By: Shannon Francolini, Editor-In-Chief
North of New Jersey and east of Ohio, Plymouth State University remains the largest and nationally recognized award-winning sales program in New England. Competing in sales competitions all year-round, the PSU Sales program works diligently to prepare sales students for success after college. Students learn about the consultative sales process as well as leadership mechanisms to ultimately lead sales organizations in the future. PSU officials explain the benefits the Sales program offers, “to build relationships and solve problems for prospective customers. Sales isn’t about convincing someone of something; it’s about understanding the complexities of business and offering solutions. Advanced sales classes offer content equal to the first year of corporate sales training.” The type of training and intense learning that occurs at Plymouth State prepares students for successful careers.
One of many experiential learning activities involved students applying their sales skills practicing with a BOT using AI programmed to answer 3,000 questions. This practice culminates in a national collegiate sales competition in which PSU placed 3rd. Over 2,300 students from 59 colleges and universities completed over 60,000 roleplays from all over the U.S, Canada, Asia, Europe, India, and Africa. For the past 2 semesters, PSU had 3 students place in the top 10, and also had the overall winner. This fall, it was Patrick Stanley 22’, placing 1st in this difficult competition is both a challenge to compete and requires a lot of time and dedication. Patrick shares how “After concluding Sales I, I am way more confident in my abilities as a businessman and as a person in general. I had my eyes opened to the potential of a career in sales and how I could be capable of being successful, when beforehand I wasn’t so sure.” Patrick continues to give tribute to Professor Bob Nadeau as “a great mentor to all of us and helped me achieve the highest score in the country this semester for our RNMKRS sales competition.” Students equally speak highly of the entire faculty in the Sales program as attentive, engaging, motivating, and challenging in the best of ways.
Dylan Durazzano, PSU Class of 2022, describes the Sales program as the perfect “opportunity for students to build connections with corporate partners to find career paths after graduation and better their overall communication skills.” All year long the Sales program hosts corporate partners to come share their knowledge with PSU students. Whether they are a guest speaker in the classroom, hosting a networking event, or judging students’ in a sales competition or elevator pitch presentations, the corporate partners play a critical role in the success of PSU students. These networking events provide students with the opportunity to make connections, but and it allows for students to showcase themselves and their work in a unique advantage many other universities don’t get the opportunity to experience. For example, on Nov 30 , we attended a sales career and networking event where over 175 students met 15 corporate executives in small groups of 8 to 10 students. As a result, we made personal contacts and connected with them on LinkedIn for future internship and career opportunities.
Personally for me the Sales program taught me to have confidence especially in the moments I doubt myself most. Experienced in Communication, I thought that the exercises we practice in class would come to me so easily. Not only did I underestimate myself, but I underestimated the time and dedication it takes to be a successful sales or business partner. Sales is not just about closing the deal and making the money, it goes a lot deeper than a professional appearance to win the customer over. Professional Sales is about passion and grit, Do you have what it takes? To continue to push yourself no matter how many jobs turn you down, to pick up the phone despite the amount of customers that never answer, or to travel no matter the distance if that’s what the job requires? Being a successful salesperson goes beyond what we are taught in the classroom, it has to be found within. This year I found my strength to accept criticism, to not give up after the first failure, and to continuously try every day to be a better person than yesterday, and I owe it all to the Sales program here at PSU.