By Kansas State University News and Editorial Services
Taking what they learned in the classroom, sales students in Kansas State University’s College of Business Administration have raised more than $11,000 and will use their more than $5,000 in profits for scholarships, student travel and sales program enhancements.
The students planned, organized and made sales calls for the recent National Strategic Selling Institute Benefit Auction, an event that featured donated items from alumni and friends of the college to benefit the institute.
The auction allowed students in the Advanced Sales class to learn about territory management, prospecting, phone sales and the sales process in a real-world setting. The students worked together to find items for the auction and sell tickets to the event.
“We had the chance to engage in real-life sales in the form of cold-calling,” said Andrea Fouts, May 2013 bachelor’s graduate in marketing and Spanish, Ottawa, and one of the students who participated in organizing the auction. “We had to deliver our sales story like for any product or service, from the rapport building and needs analysis to overcoming objections and closing. Now I feel better prepared to handle sales calls in the future.”
To develop future sales stars, the National Strategic Selling Institute uses an innovative curriculum, advanced facilities and professional development activities combined with real-world experiences. Realistic experiences such as the benefit auction prepare students for their careers after college, said Dawn Deeter, institute director, professor of marketing and the university’s J.J. Vanier distinguished chair in relational selling.
“Research shows that students graduating from university sales programs tend to stay in their first sales job longer and produce more revenue faster than their peers who have not graduated from these programs,” Deeter said.
The auction was a semiformal dinner with musical entertainment by Steven Hodge and auctioneer services by Johnson, Kan.-based The Canny Team. Stan Weber, an alumnus of the College of Business Administration and color analyst for Wildcat athletics, was the keynote speaker. The National Strategic Selling Institute has scheduled next year’s Benefit Auction for April 24, 2014.The National Strategic Selling Institute is one of the initiatives in the College of Business Administration. A certificate in sales, open to students in all majors, is currently in development.
Along with Fouts, students in the class included:
Tyler Maneth, senior in marketing, Andover; Morgan Lietzen, senior in marketing, Bonner Springs; Sean Smith, senior in marketing, Derby.
From Greater Kansas City: Sammie Hodge, May 2013 bachelor’s graduate in marketing, Kansas City, Kan.; Kelley Kusnierz, May 2013 bachelor’s graduate in marketing, Kansas City, Mo.; Lee Beck, May 2013 bachelor’s graduate in marketing, Olathe; Dan Erwin, May 2013 bachelor’s graduate marketing, and Kevin Ritz, senior in management, both from Overland Park.
Taolor Freeman, senior in marketing, Manhattan; Eric Zwygart, senior in marketing, Meriden; and Kayla Grafel, May 2013 bachelor’s graduate in marketing, Natoma.
From out of state: Sarah Mershon, junior in marketing, Flower Mound, Texas.
Dawn Deeter-Schmelz with the students of the Advanced Selling class