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Competition gives hands-on experience

March 27, 2003

By Marquita Ford

The National Collegiate Sales competition will take place Friday and Saturday in Kennesaw, Ga. The contest moves from its traditional home at Baylor to the Kennesaw State University campus.

This year, 28 teams from colleges and universities throughout the Unites States and Mexico are participating in what is being dubbed as the 'World Series of Sales.'

The event will be co-sponsored by KSU's Coles College of Business and Baylor's Hankamer School of Business.

KSU sales professor and founder of the competition, Terry Loe, said he considers this competition an opportunity for large companies to find new talent in the area of sales.

'I played in college baseball tournaments around the country and was also involved in professional scouting camps,' Loe said in a press release. 'I thought, 'Wouldn't it be great if schools held a competition to give business school students that same kind of experience.''

The National Collegiate Sales Competition is the only competition of its kind.

In past competitions, up to 75 percent of the participating students have received employment offers from the competition's sponsors. Many of the sponsors said they feel the students' knowledge of the sales process and willingness to enter the field of sales sets them apart from their peers.

Students participating in the competition will gain hands-on experience in selling both products and services.

'Hands-on learning is important,' said Dr. William Weeks, a marketing professor and director of Hankamer's Professional Selling Center. 'This competition is a great opportunity for students to actually put theory into practice.'

During the competition students will make one-on-one sales presentations to volunteers under the watchful eye of hidden cameras. The cameras allow the judges and other contestants to view a live version of the student seller's performance in a lecture hall, which is offset from the competition area.

The sponsors and judges consist of 50 executive representatives from some of the largest companies in the United States including IBM, Edward Jones, Kimberly-Clark and Liberty Mutual. Paul Lopez, vice president of HomeBanc Executive, will be the keynote speaker.