University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire marketing student Lindsey Zastrow, a senior from Green Bay, took first place in the service category of the National Collegiate Sales Competition held March 17-18, at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. Zastrow, who placed 4th in the competition overall, was less than one point away from competing in the championship round.
The UW-Eau Claire team placed sixth nationally, beating teams from such schools as Babson College , Baylor University, Harvard, Purdue , Texas State University and University of Houston . The team consisted of Zastrow and senior John Kyriagis, Plymouth, Minn., as individual competitors, with seniors Katie Anderson, Oakdale , Minn., and Brandon Hall, Wausau, serving as alternates and support team. LaNette Flunker, senior lecturer in management and marketing, is the faculty coach for the UW-Eau Claire team.
The NCSC involves selling two different products: a good and a service. Students compete individually and each competitor must sell both products - one during each of the first two rounds of competition. Students with the top scores in each category after the preliminary rounds receive awards. The three students with the top combined scores (product and service) then go on to the championship round. The cumulative score of all team members determine the team ranking, with awards going to the top ten teams.
Contestants are evaluated on approach and rapport, needs identification, presentation, handling of objections, closing and communication skills.
Corporate sponsors participate as buyers and judges for the role-plays.
Zastrow said she thought t he networking opportunities available through the NCSC were by far the most beneficial part of the whole experience.
"The event brought together employers looking to hire new sales reps and interested students with sales experience," said Zastrow."A great combination if you ask me! It resulted in several interviews for all of us and a job offer for both John and myself. I have also been contacted by several companies after the event, and I plan on exploring every opportunity before making any career decisions."
Corporate Sponsors of the UW-Eau Claire team include Hormel Foods Corporation; Cintas Corporation; Bowen Medical Services, Inc.; UPS; Leinenkugel Brewing Co.; Realityworks, Inc.; Takeda Pharmaceuticals; and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
- UW-Eau Claire News Bureau