Written by Brent Fritzemeier
Helen Dinkel, a Kansas State University junior in marketing from Leawood, won the Overall Champion Award at the 2014 RBI National Sales Challenge at William Paterson University, Wayne, New Jersey.
The competition, which took place over three days, saw more than 80 students from 42 different colleges from around North America and Europe compete for the top prize. Students competed in several events, including sales call role-playing scenarios and speed selling.
“Helen spent a great deal of time preparing and certainly deserves this win,” said Dawn Deeter, director of the National Strategic Selling Institute in the Kansas State University College of Business Administration. “This was her first national sales competition, so to bring home a win against such tough competition is incredibly impressive.”
In addition to the Overall Champion Award, Dinkel took first place in the sales role play competition and second place in the rapport building event. Fellow K-State Sales Cat Team member Ryan Knight, a senior in marketing from Overland Park, also took part in the competition.
The win marks the second time this year that a member of the Sales Cat Team has taken home top honors at a national sales competition. In October, Austin Robisch, a senior in management information systems from Overland Park, won the title of Sales Athlete of the Year at the Northern Illinois University Sales Decathlon.
“I’m so proud of our sales team members,” Deeter said. “Wins like these help bring recognition to what we are doing at K-State to prepare students for successful and fulfilling careers in sales.”
The Sales Cat Team differs from many other universities in preparing for sales competitions by not using scripts, which Deeter says can result in rather unrealistic sales calls. Instead, the Kansas State University sales program works with the students to develop strong overall selling skills and product knowledge, and then lets the students deal with each call as they would in the real world — without a script — better preparing them for their sales careers after college.
In addition to competing as part of the K-State Sales Cat Team, Dinkel and Robisch are earning a certificate in professional strategic selling from the Kansas State University National Strategic Selling Institute. The certificate program is open to all majors at the university, and allows students to distinguish themselves by demonstrating professionalism and competency in selling skills.