Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Apprentice Jim: I’m still the world's best salesman

Jim Eastwood, Tom Pellereau, Helen Milligan and Susan Ma in the final

Apprentice hopeful Jim Eastwood has spoken of his pride at earning his ‘Jedi’ nickname for his powers of manipulation — after Lord Sugar finally fired him from the show.



The Cookstown businessman lost out in last night’s grand final to nice guy inventor Tom Pellereau (below) who won a coveted business contract with the tycoon worth £250,000.

Jim, who came fourth behind fellow finalists Pellereau, Helen Milligan and Susan Ma, was disappointed to have missed out on the title which was decided after a gruelling interview process.

But the marketing manager with Antrim company W&G Baird was consoled with a certificate for being the ‘The World's Greatest Salesperson’ by the business mogul.

The renowned charmer was dubbed Jedi Jim for his remarkable ability to talk people into his way of thinking.

It saw him land record-breaking business deals — and avoid Lord Sugar’s firing line on many occasions.

The Tyrone man said being compared to a mind-bending Jedi Knight was a compliment.

“Star Wars is one of the biggest films in the world, with Jedis being synonymous with having special powers to be able to influence people,” he said.

“In business that's one of the most important skills, influencing people, and I couldn't have got a higher accolade for that.”

In one of his finest moments, Jim won a £1.6m order from Asda for biscuits — the biggest order in seven series of the BBC1 programme. This was acknowledged by Lord Sugar with the certificate. “He said I was the greatest salesperson he's ever had and he gave me a certificate for The World's Greatest Salesperson. He doesn't give away compliments easily, so that was a major accolade.’’

The University of Ulster graduate had hoped to use his legendary gift of the gab to win over |Lord Sugar’s tough interrogators who put the final four and their CVs through the wringer last night.

Jim provided the most entertaining moment of the interviews when he was asked by Lord Sugar’s former sidekick Margaret Mountford, who returned for |a cameo, to say something about himself without using a cliché.

“I am exactly what it says on the tin,” he replied, prompting one of her infamous raised eyebrows.

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Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Aries:

You will have to defer to others, which makes you anxious. There's never any problem when you're in control. You know how to act quickly and decisively. When others are at the helm, progress grinds to a halt. People deliberate endlessly over simple matters. Instead of putting pressure on the person in charge, make a strategic retreat. If you act like you don't care about the outcome of a situation, they won't be paralysed with uncertainty. You have a tendency to make people nervous.More