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The Apprentice 2: Why Pamela LostPage 2
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We’ve already mentioned how Pamela insisted that Apex had “tied” rather than lost. This is a good example of failing to follow the eighth rule, focusing on the long-term. OK, they lost. Pamela should have admitted it and gone from there. The last thing Trump wants is a person who makes excuses, and that’s what Pamela appeared to be doing. But she was so focused on this one losing task that she failed to see the big picture.
The ninth rule says to think outside the box, but not too far. Pamela went big with the price, thinking that just getting people to buy was the key. But she went too far. She priced It Works! at $27.23, despite the suggestion by others that it be $19.99. When QVC hosted an Apprentice special on Monday night, they priced the same product at $17.62! That’s one heck of a difference! It might not be thousand-dollar lemonade, like Sam tried to sell in the first series, but it certainly would have prevented me from buying. A bunch of sponges for over $27? What, are you kidding? Apex is lucky they had any buyers at all!
Indeed, when Pamela and the Mosaic team returned to QVC to pitch their respective products on Monday night, the lower-priced It Works! set outsold the grill by about a $20,000 margin! Obviously, there was a larger audience watching because it was an hour dedicated to The Apprentice, but there is no inherent reason I can think of that those people should be more likely to buy the sponges over the grill. The fact is that the set being sold for a much more reasonable price brought in more buyers, just as Carolyn said it would have.
Finally, did Pamela use common sense? I would point back to the price and say “no” right off the bat. I would also point to the “we tied” bit and say “no” again. And the third strike here is that Pamela failed to bring the one person who might have saved her into the Boardroom – Sandy. While we didn’t see it in the original airing of the episode, we did in the Saturday episode and we saw some in the Yahoo extras. Sandy was in charge of set design, but the general consensus among the QVC folks – and possibly Trump & Co. – was that she was mostly useless. She said that if she had been given more to do, she would have. Of course, regular readers know that Rob made the same excuses and that was one reason he lost. If Pamela had brought Sandy into the Boardroom with her, she might have had a chance of surviving. But she was so tuned into Stacy and Maria that she failed to listen to the criticism leveled at Sandy and thus didn’t bring her along.
Pamela came charging into her new team – or should I say “their” team rather than “her” team – like a bull in a china shop. She wanted to show that she was a great leader and could whip them into shape, but she only succeeded in making enemies out of everybody. I don’t deny that Apex needs some serious leadership, but the way Pamela did it only set herself up to fail. If she was going to come riding in as the savior, she had to take the blame as the failure.
Even so, Pamela only took official responsibility for one item – the price (and that was after relieving Stacy of that same responsibility because she didn’t like Stacy’s answer). Pamela priced it over 50% higher than the price QVC would later assign to it – a tremendous markup on an item that is little more than just a bunch of sponges – thus essentially pricing them right out of the market.
Pamela went into this task with the wrong attitude. She was going to rescue the damsels in distress. When she didn’t, she made excuses. Pamela didn’t listen to her own staff, made poor decisions, was overly domineering, didn’t use common sense, and really took responsibility for only one thing: price – which is what killed the team. That is why Pamela lost.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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