I had the privilege to be involved in supporting the Scottish Open Sales Competition 2017, this competition was open to 3rd & 4th year students at UK Universities. It was held at Abertay University Dundee, we had nearly 40 students from 7 universities, over 2 days.
Our aim was simple: “Many people have to be able to sell effectively; selling ideas, selling business plans to partners or investors, influencing stakeholders, gaining commitment from others, identifying the needs of others, building professional relationships & trust.This event will be a very valuable experience not only for students interested in pursuing Sales & Marketing careers, but also Entrepreneurs, Engineers, Scientists, Accountants.”
The students are tasked with delivering 6 x 2 mins Elevator pitches, essentially selling themselves, to a range of judges, then carry out 2 x 15 mins sales calls;
The first call is to identify the customer’s needs, armed with this information, the second call is to present a sales proposal to show how, together, these needs can be addressed.
To be around them and listen to their stories, see their emotions and begin to understand how they think was truly inspiring.
Given a voice, they showed all of us, how wonderful and colourful their lives are, their abstract & creative approach to sales and most of all, their bravery and resilience.
We need these people to be involved early on, businesses have much to learn and to offer.
Let’s integrate students into business during their degree course and use the experience to deliver more meaningful & relevant courses.
Give students a voice.