Thanks in part to two $50,000 corporate donor gifts to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation, business students in the upper Midwest will be able to participate in a sales competition to be held by the College of Business at UW-Eau Claire Nov. 15-17.
The Great Northwoods Sales Warm-Up, supported by Hormel Foods and Cintas Corp., is a development opportunity for students interested in sales as a career.
"We're building this competition based upon our experience as competitors for the last five years at the national sales competition," said Robert Erffmeyer, director of UW-Eau Claire's MBA program and one of the coordinators of the sales competition. "We are grateful to Hormel and Cintas for helping us give students throughout the upper Midwest a venue to hone their selling skills, get some feedback from sales professionals and prepare for the national sales competition in March."
At the fall competition students will do two 20-minute sales presentations, one for a product and one for a service. The presentations will be evaluated by a panel of sales professionals who will view the presentation via a cablecast at a remote location. Students will receive evaluation sheets, compact discs of their presentations and a half hour with the one of judges reviewing their sales performance.
Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three competitors. The best overall salesperson will receive a $1,500 prize, first runner-up $1,000 and second runner-up $750. A trophy and a $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to the college with the highest total team score. Faculty will be awarded $500 prizes based on the best product sales scenario, the best service sales scenario and the grand champion sales scenario.
Students also will have an opportunity to participate in a job fair and professional development workshops. There will be time for networking at a reception Thursday night, a dinner Friday night and an awards banquet on Saturday.
In addition to the two major sponsors, Hormel and Cintas, the competition also has sponsorship from Enterprise Rental-A-Car, Larson Companies, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network and Silver Spring Gardens Inc.
There is a $100 registration fee for each contestant. Nonparticipating students can attend for a small fee. The sponsorships allow UW-Eau Claire to underwrite food, lodging and travel for faculty and students attending the event.