Naveen Jindal School of Management senior marketing majors Sarah Kienle and Monica Raofpur sold the judges on their salesmanship skills when they competed at the 2012-2013 World Collegiate Sales Open (WCSO) finals recently at Northern Illinois University. Kienle placed fifth overall in the contest, and Raofpur placed ninth.
The pair advanced through three elimination rounds in a field that had started with more than 120 entrants last fall. Twenty finalists earned an expense-paid trip to the championship, held late last month on NIU’s DeKalb campus. Finalists were required to leave a voicemail, deliver two "elevator pitches" while riding in a working elevator, sell themselves at a "reverse job fair" and do at least two role-plays in an effort to close a business-to-business sale.
Kienle placed second in the elevator pitch, third in the appointment-call challenge and third in the telephone-sales call. Raofpur tied for third place at the reverse job fair, where, instead of selling goods or services, contestants pitched their own skills and polish.
Led by Dr. Howard Dover, a JSOM alumnus who earned a PhD in management sciences in 2008, the new Professional Sales Concentration launched only last fall, and Dover credits Kienle and Raofpur’s exceptional commitment as one of the main factors in the program’s early competition success. "Their hard work," he said, "bolstered by their natural talent for the sales environment, really paid off."