Celebrity Apprentice Sales Lessons

Sales Recommendations (presentations)

Of all the reality shows on TV, the one that actually has some value other than mindless entertainment is Celebrity Apprentice. I made a point to watch the premier last night, and saw a couple of very important sales lessons in action.

The teams of celebrities were divided, men versus women. Their task was to see who could raise more money for charity by taking over a diner for an afternoon and sell food.

The men’s team raised twice as much money as the women, despite the women having a better location in Manhattan. There are two reasons why:

1. Selling at a higher price. The men set prices for hamburgers at $100–plus more if you wanted truffles. The women set their price at $10 for a hamburger. Cyndi Lauper, the women’s team leader said that the common person couldn’t pay a lot for a hamburger. Trump pointed out in the Boardroom that the common person was not the market she should have been going after.

Sales point: the sales reps in companies who consistently have the largest average order size are the ones selling the higher priced and higher margin items, and selling at full price. No revelation there, right? They go after the bigger orders. What are you gong after?


2. Prospect targeting and calling. The men’s team contacted more heavy hitters–big donors–than the women’s team. Led by former baseball player Darryl Strawberry who has many New York contacts, the men were able to bring in the big dogs who not only could donate the $100 for hamburgers, but also left $1000-$2000 tips for charity. The men’s tips also were much more than the women’s.

Also, as a result of targeting the mass market, the women had a long line of potential customers still waiting as time expired on the contest–some of whom were potential larger donors. Yet, they were so busy with the small customers they did not have time to sell to the bigger, more profitable ones. Sound familiar?

Sales point: Where are you selling within an organization? Too many sales reps start low with middle managers who can’t make an ultimate decision, or can’t make a large purchase.

So now, I’m sucked in and will make it a point to watch every show, either live, DVR’d or online. I’m sure there are more sales lessons to come.

(Other show observations: what value is Trump’s son adding to the show? What qualifies him to judge, other than he hit the Gene Pool Jackpot? And Rod Blagojevich…give the guy credit for having the stones to be on the show, but he’s become a cartoon character. Interesting how he squirmed and answered Trump in the Boardroom…probably just like he answered the authorities’ questions. And Bret Michaels, wearing eyeliner? This isn’t a concert.)


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