Hometown connection: Hesston, Leawood, Overland Park and Shawnee, Kan.; and Lee's Summit, Mo.
News release prepared by: Olivia Blanco, 785-532-2753, oblanco@k-state.edu

Friday, Nov. 11, 2011

Making the team: Students from Kansas City area, Hesston win College of Business Administration's Edward Jones sales competition

MANHATTAN -- Posing as financial planners, Kansas State University students competed against one other in the Edward Jones Sales Competition.

Their job: to sell the company to potential customers. The goal: to be among the top five and earn a place on the Kansas State University Sales Competition Team. The team will compete in multiple sales competitions throughout the year, including the National Collegiate Sales Competition hosted by Kennesaw State University in March 2012.

The competition was sponsored by Edward Jones and the Relational Selling Initiative at the College of Business Administration. It was open to all of the university's undergraduate students regardless of their major. Representatives from Edward Jones and faculty in the marketing department judged their performances.

"We were absolutely thrilled by the level of talent, enthusiasm and professionalism exhibited by all of our contestants," said Dawn Deeter-Schmelz, professor and J.J. Vanier Distinguished Chair in Relational Selling and Marketing.

The top five students and members of the Kansas State University Sales Competition Team are:

Jeff Norris, junior in marketing, Hesston; Kyle Landau, senior in accounting, finance and marketing, Leawood; Megan Kirtland, junior in pre-law and marketing, Overland Park; and Rhett Henry, junior in marketing, Shawnee.

From out of state: Monica Klawuhn, senior in marketing, Lee's Summit, Mo.

"Dr. Deeter-Schmelz put in a tremendous amount of effort in making this a positive and successful event for everyone involved," said D.C. Hackerott, financial adviser at Edward Jones. "I was very impressed with the overall caliber of students in the competition. Their poise, professionalism and preparation were phenomenal. I hope that many of these students are willing to consider a career at Edward Jones. They obviously have what it takes to be successful."

The judges looked for students with the most proficiency in a sales situation. Each student received a role-play scenario outlining the details and guidelines to a sales call, then carried out the role of the sales associate while the buying role was filled by representatives from Edward Jones. Each sales call was recorded and reviewed by the judges at a later time.

"More than 40 students participated in this year's contest. We hope more students will become interested in a career in professional sales and participate in next fall's Edward Jones Sales Competition," Deeter-Schmelz said.