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Students from Eight Midwestern Universities
to Attend Sales Competition at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: Nov. 9, 2007

Great Northwoods Sales Warm-Up logoEAU CLAIRE — Fifty students from marketing programs at eight Midwestern colleges and universities will gather at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Nov. 15-17 for the first Great Northwoods Sales Warm-Up, a regional sales competition put on by UW-Eau Claire's College of Business.

The event is modeled after the National Collegiate Sales Competition held every spring at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga. According to Bob Erffmeyer, professor of marketing and one of the competition coordinators, this regional competition will not only allow students to "warm up" for the Kennesaw State event in March, it is also a development event designed to increase student interest in sales as a profession. Students will hone their selling skills, network with sales professionals and recruiters, and meet other students who share their interest in sales.

Schools participating in the event include Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.), The College of St. Catherine (St. Paul, Minn.), Minnesota State University Mankato, Missouri Western State University (St. Joseph, Mo.), St. Cloud State University (St. Cloud, Minn.), University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, Iowa), UW-Eau Claire and UW-La Crosse.

All contestants at the Great Northwoods Sales Warm-Up will deliver two 20-minute sales presentations — one for a Hormel product, the other for a Cintas service — to an individual buyer. Sales calls will be evaluated by a panel of sales professionals who will view presentations via cablecast at a remote location. Students will receive their evaluation sheets, a CD of their presentations, and a half-hour debriefing session with one of the sales professionals who evaluated their performance.

Erffmeyer said UW-Eau Claire has held a fall warm-up event for its own students for a number of years, but this is the first time the College of Business organized the competition as a regional event with other schools.

"We thought it would make the event more exciting and more competitive for all the students involved," said Erffmeyer. "To make things even more exciting, this year we will be awarding cash prizes for best individual and team efforts."

Individual prizes will include $1,500 for best overall salesperson, sponsored by SUPERVALU; $1,000 for first runner-up, sponsored by Silver Spring Gardens; and $750 for second runner-up, sponsored by Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.

A trophy and a $1,000 scholarship, sponsored by Larson Companies, will be awarded to the college with the highest average score. The highest average score will be used because not all teams have the same number of participants.

In addition to the sales presentations, a job fair and professional development workshops are scheduled during the Warm-Up. All registered students will have the opportunity to submit their resumes for inclusion in a resume booklet that will be distributed to the sponsoring organizations. Sponsors will have informational tables and be available to meet with students on Friday and Saturday of the competition.

Students can also attend professional development workshops on networking, professional attire, time management and other topics of interest to sales professionals. Other events being planned include a Thursday night reception, a Friday night dinner sponsored by Liberty Mutual and the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Comedy Club featuring C. Willi Myles and a Saturday night awards banquet.

Cintas and Hormel Foods are major sponsors of the Great Northwoods Sales Warm-up. Other sponsors are Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Larson Companies Hotel Group, Liberty Mutual, Leinenkugel Brewing Co., M & I Bank, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, Silver Spring Gardens Inc., SUPERVALU and The Mohawk Group. These sponsoring companies provide the judges for the competition.

For more information and a complete schedule of events taking place in both Schneider Hall and Davies Center, visit the College of Business Web site or contact Gretchen Hutterli, dean of the College of Business, at 715-836-5930 or hutterga@uwec.edu.

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NW

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