Review: ITV’s Natural Born Sellers is a Poor Man’s ‘The Apprentice’

October 1, 2008 by  
Filed under Reviews

natural-born-sllers.jpgITV1, Thursday 2nd October, 9pm  Alert Me

A flat format, wholly uninteresting people and a lack of any depth is what constitutes Natural Born Sellers, showing this Thursday.  The voiceover sounds like he might nod off at any minute, I wouldn’t be surprised if I actually did at some point- not that it made a difference.  Yep, this is a show that thinks it’s The Apprentice but lacks the pomp, the drama and, in fact, any kind of quality.

Based on the premise that eight salespeople will compete over six weeks to be ‘top dog’ and win the kitty that they all earn in commission, the show sees them try their hand at different sorts of selling.  Each week, there is the aforementioned ‘top dog’ who gets to nominate one of the two worst sellers to leave.  This episode, the contestants find themselves at Ideal Homes, one of those dreary furniture stores, working for a sales manager, who literally has to be one of the dullest men to ever walk the earth.

This show is full of the usual egocentric/nutty/repulsive people that go on these things.  One woman, who has zero qualms about sexing up her approach to close a deal and frankly, seems a little unhinged, ceases to go on about how she excelled in her previous job of IT Sales (NB: where, let’s be honest, she was likely selling to lonely, long-haired men who were just glad of the female company let alone an eyeful of boobs).  And you’ve got the familiar guy in his twenties with a big gob and bigger ego, who thinks he knows best, cheeks his manager and listens to thudding music in the car on the way to work to get him ‘psyched’ for the day…ergh…

The trouble is, they’re all competing against each other, so any room for proper interaction (i.e. conflict) within a teamwork environment is kind of stunted.  Sure, you get competitiveness and I guess they all share the goal of increasing the grand total for one of them to win, but it’s pretty detached.  Without them actually having to work together to win tasks and demonstrate skills like in The Apprentice, the footage just ain’t compelling.

Natural Born Sellers is a poor man’s The Apprentice.  If you watched Alan Sugar et al. there is actually little point in catching this show, unless you’re one of those folks, who weirdly quite enjoy lame film remakes and disappointing sequels.  Then, maybe this is for you.

By Susan Allen