What’s your style?
Team Phoenix and Team Sterling went head to head once again, this time to see who could secure discounts with prestigious businesses in the luxury and leisure industries.
The aim: to secure deals and discounts on high-end products and offer them to consumers online via a Daily Deals website.
After a heated boardroom exchange last week, Stephen was instructed to be Project Manager of Team Sterling. He must have been under serious pressure to deliver in this task after boldly suggesting if he were to be project manager he would lead his team to victory. Good luck!
This just left Team Phoenix to select their Project Manager. Jade put herself forward after speaking highly of her knowledge and experience in this industry. After no resistance she was given her opportunity to put her money where her mouth is.
When the project managers started to strategise there was a marked difference in their styles.
Steven took a typical salesman’s approach – get large volumes of deals. Simply a numbers game, get lots – some of them have to hit! The added benefit of this is that by generating multiple deals from each supplier the team would be maximising every opportunity. On the face of it, it seems like a good idea, likely to at least make some money and is an intelligent use of selling time. High risk but has some logic, if you’re a salesperson.
Jade had a rather more measured and experienced approach. Her strategy was based around understanding what the website was representing, what type of consumers visit the site, and what the best targets would be. The team then set about making calls and setting appointments with their primary prospects. This strategy allows less room for error as it takes more time initially but is essentially a much lower risk. Good planning gets good results; great planning gets great results.
This was a battle of “quantity”vs“quality”.
The “quantity of deals” strategy adopted by Team Sterling and Stephen was executed as would be expected from a salesperson project leader. They visited a random selection of not very well thought out targets and tried to close multiple deals at a time. Average deals at best.
Teeth whitening, perhaps not the most high-end flavour of the month.
I do feel sorry for Gabriella, I did see her angle with the fish footbath, they are a new trend, however as noted in the boardroom: wrong product, saturated market, and not exclusive enough. Again.
The only quality target suggested by Project Manager Stephen was ruled out mainly by the persuasion of Ricky, who in keeping to the theme of generating quantity, ironically pointed out he could visit multiple locations in the time it takes to visit this one quality target. In all fairness he did do well and proceeded to pull in three deals from different restaurants. The question is, if Ricky had taken the quality lead over the three nearby deals would Team Sterling have turned more revenue?
The sales lesson to learn watching Ricky this week is to qualify your target quickly. After a massive amateurish blunder he learnt to qualify his prospects as soon as possible to avoid wasting time, this made his pitch more direct and as a result he closed more deals faster and delivered on the teams strategy.
Team Phoenix’s approach to finding quality suppliers was demonstrated by Jade, she closed a deal from every meeting she went to. More importantly, high quality deals. Good plan well executed.
Incidentally it was Jade, ironically, who showed naivety in the meeting with Marcus Waring and risked losing a deal for being under prepared. Complacency perhaps.
Stephen’s “quantity” driven strategy did indeed bring in more deals for Team Sterling. However, with less deals butwith more quality items Team Phoenix sold about £8000 more than Team Sterling on the day. This led to the spectacular double firing of Team Phoenix’s Gabriella and Project Manager Stephen.
This week’s key messageis that by combining knowledge of your market, understanding of how to put together win-win negotiations, careful targeting of the correct prospects and good planning you can make healthy returns from a small number of deals. Quality over quantity in this case prevails.
Lord Sugar is looking for a dynamic business partner. Jade and Ricky were the two outstanding individuals for me this week.
JJ Harding is co-founder of JogPost
(www.leafletdistribution.co.uk). JogPost provides leaflet distribution and delivery services to major brands and leading logistics companies. JJ and his partner Henry secured offers from four Dragons when they appeared on BBC Dragons’ Den in August 2011.
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