Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Apprentice Season 1 Episode 6

Raise money for charity by negotiating with celebrities on what they want to give away for auction.

Troy taking off his belt, pretending to not know how to dress in front of Fab 5 was pure genius. It was the ice breaker of all ice breakers.

Know how to pronouce the celebrity name. By not knowing how to produce their name says about how little you know about the celebrity. Without knowing who the celebrity is, you cannot effectively negotiate the value of something you don't know the value of.

Know what you are walking into. For example Russell Simmons is known to be a hardass. His demeanor was obvious when the group walked in to negotiate with him. He had an expression of "who are these clowns and what are they doing here to waste my time?" So buttering him up and getting friendly wouldn't work in the traditional sense. I would start by being brief with the complements and the thanks for wanting to help with the charity (not spend more than a minute or less on that) and lead to, "I know you hear that all the time, but I know you're a really busy man, so I know you're wanting to get down to business. What we are here about is the charity." When you are saying that, you start talking in his wavelength. Then I would resell him on the good he'll be doing for the charity and how raising the most money without inconviniencing the celebrity is to everyone's interest. That would prime his mind on getting him to turn his wheels on what he can do to raise the most money instead of just agreeing to a suggestion.

Donald Trump spinned something Omarosa said, then came back at Heidi with it. He was just busting balls. But Heidi got caught up in trying to defend herself on something that wasn't even said. She should have recomposed herself and reiterated what was actually said right before he cut Omarosa off.

What I would have done as project manager:
I would research the celebrities. Made sure everyone at least knew how to pronounce their names. If a particular teammember was a big fan of one of the celebrities, I would task them to break the ice with the celebrity. I would research the charity. Find out what its about, what they want to do, what they have done in the past, and how the donation is going to make a difference. Then I would have a gameplan. Who's gonna say what to break the ice, and the angle of approach (business or friendly), who's going to be the expert on the charity and its cause, then who is going to close. Maybe throw some good cop bad cop in there, like one person would propose something outrageous, then someone else would say "well, that sounds a bit too much to ask for, and mr. (name) probably wouldn't be interested" and gage his reaction. There is a chance the celebrity might say, "well, actually that doesn't sound like a bad idea." because some people, in this case celebrities, have a tendency to automatically argue against the last thing that was said.

Research the person you are going to ask favors from. In this case, research the celebrity. You need to first get on their wavelength. Tell the celebrity that you know of him, like his work, understand him, and understand his cause. Communicate that his goal is your goal.

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