Wednesday 4 November 2015
Alumni: The Apprentice candidate, Richard Woods
Alumnus Richard Woods is making a name for himself on BBC One’s The Apprentice and has now won his fourth task in a row with Team Versatile! We talk to Richard to find out his thoughts on the process so far, what’s in store for tonight’s episode (4 November) and he shares his best bit of selling advice!
How does it feel to have won four out of four shows?
It is so amazing! Just really good to be in such a great position and to feel the momentum as we get further into the show. I think people are realising I’m not just there to make up the numbers. We are going past the point of ‘get out of jail free cards’.
How do you think last week’s task went?
It went really well actually. I do like having some kind of position of control so I was very happy to be sub-team leader. We chose the dog sofas, which I think was the best product out there. I don’t think it was the best stand but it was the best product. There were a lot of dog owners so if you know and understand a product, you can have common ground with who you’re selling to. The other team didn’t have any cat owners, apart from Gary, but they didn’t put him on until the end so I do think we had the advantage.
Do you think, on reflection, that you had the best products to sell?
I 100% think they were the best products. The cat towers were good and they had a bigger stand in a better position in the show, but we knew that and we were still confident with our products all the way through.
You brought in the most money for Team Versatile, which led them to win the task…were you happy with your performance?
Without a shadow of a doubt. I only sold three but the three I did sell were £600 – £900 so they were really on the higher end. My selling made up to 60% of the team’s winnings, which added up to £2,000 in total. I was confident that even if we lost I wouldn’t have gone. I think I have come into my element as I was top seller in task one too. Just saying.
Did you see anything at the pet show that you would have bought your dog, Willy, if you were there as a customer?
Those sofas! I said to the bloke I will buy one from you and give it to Willy for Christmas. The worst product in my opinion was the chicken UV jackets, although they did open up the floor to many ‘chicken’s crossing the road’ jokes!
After last week’s show, what has been the reaction from family, friends and business associates?
It’s massively supportive. I feel like I got back on the wagon with the last task. I didn’t have a great task three just because Joseph and I didn’t see eye to eye on a few things, but I did come into my own on this task. I believe I sold one dog bed before lunch and them my two other sales didn’t come until later on in the task. You should have seen the texts I received during the show! My friends were saying to me, ‘oh my god, you might be going this time’ but I knew I had sold well.
What’s your best bit of selling advice?
Happy people sell. When you’re on a stand you have to get behind the product, be fun, be happy, have a giggle with potential buyers and it will be easy to sell. Charleine, April and Sam didn’t get behind it and were a bit anxious and desperate and I think it showed.
How did you feel about Ruth being fired?
I really liked Ruth. She is a great character and it was a big loss in the house. I don’t miss the frequent juices she made though! Every single morning you would hear it whirring and her singing, ‘I’m alive, alert, awake, enthusiastic!’ It got the song in our heads every day (you can see my version below!) Ruth was such a people person but I do think at the same time she didn’t quite have the right mentality to win. Personally I think you need an edge to impress Lord Sugar and stand your ground in this contest.
This week’s task is to write and design a children’s book – did you draw on your experience as a dad?
My son was only one when I went into the process, so a bit too young as this task was for children. I actually found out my wife was pregnant with our second child just before I went in so it really did pull on the heartstrings. And you only get a 10 minute phone call a week!
You are definitely in for a great episode – keep a lookout for David’s singing!
Richard has a 2:1 BA (Hons) Business and Entrepreneurship from Solent (graduating in 2005), and has gone on to start four successful businesses, including digital marketing agency Yomp.