Understanding the client's requirements is key - this week's Apprentice

23rd November 2018

As featured in businessadvice

This week’s challenge saw the teams tasked with becoming art dealers in Glasgow’s vibrant art scene. Both teams were tasked with selecting one artist whose work would complement a corporate client’s workspace and reflect their company ethos. The chosen pieces would also need to impress punters on Glasgow’s art scene with each team required to host a gallery event where they would be expected to sell as many pieces as possible.

Putting herself forward to project manage Team Collaborative, Jackie led the sourcing task, meeting artists and striking a deal to sell their work while the other half of the team met with the corporate client. The team collectively failed to truly understand the client’s requirements. The client’s key messages, which should have been conveyed by the art chosen for their workspace, were also lost in translation.

Despite failing to deliver on the corporate client’s requirements, Collaborative excelled when it came to selling to collectors at the gallery event. The team showed real skill in understanding the target market here and their efforts to immerse themselves in that market and speak its language paid off with impressive takings.

Team Typhoon’s performance, on the other hand, was the polar opposite to their opposition’s. Led by Jasmine, Typhoon did well at understanding the corporate client’s requirements and key messages and chose well when it came to sourcing the art that reflected the brief. However, the team really struggled to understand or interact well with their wider market at the gallery event. When the team did sell a piece, it was already being considered for purchase by the corporate client.

The corporate client was also unimpressed by the team’s inconsistency when it came to managing the client relationship. Having initially met with and been impressed by Sabrina and Sian, the client was baffled to arrive at the event and be told that both Sabrina and Sian were present but weren’t even able to greet them. When Sian emerged at the client’s request, a sale was finally made.

Which candidate impressed you?

While Jasmine was this week’s boardroom victim, it was Tom who stood out with a cool and calm demeanour, exhibiting great diplomacy when dealing with difficult team situations. However, he failed to sell and landed in the bottom three for the second consecutive week. If you’re going to generate sales, strong people skills need to be visible to clients, not just colleagues.