Student wins Ball State sales competition

After hours of sales pitching and role playing, researching companies and preparing flyers and brochures for a mock interview, senior Mark Gustin came out on top at the Ball State University Regional Sales Competition.

When Gustin found out that he was the overall winner at the competition, he said he was speechless.

The Pi Sigma Epsilon President and CM Life advertising representative competed against 11 other schools, including Purdue University, Indiana University, University of Toledo, University of Louisville, Ball State University, and the University of Cincinnati, along with other sales students from CMU.

"Adam London and I had the top two scores after the first round, but, unfortunately due to the rules of the competition, only one student from each school could move on to the second round," Gustin said. "I would have loved to fight it out to the end with Adam, because we are both so competitive."

Gustin prepared for the competition by doing "role plays" of the sales calls that round one of the competition would entail, and he also researched the company that he had been given (ADT) and he also did research on the "buyer" he would be giving the sales call too (MSBS Online). He researched these companies until he "knew them like the back of (his) hand."

Ken Cherry, assistant professor of marketing and professional sales, started up the professional sales program in 2009 and has been preparing the students for success in their field. Cherry set up the role plays for students, like Gustin and London, where he played the buyer and they video taped the sales call so that students could learn from their practice run.

Since Cherry and his professional sales students have been involved in the competitions, they have been the school to beat, Cherry said. Students from CMU have been in the top five at nationals in the last five years, helping make it the top school in 2010.

Gustin kept the winning streak going with his win at Ball State.

"To represent the university was exhilarating," Gustin said. "This win made all the sacrifice worth it"


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