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Baylor's Professional Selling Program Announces Winners of Business Sell-Off Competition

Feb. 14, 2014

Back row, from left to right: Taylor Dixon, Morgan Stringer, and Anna See. Front row, from left to right:David McGee, Robert McCandlish, and Oscar Velasquez (Courtesy of the Center for Professional Selling)

Baylor University's Center for Professional Selling announced the winners of the 2014 Baylor Business Sell-Off (BBSO) Competition. This year's competition consisted of 49 competitors who met face-to-face with 11 corporate buyers.

Competitors engaged in 20-minute conversations with business professionals in realistic sales situations, and a group of 76 judges from around the country evaluated the field of competitors.

This was the first BBSO Competition for Robert McCandish, this year's winner. McCandish, a junior Professional Selling major from Westminster, Colo., credited early and intense preparation for his success.

"Starting early gave me the confidence that I needed before I walked into the room," McCandlish said. "I learned a lot about myself and about sales through my planning. I walked into the room excited about the opportunity to have a conversation with a business person and walked out of the room just as excited because I enjoyed myself."

Competing and succeeding in the BBSO this year was a personal victory for McCandish because it solidified his career choice.

"I always knew I would enjoy sales; now, I know I can be excellent at sales as well," he said.

Professional Selling major, senior Morgan Stringer, earned second place in this year's competition.

"Last year's BBSO was my first experience in a role play or sales competition. I was unprepared, and performed very poorly. It was a wake-up call that I needed to work harder and that sales is a learned skill," Stringer, who is from Dallas, said. "This year's result is an honor and a testament to working hard."

Stringer credited his success this year to being incredibly focused on the buyer. Corporate executives serve as live buyers in the sales competition.

"This year I knew the product and the buyer's company much better, and I focused more on what the buyer needed than what I wanted to accomplish...What I think separated me from the pack was that I asked the buyer to set the agenda and to tell me what was important to him."

3M Strategic Accounts Manager Phil Redding, based in San Antonio, Texas, played the role of one of the corporate buyers.

"I'm learning just as much as I'm giving back by participating in the BBSO," Redding said.

He said the BBSO as provides tremendous value to students, as well as sales organizations.

"The more students who can be prepared and exposed to real-life sales situations before they truly hit the real world, the better off they will be," said Redding. "I tell my company that the students going through Baylor's ProSales program are a minimum of three years ahead of anyone else joining the company without that experience. That's how highly valuable this program is. For the new salesperson and the company, it's a win-win."

The top six finishers in this year's competition are Robert McCandlish, Morgan Stringer, David McGee, Anna See, Taylor Dixon and Oscar Velasquez.

"This year marks a clear point in the history of the BBSO," Andrea Dixon, executive director of the ProSales program, said. "We have doubled the size of the competition over the past two years. With just shy of 50 competitors, the BBSO is now larger than many of the external sales competitions in which Baylor participates."

Dedicated to excellence in sales education and based in the university's Hankamer School of Business, the Center for Professional Selling is recognized as one of the premier global information resources for the sales profession. For more information on the Center for Professional Selling, click here.

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