April 2, 2012



Students to practice sales skills during K-State Sales Week

By Olivia Blanco

Students in the College of Business Administration are learning to sell, and during Sales Week they will be able to practice their skills in competition and learn from others in a series of workshops.

Sales Week will be April 2-5 in the K-State Alumni Center. It includes a series of professional development workshops, a selling competition and a keynote address. This is the first Sales Week in the college; it is sponsored by the National Strategic Selling Institute in the department of marketing.

"We designed K-State Sales Week to generate student awareness about the numerous exciting opportunities available in sales careers,” said Dawn Deeter-Schmelz, J.J. Vanier distinguished chair in relational selling, director of the National Strategic Selling Institute and professor of marketing.

"Through the Victaulic Sales Invitational, a sales competition, students can practice their selling skills and receive valuable feedback from practicing salespeople and sales managers who are serving as our judges," said Deeter-Schmelz. “Similarly our professional development workshops will help students hone their skills and network with top sales professionals from across the country. Finally, we are having a career fair where students can meet with employers about jobs and internships."

Sales Week will start with a keynote address by David Slain Sr., vice president and chief operating office of Inland Label and Marketing Services, at 10:30 a.m. today in the Hemisphere Room at Hale Library.

The Victaulic Sales Invitational, April 3-5, is open to students at K-State as well as sales teams from regional universities. Teams from Oklahoma State University and Fort Hayes State University are expected to compete. The competition includes a selling role play, and cash prices will total $500.

The professional development workshops are as follows:

April 3

  • 8:05-9:20 a.m., Kurt Auleta, Security Benefit, "Conducting Successful Telephone Sales Calls."
  • 9:30-10:45 a.m., Jason C. Reid, Saepio Technologies, Inc., "The Value Proposition and the Complex Sale – Networking for Success."
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m., Lance Trammell, Northwestern Mutual – "A Day in the Life of a Financial Representative."
  • 1:05-2:20 p.m., Andrew Watters, Northwestern Mutual, "Entrepreneurial Sales Careers."
  • 2:30-3:45 p.m., Jason Schaffer, TEK Systems, "Picking the Sales Job to Match your Skills."
  • 3:55 - 5:10 p.m., Kyra Dreiling, GTM, "Face-to-Face Customer Service and Upselling."

April 4

  • 10:30-11:20 a.m., Jake Gillen of Tom James, "Dressing for Business: Business Professional and Business Casual."
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m., D.C. Hackerott, Edward Jones, "Career Advice for Women in Sales."
  • 1:30-2:20 p.m., Austin Graham, Edward Jones, "Develop Your Prospecting Skills."
  • 2:30-3:20 p.m., Alan Johnson, Hormel,  "Moving to a New Town – How to Make Relocation Successful."
  • 3:30-4:20 p.m., Target.

Alex Sáyago, director of Ag & Turf Corporate Business Division and government sales for John Deere, will wrap up the week with a lecture at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, April 5, followed by the awards luncheon.

"The National Strategic Selling Institute will hold this event annually at K-State; our goal is to create a bridge for our students into the business community," Deeter-Schmelz said. "We hope the event will help change students' perception about sales. Sales professionals play an important role in any organization by creating value for both their employers and their customers."

In addition to the activities, the Sales Advisory Board will meet for the first time on April 2.

The National Strategic Selling Institute is an initiative of the College of Business Administration and run from the department of marketing. The initiative focuses on the study and practice of relationship selling.