Patrick Conway (Marketing senior with a minor in Sales Leadership) captured first place in the 7th annual All-MSU Sales Competition Friday, February 10 held at MSU’s Henry Center. The tournament-style competition attracted 60 student competitors and over 60 corporate personnel serving as role play judges and buyers. Students engaged in a series of 20-minute sales calls where they attempted to sell a HR/payroll service to a succession of fictitious small business owners by assessing the prospect’s needs, presenting a solution, and negotiating concerns. Competitors had to successfully advance through three rounds of progressively more difficult selling scenarios to reach the finals. Also reaching the finals were second-place finisherRachel Gallagher (Finance senior with a minor in Sales Leadership), third-place finisher Rachel Clark (Advertising junior with a minor in Sales Leadership), and fourth-place finisher Kylie Commet (Marketing senior with a minor in Sales Leadership).
As a result of their performance, all four finalists have been invited to represent MSU at the National Collegiate Sales Competition in Georgia in April, two as competitors and two as alternates. In addition, Conway won a $2000 scholarship, Gallagher won a $1000 scholarship, and Clark and Commet each won $500 scholarships for their placement in the competition.
Conway’s first place finish in 2017 follows a third-place finish in last year’s competition. “I realized that I didn’t need to try and be anyone else, but instead fine tune my personal approach. Everyone sells a little differently based on their personality and skill set, so this year I really focused on making the call a conversation and staying true to my selling style while also adjusting to the buyer. I learned the best way to practice is through role play, so I did mock sales scenarios with one of my previous teammates and polished certain areas of my call,” Conway said. “What excites me most about the national competition is the chance to compete against some of the most talented students in the country – some whom I was up against last year. There is no better feeling than representing Michigan State University and the faculty and partners who push us as sales students every day,” Conway said.
“All four students were very impressive, and in fact the field as a whole was quite strong” said Doug Hughes, interim chair of Marketing and United Shore Faculty Fellow in Sales Leadership. “The competition provides an excellent experiential opportunity for our students to showcase their talents and to further develop and refine their skills, and it is a great example of a very productive relationship between our sales program and the business community,” Hughes added. “We are grateful for the tremendous support of our corporate partners.” While open to all MSU students, the competition tends to be dominated by students pursuing a minor in Sales Leadership. “The Sales Leadership Minor is an outstanding accompaniment to any major,” said Hughes. “It provides students with important skills needed to excel in today’s highly competitive business environment.” More information about the Sales Leadership minor may be found at http://salesleader.msu.edu.