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Purdue Center for Professional Selling

Fall 2013 - Spring 2014 Events

Spring 2014 Golf TournamentGroup at golf tournament

At 8:00am, on a brisk Wednesday morning, April 23rd, Selling and Sales Management students began arriving at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex. They came prepared to learn how sales is done outside of the everyday office where we imagine sales calls taking place. They were greeted by company representatives from DeFouw Auto Group, ExactTarget, Speechvive, White Lodging, and Victaulic. These representatives were ready to teach our Purdue students not only how to play a successful round of golf, but what sales outside of the office means to them. The competition was tight, the educational opportunities were amazing, and the day was ended with an Awards Banquet including a Keynote speech from Dennis Gernhardt - owner of DeFouw Auto Group.

Our Purdue students got to showcase their impressive sales skills all throughout the day, and some of them excelled in their golf game as well. Charlene Carroll won the award for the Longest Putt competition, Ashley Morris won the award for Ladies' Longest Drive, Eric Moeller won the award for Closest to the Pin, and Leo Charles won the award for Men's Longest Drive. To quote Dennis Gernhardt, "Sales is about creating relationships." At Purdue, our students learn a relationship-based approach to sales and we hope that the relationships they created with company representatives at the 2014 Golf Outing will serve them well. We want to say a special thanks to DeFouw Auto Group, ExactTarget, Speechvive, White Lodging, and Victaulic for their participation and dedication to the professional development of Purdue Selling and Sales Management students.

Wine Etiquette Workshop

As students waited in line to learn wine etiquette manners in a business setting, they gazed at the chefs who passed them by with trays of various appetizers, cheeses, and drinks. E&J Gallo Winery had representatives in Nelson’s Hall of Food Sciences Winery and in the classrooms to greet students that came in. E&J Gallo representatives were ready to pass along the knowledge that they have come to know about what to do when you are handed a wine menu with a customer or boss.

In the classroom students learned the history of wine and what the meanings of “New World” wine and “Old World” wine meant. They were also taught the proper way of opening a wine bottle. As easy as it sounds, it was not an easy task.

Once students knew the history and the process of tasting wine, they went down to “The Boilermaker Winery” to test their new-found skills. Wine from around the world was presented to the students, even Barefoot's new product that wasn’t yet released in Indiana. The next hour was then filled with smelling wine, looking at the wine, swirling wine, and of course, tasting wine.

It was a struggle, to say the least, to end the event because our students were having so much fun. We give E&J Gallo Winery a special thanks for coming out and teaching our students something special that most companies never touch on. We appreciate their participation and dedication to the professional development of Purdue Selling and Sales Management students.

DishOne Sales Competition

DishOne sales competition winnersThe DishOne sales competition was our first sales competition of the Spring 2014 semester, taking place on Wednesday, April 2nd. The event was a great learning experience for our students, and the feedback they received from the DishOne judges was very constructive and professional.

The competition was followed by a delicious Awards Banquet held at the PMU, emceed by our Center Intern Courtney Silvey, with DishOne keynote remarks by their Human Resource Manager, Director of Recruiting, and Director of Sales. DishOne prizes were: I-Pad, DishOne carry-on luggage, DishOne backpack, and DishOne apparel.

1st place: Jonathan Paikoff
2nd place: Julian Zunarelli
3rd place: Hannah Sawyer
Honorable Mentions: Jake Burris, Chris Karlin, Princessa Rennewanz

Passageways ReceptionStudents at Passageways Reception

It was a windy February day as students waited for the bus to arrive so it could shuttle them across the river to visit a silicone valley startup company called Passageways.

This was the first time that Purdue Center for Professional Selling had a company invite the students to an onsite visit. Upon arriving, we were greeting by Passageways representatives. They ushered students up to the second floor where pizza and beverages were offered to students. Passageways then presented a PowerPoint slideshow to educate all the students on what Passageways was and what they did. They discussed their new app “Get Onboard.” This was a new technology that was meant for having the best and easiest board meetings in the business world.

Many students were intrigued and asked a lot of great questions because the idea of a board meeting app was new to everyone. Students then got to walk the company halls and see how they operated. They got a whole new insight to this technological sales environment.

Informal Networking Night

More info to come.

MVP Competition winnersMVP Sales Competition

The Northwestern Mutual Sales Competition was a resounding success with great support from Purdue students!

Almost 60 students attended the information session and 30 students were finally selected to participate in the competition.

The Center for Professional Selling was excited to host the Northwestern Mutual Sales Competition on September 25th. All the students competing were ready to put their best foot forward.

The actual scenario revolved around selling Disability Insurance to Drew Brees (former Purdue quarterback and currently playing for the New Orleans Saints). The challenge was convincing Drew Brees that in order to protect his family and have them continue living the lifestyle they currently do, they need to get on this insurance plan. Students strategized very well and created value statements that allowed most of them to close the sale successfully!

Finally in the evening, there was a formal banquet held at Ross Ade Stadium, where students, faculty, and Northwestern Mutual reps all mingled together and had a great time. Awards and winners were given out at this time.

1st place: Charlene Carroll

2nd place: Shash Natarajan
3rd place: Eric Moeller
Honorable Mentions: Alex Young, Beth Murzyn

PepsiCo Sales Competition

PepsiCo Sales Competition winnersOn Wednesday, September 18, the campus was buzzing with excitement about the PepsiCo Sales Competition. The thirty selected students from CSR’s Selling and Sales Management program were dressed in their professional business attire and set to compete, as were students from Engineering, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Communication, Management, and more!

The role play scenario was all about getting a display of Doritos Jacked into Walmart stores. This was quite a challenge because the Walmart buyers (capably portrayed by reps of PepsiCo) were concerned about price, limited floor space, and competitors’ products. But most of our student competitors, who played the role of PepsiCo District Sales Leaders, were highly successful in closing the sale!

While SEVERAL students made exemplary sales calls, PepsiCo had to narrow their list to 5 noteworthy students:

1st place: Princessa Rennewanz Prize: $300 cash plus personalized trophy, plus name added to ongoing sales competition plaque for Fall 2013
2nd place: Katelyn Clark Prize: $200 cash plus personalized trophy
3nd place: Andrew Larsen Prize: $100 cash plus personalized trophy
Honorable Mentions: Joe Maddox, Shaswath Natarajan

Students said this was a great experience and many had never done anything like this before! They found it great practice to test their skills – and had a lot of fun in the process.

AT&T Sales CompetitionAT&T Sales Competition winners

The AT&T Sales Competition was extremely successful as students from various majors put their best foot forward in competing. Around 60 students applied and attended the information session and finally 30 spectacular candidates were selected by AT&T to take part in this unique opportunity. Many high-quality candidates were not brought in to be a part of this competition, but other member companies may be looking for those exact students to participate in their Center event, so it is essential to continue applying in the future!

On Wednesday, October 23, the much-awaited AT&T Sales Competition took place. After days of preparation and practice, students finally had the chance to display their talents in front of 6 world-class professionals from AT&T. AT&T representatives came from Indianapolis and Chicago to participate: Nikki McAtee Hunt, Bob Walters, Alex Drake, Anna Jones, Alex Reid, and Ryan Wewerka. This particular role play had a very interesting scenario, where the student was to sell Office at Hand (an AT&T small business product) to Dr. Kim, who was starting a veterinary emergency care clinic. Dr. Kim wanted to have a system in the office which was green and efficient at the same time. The students did a great job probing to understand the customer's needs, connecting the features of Office at Hand to the benefits, and then closing the sale effectively!

Concluding the eventful day was a formal Awards Banquet held at the John Purdue Room in Marriott Hall. Students, faculty, and AT&T reps had a chance to build professional relationships with each other and get to know one another on a deeper level. The food was delicious, the ambiance was spot-on, and the speech given my Bob Walters (AT&T SalesManager) resounded in the minds of everyone! Every student that competed earned a Certificate of Participation.

1st place: Sarah Mack
2nd place: Stephanie Sikorski
Honorable Mentions: Alexis Trippiedi, Will Craig, and Jose Mejia.

Jawbone Bluetooth Wireless Jambox speakers were the coveted prizes for this competition. The intern serving as Key Account Manager for this project was Autumn Schumacher, who mentored a Center first-year intern, Shaswath Natarajan.

Victaulic Sales Challenge winners

Victaulic Sales Challenge

The Victaulic Sales Competition was truly a climatic finish to the fall semester. Close to 60 students applied and attended the information session. Out of those brilliant students, 30 were selected by Victaulic to compete and display their talents in the competition. There will be plenty of similar opportunities coming up Spring 2014 semester, so for the candidates who weren't selected for this particular competition, it is important to continue applying.

There were six events surrounding the Victaulic Sales Challenge. On October 14, 2013, Victaulic representatives came to campus to visit with students interested in the Victaulic Sales Challenge. The students learned a bit about the company and the culture, and then focused on the details of the sales competition scenario that would be used. It was very exciting to learn about the products and participate in demos! On November 5, an all campus reception was held so that Victaulic reps and students could “Meet and Greet”. The next day, November 6, the long-awaited Victaulic Sales Challenge was conducted. This was “the big day” when students came to the Center for Professional Selling to role play their sales call in front of Victaulic reps. The scenario revolved around participants having to sell Quickvic 107 to a mechanical contractor who was currently working on a project to build a high school in Lafayette. Students had to really understand the needs of the client and then be able to convey the value that Quickvic 107 provides to the particular customer over other pipe-joining solutions. Participants did a fabulous job of building rapport, probing, and then presenting the features/advantages/benefits!

To end this memorable event, a formal Awards Banquet was held at the John Purdue Room in Marriott Hall. This was the perfect atmosphere for Victaulic reps to converse with students and give feedback to the participants as well as share some motivational stories. The food was delicious and the dessert blew everybody's mind (Bananas Foster a la Flambeau! Every student received a certificate for participating and then the awards were given out to the winners:

1st place: Kaelyn Shabaz
2nd place: Jobe Thompson
3rd place: Shash Natarajan
Honorable Mentions: Jose Mejia, Colin McGraw, Matt O'Bannon

RBI National Sales Challenge

The RBI National Sales Challenge held Nov 13-15 at William Paterson University in N.J. Purdue student competitors were Matt Cooley (SELL, May ’14) and Kyle Cyr (SELL, May ’14).

In the Overall Team Scores, Purdue placed in the Top 10 at 6th place out of 35 different competing universities. Along with that, Matt Cooley was a finalist for the Speed Selling portion of the competition and he placed in the Top 10.

Beyond the two role play and speed selling competition, Matt & Kyle networked, attended multiple professional development sessions and arranged interviews with corporate sponsors while there. It was a productive 3 days.

An overview of the results can be seen here.