Sales competition – an opportunity to strengthen skills

Submitted by Anna Rzewnicki on Friday Oct 23, 2015.

Andrew Giles, a Poole College senior in business administration, recently returned from the national Federated Insurance Sales Competition hosted by the American Marketing Association student chapter at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Giles, who said he is “a competitive person pursuing a career in sales,” qualified for the national competition after winning a regional round held in Raleigh earlier this semester. He had received third place in the regional competition last year. “I decided to do the contest (this year) because I did it last year and it was a lot of fun,” he said.

Speaking of the local competition, he said, “It was definitely a fun and rewarding experience. It is a way to get real world experience and compete with your friends while creating a great relationship with the Federated sales representative. I would encourage anyone interested in sales to take advantage of any role play they can because it gives you a good look at what it's really like to be in sales.”

While he did not win in the national competition this month, Giles said “It was still a great experience. It was a great opportunity to practice role playing. I was forced to network because I did not know a single person over there and I went by myself. I also learned that everyone should take advantage of any opportunity such as this because it allows you to do things that you wouldn't normally do and gives you things to talk about in interviews.”

While at the national conference, Giles attended sessions on personal branding, LinkedIn strategy and Google analytics.

The competition itself included playing the role of an insurance salesperson making a sales call to a local car dealership, to sell a commercial insurance policy for the coming year. The judging metrics included the full range of steps integral to personal selling, from the opening greeting to knowledge of the product, alignment with customer’s needs and presentation, closing and follow-up communications.

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