Baylor Business Sell Off aims to train students with real-life scenarios

By Madi Allen

Students gear up to compete in the Baylor Business Sell Off this Friday, a competition that allows students to improve their selling abilities by participating in a realistic selling scenario.

“The purpose of the Baylor Business Sell Off is to give our students experience in working and interacting with executives in any sales situation,” said Dr. Andrea Dixon, associate professor of marketing.

The Baylor Business Sell Off will take place in Hankamer School of Business.

Students are allotted 20 minutes to sell a product over the phone to a buyer. During this time, they must exemplify key selling strategies and are judged on their abilities, including their approach, service presentation, overcoming objections, communication skills and an ability to close.
The buyers and judges used for the scenarios are executives who volunteer to help with the competition. Feedback for the students comes from the Center for Professional Selling’s Corporate Partners.

“We have 78 outside executives who are judging and then every student will get feedback from four executives and two faculty members,” Dixon said.

The scenarios are used to challenge the competitors to rely on skills learned in the classroom.

“The student has to take that whole 20 minutes through a sales process and engage the buyer,” Dixon said. “We have students anywhere from a second-semester freshman all the way up to graduating seniors participating.”

The competition also allows students to see how they compare with other students.

Cincinnati, freshman Megan Williams is competing for the first time Friday.

“I signed up because I wanted to get experience young and get my feet wet,” Williams said.

Another participant, Rochester, Mass., junior Olivia Offringa, prefers to practice for the Baylor Business Sell Off by helping others prepare.

“When coaching you can see things other people do or don’t do and learn from them,” Offringa said. “That way you also get a deeper knowledge of the product and the process.”

Though Offringa is competing, her past experience with the competition helps her advise the newer competitors.

“The first time I did BBSO I had never done the role play before,” Offringa said. “I had older people help me, so I wanted to do that for others.”

The competition is meant to prepare students for any situation.

“I think it’s a lot of guessing and being prepared for anything, roll with the punches, cover different angles,” Offringa said.