammy, Sean. I wouldn’t be surprised if at the end it will be Tammy against Sean. Maybe that’s why they are building this “relationship” story on us between the two?