The Apprentice that quit, and secret shopping to win

I record the Apprentice on the DVR. No idea when it comes on, no idea when its over, I just look to the DVR. Cuts out the details and lets me view on my schedule, not the Donald’s 🙂
I watch it because there’s always a marketing or business lesson there somewhere.

The episode I saw last night had Trump splitting the losing team into 2 teams and pitting them against each other in a quest to make the best tour of Hollywood.

The losing team simply couldnt have been more spastic. The leader was trying so hard to get 100% support for every decision that she proved unable to make a decision. Trying not to get fired is a great way to be so lame and boring that you get fired anyway. Pulling an all nighter to figure out a bus tour? They had some challenges, namely feedback from a microphone that should have derailed them for a moment, but instead seemed to infect their tired minds. They were clearly out of their league. Im a little surprised that Trump didnt fire them all, but that would shorten the season a bit too much, I suspect. The team leader ended up quitting, despite a lecture from Trump about quitting and regretting it later. She probably would have been fired anyway, but instead of fighting, she chose to quit.
The winning team clearly got it. They had the Laker Girls meet the bus, sign autographs, they had water and popcorn on the bus and the smartest move of all – they had James (the Internet guy) ride the regular tour bus ahead of time so that he could experience it and ask the customers on the bus about their experience. Seems like a simple thing but that little thing is what changed the direction of the experience that they provided for their riders. Little things. The slight edge. They realized that the driver’s stupid jokes needed to be managed (ie: eliminated).

Do you secret shop your business? Do you secret shop your competition? It’s quite a learning experience. If you get 10% of the benefit that the Apprentice team did, you’ll find it worthwhile.