DURHAM, N.H. – Students from around New England will make their pitch to prominent business leaders in a sales case competition Saturday, April 12, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. co-hosted by the Sales Center of Excellence at the University of New Hampshire and the student-run UNH Sales Club.
More than 50 students will present a digital marketing strategy for a fictitious company that makes sports apparel. They will have 10 minutes to convince the judges their plan will increase revenue for the company that currently only uses a print catalog. While the students are vying for a $1,000 cash prize, it is the feedback they will receive that has Catherine Blake, executive director of the UNH Sales Center of Excellence, most excited.
“We have more than 20 executives willing to share their time and expertise with our students,” Blake said. “These are people from Northwestern Mutual, Dyn, 3M, Constant Contact, Prudential, IBM, and Oracle, to name just a few. The outpouring of support and offers to help our students has been inspiring. In what remains a competitive job market, this opportunity to interact one-on-one with professionals in the field is a great advantage.”
The Sales Center of Excellence at UNH is a professional development program for undergraduates that partners with the business community to leverage the disciplines of marketing, sales, business etiquette, and leadership for undergraduates interested in a career in sales leadership.
“Sales in the academic curriculum is a critical professional area today,” said Dave Albers, parent of a UNH student and sales operations manager in the consumer business for 3M. “It has advanced dramatically in image and stature as our customers expect more professionalism, more complexity in business decisions. It has become a functional competence not unlike engineering or accounting, and an event like this helps students see that first hand.”
In addition to the competition, there are several speakers scheduled throughout the day. Judith Bowman, an authority in the field of professional presence and corporate etiquette, will talk about the importance of building relationships and making a good first impression. DJ Haskins, a graduate of UNH and a partner at MicroArts Creative Agency, will address how to build a personal brand to increase sales; and Arnold Garron, dean of the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics at UNH, will speak about sales leadership as a parallel to his experience as a professional athlete with the NFL.
Registration is required: http://www.unhsalesclub.com/register/. There is no cost to participate but donations will be accepted by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editors: A photo from last year’s competition is available for download: http://www.unh.edu/news/releases/2014/04/images/sales-center-excellence-596.jpg
Caption: Greg Traquair, a UNH alumnus currently with Direct Capital, and Robert Frieling, managing partner of Northwestern Mutual, served as judges at last year’s sales case competition.