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College of Business students make a difference for L.E. Phillips Career Development Center

| Carrie Ottum

Photo caption: UW-Eau Claire College of Business students in the spring “Advanced Sales Topics” course were engaged in a semesterlong project with the L.E. Phillips Career Development Center by helping them sell sponsorships. (Photo by Shane Opatz)

During the 2021 spring semester, College of Business students in the MKTG 490, “Advanced Sales Topics” course were engaged in a semesterlong project with the L.E. Phillips Career Development Center (CDC) by helping them sell sponsorships for their Annual Charity Golf Outing.

The initial goal was for the 35 students to each obtain $750 in sponsorships, which would have yielded a little over $23,000 in sponsorships for the event. Instead, students hit a “hole-in-one” by securing over $53,000 in sponsorships, more than double the original goal.

Students implemented real-world sales strategies by developing prospects lists, following up on leads, actively using customer relationship management (CRM) systems and closing sales. Another intent of the project was to help others in the community.

The outstanding goal was not met without obstacles. 

“One challenge the students faced was overcoming the fear of cold-calling potential sponsors with having no prior contact,” says Dr. Lenita Davis, associate professor of management and marketing, who teaches the course.  

Also, with COVID-19 impacting businesses’ profits, students had to sell the value and benefits of the business's participation in the event rather than simply ask for a donation.

UW-Eau Claire marketing students used creative strategies, such as sales scripts and approaches, to find prospective sponsors and supporters outside of family and friends.

The project is a long-standing partnership between the College of Business and the CDC.

"Dr. Davis was wonderful to work with. Collaborative efforts enhanced the students experience in advance sales by providing them with real sales account management opportunities.  The sales team's hard work raised over $53,000.00. This is how working together can make a difference,” says Angela Kjellberg, marketing coordinator with the L.E. Phillips CDC.

The CDC hosts the annual golf outing to raise money to provide individuals with disabilities and disadvantages with meaningful and appropriate vocational services, employment opportunities and support services throughout the community.

Students in the course included Mitchell Banken, Catie Behr, Reid Berndt, Zachary Boisen, Ian Brittain, Michael Coyne, Brian Eckle, James Furey, Gary Garvin, Lucas Hackner, Nic Harris, Nick Herlitzka, Ryan Jandernoa, Sydney Kratochwilll, Jordan Lacey, Andrew, LaQua, Kelly McNaughton, Zachary Miller, Alexander Olson, Matt Perron, Rich Quinton, John Rechner, Hunter Ricklefs, Paige Robling, Brittany Schober, Rachel Stegge, Dorothy Stevens, Joe Swanson, Alyssa Thorne, Johnathan Tomasoski, John Turner, Dalton Weller, Samantha Wojnowiak and Lizzy Wolterman.

“The students from this year left behind an additional 20 prospects that students in next year's class can follow up on to reach their quotas,” Davis says. “We will use the success of this year to motivate subsequent classes.”