Silver tongue helps student ace contest

By Jennifer Kang

A member of the Pi Sigma Epsilon chapter at Baylor will compete in a national selling competition in March 2012.

Dallas senior Sam Turtletaub won first place at the Pi Sigma Epsilon Atlantic Regional Conference’s Pro-Am Sell-a-Thon competition on Oct. 21 at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.

Since 1952, Pi Sigma Epsilon, the nation’s only professional business fraternity for men and women, has expanded from one university in Atlanta to more than 170 campuses nationwide. PSE is focused on assisting its members in developing sales and marketing skills. The organization offers opportunities such as national and regional conferences where students compete in a Pro-Am Sell-a-Thon competition, which emphasizes a business to business sales process based on personal relationships with the buyer.

Before the regional competition, Turtletaub was given an information packet to review and prepare for various activities in the two-day regional conference.

“I had to script up a role-play and then practice it a lot before I went. I practiced it with friends, teachers and whoever could play the buyer,” Turtletaub said. “There’s also a role-play voicemail, and so what I did was leave a voicemail for the person asking to set up an appointment. That’s real-life-scenario related.”

At the regional conference, Turtletaub studied to become Miller Heiman sales certified in order to compete during the conference. Miller Heiman, a sales performance company, does sales force training for major corporations, according to Anjuli Graunke, director of public relations at Pi Sigma Epsilon.

“Miller Heiman combined with Pi Sigma Epsilon so we could use their sales training for our student sales competition,” Graunke said. “So, Sam had a review of that training in the morning.”

Turtletaub was then matched with a professional sales person for a one-on-one coaching session, which lasted two hours. He also presented a 12-minute business-to-business mock sales call.

“He did a sales call featuring Fisherman’s Solution for Vector Marketing. Vector is one of the big sponsors for the sales competition, so the product Sam sold was their multi-functional tool,” Graunke said. “He was then evaluated by a panel of judges and they ended up selecting him as the winner of all the competitors for the weekend.”

Turtletaub said the conference was similar to the professional selling work force experience, and he was given the opportunity to learn different aspects of selling, such as conceptual selling, which focuses on ways to get the most out of the buyer and continue to have a relationship with them.

“It seemed like it was real-life related when we’re leaving the voicemail and actually going in for the role-play meeting,” Turtletaub said. “You’re actually pitching a product and trying to set up another meeting. … It’s like a sales process where you’re having your initial meeting and trying to set up another appointment with the buyer.”

Turtletaub has participated at other sales competitions, but this is the first for him to compete by himself and win first place.