The Apprentice 2013 Episode Seven

The task for the seventh week of The Apprentice was to source items to sell at the Motorhome and caravan show in Birmingham. Each team had to fight for a number of items to sell on the day and also were allowed to pick one big ticket item each. To even things up Neil was moved over to Evolve.

The teams were allowed to pick their own project managers for this task and Neil was chosen for Evolve (when I say chosen, what I really mean was told the rest of the team that he was going to be the project manage no questions asked) and Kurt was chosen as the project manager for Endeavour over Alex as Kurt once went on a Caravan holiday when he was a child. Alex couldn’t really understand the reasoning behind this decision and, to be honest, neither did nobody else.

The items on offer were an electric powered bicycle, an children’s adventure kit packed into a rucksack, a camping chair with a roof on it and a roof box that doubled as a rowing boat, so two items for the price of one!

Half the teams went to schmooze the inventors of the products so that they would agree for them to sell the product and the other half of the team went looking for a big ticket item.

Myles, Natalie and Leah met with the inventors and whilst Myles gushed over each and every item with the same level of interest and general enthusiasm Natalie and Leah weren’t so efulsive? About the products with Natalie in particular being quite keen to get some sort of deal even after it was made patently clear that they were not going to budge an inch.

Jordan, Luisa and Francesca were equally enthusiastic about all of the products and did not try and push for discounts on the products. Not surprisingly this meant that it was Endeavour who managed to get both the electric bikes and the adventure kit, which didn’t please Myles, Natalie and Leah who also wanted both of those items.

Kurt and Alex and Neil and Jason were the people tasked with picking the high ticket items for the teams. They had a look at a number of items including a retro camper van and a collapsible trailer tent.

Although the target market for the camper van was 35-45 Kurt decided that it would be the correct product for them even if they had already come to the conclusion that the majority of the people who were likely to go to these events were much older than that. Neil and Jason picked the trailer tent, which also was the one that has sold the mostt up to that point.

The following day the teams took their items to the show and fought to make the most money from the attendees. Both teams started off quite slowly selling their items with not many people taking to the electric bikes, with most people turning their noses up at the idea of spending that much on an electric bike when they can buy a much cheaper pedal bike and also get some exercise into the bargain.

However, Luisa did manage to sell some, much to the disgust of Jordan, who couldn’t understand what Luisa was doing that he wasn’t doing, which she wasn’t able to tell him. I am not sure what it was, but she was wearing a very short skirt, so that might have had something to do with it, as a lot of the attendees were middle aged men.

Natalie and Alex did their best trying to flog the roof box come rowing boat and the collapsible chair with a handy roof attachment, but there weren’t many takes for such interesting items from the people attending. I can’t imagine why.

The adventure kit also sold quite well, but it did look kind of cool and was the sort of thing that a lot of people are going to enjoy.

Neither Myles or Kurt were able to shift a single one of the retro camper vans but they did come close in the final 15 minutes when they asked Leah to come over to help, because in the words of Kurt she would be a bit of ‘eye candy’.

This was not the case for the other team who were able to sell three of the caravan tent and one of them was sold by Jason, who turned out to be very popular with the clientele at the show, much to the surprise of Neil who expected Jason to sell jack.

In the boardroom it was all revealed as Evolve beat Endeavour by more than £30,000 as they managed to sell some of the high ticket items. Kurt came under fire both for note selling anything and for the product choice from Alex and Natalie and Myles.

Kurt decided to bring back Natalie and Alex into the boardroom with him for the firing. This did not please Natalie who thought that he was only doing this tactically as he was aware that she had been in the boardroom twice previously and by Alex who didn’t think that he had done anything wrong. Natalie said as much to Lord Sugar when pressed but the fact that she hadn’t really done much in the previous tasks didn’t cut much mustard with Lord Sugar.

Kurt blamed the fact that he didn’t sell on the product, rather than his own ability to sell stuff as did both Alex and Natalie who were all sure that they could sell snow to Inuits.

In the end it was down to the product choice on why they lost the task so dismally and the blame was laid squarely at the feet of Kurt and he was fired. Then just when she thought she was safe Natalie was fired as well, mostly because she had been in the boardroom twice before, rather than for her performance in that task itself.

This was probably fair in both cases, with Kurt really being responsible for what they had to sell, and also with his lacklustre performance in selling, not only on this task though.

As for Natalie, she was a bit unlucky to get fired in this task, but it did look like she wouldn’t last much longer after what Lord Sugar had said to her before, so that wasn’t that much of a shock either.

I am glad that Jason did well on this task, as he had a rather winning sales technique with the people at the event, and also because he is such an interesting character in the show and always makes me smile. He is not going to win but he is fun to watch all the same.

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