First Annual Sales Competition Shows COB Students Success
By Laura Cavil, Gabbie Johnson, Peter Matzek, Rich Morgan
Eau Claire, WI—On the 16th and 17th of November, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire sales contestants left their mark of excellence on the first Annual UW-Eau Claire Great Northwoods Regional Sales Warm-Up with a clean sweep. Blugold contestants filled the top three individual seats, and the judges named UW-Eau Claire the best overall team earning a $1,000 scholarship and trophy for its efforts.
The three regional competition winners were awarded prizes for their achievements and will attend the National Collegiate Sales Competition next spring. The top contestant, Heather Maul, a senior mass communications major, earned the title of Best Sales Person and received $1,500 for her achievement. Garrett Ullom, a senior professional sales and marketing major followed in second place and was awarded $1,000 for his performance. Senior marketing major Jenna Weber came in third and received $750.
Weber expressed her joy after participating in the competition. “Being in the sales competition was one of the highlights of my college career,” she said. “The competition was an amazing experience, and I am very thankful I was able to be a part of it.”
For the past five years, the UW-Eau Claire hosted a local sales competition for its students. This year a several College of Business faculty decided to transform the local competition into a regional collegiate sales competition. Robert Erffmeyer and LaNette Flunker, chief coordinators, thought that the competition would be a great opportunity to warm-up the students’ skills for the national sales competition. Moreover, 49 participants from eight Midwestern schools registered for the two-day event. Eleven of the contestants represented the College of Business.
Erffmeyer, one of the event originators and organizers, said, “The sales competition is a great learning experience, and the competitors received critiques on their presentations which enriched the learning experience.”
Each contestant delivered two 20-minute sales pitches to an individual buyer. The presentations were recorded, allowing a panel of three judges to view, evaluate, and critique the recordings on such aspects as the approach, product/service presentation and effectiveness of the individual’s communication skills. The top three selected contestants then competed in a championship round to qualify for the national competition.
UW-Eau Claire will send its top four finalists to the National Sales Competition at Kennesaw University in Kennesaw, Georgia.
In addition, Flunker identified benefits of hosting the competition.
“We are the only Wisconsin school to participate in the national competition,” she said. “ We want to show employers that UW-Eau Claire has a business program that works and adequately prepares its students for sales and marketing positions.”
The first annual competition proved to be a learning experience that encouraged students to develop their knowledge and skills further. In addition, both the judges and customers were all corporate volunteers who work directly in sales. Heidi Accola, senior marketing and entrepreneurship major, hinted this being a benefit.
“One reason I participated in the competition is because I thought it would be a fun learning experience,” She said. “The experience was absolutely awesome, and I would definitely participate in the contest again if I had the opportunity.”
UW-Eau Claire sales contestant, Charles W. Lymangood, said that the team spent a lot of time preparing for the competition. However when it came to the actual competition, Lymangood got a lot out of it, noticing things he didn’t see before.
“I was looking at myself, and there were many things that I did not even think about until I saw the recorded segments of my two 20-minute presentations,” he said. “ As a result, I observed flaws in both my non-verbal and oral communication skills. The competition was definitely an eye-opening experience.”
Laura Cavil, far left, is a senior marketing major from Green Bay, WI. Gabbie Johnson, left, is a senior accounting major from Eagan, MN. Peter Metzek, right, is a junior accounting major from Pine Island, MN. Rich Morgan, far right, is a senior marketing major from Eau Claire, WI. They wrote this article for their BCOM Advanced Business Writing class.