Students find place at sales competition

Four Baylor University Professional Selling students were selected to compete in the Ball State University Regional Sales Competition Ball State University Regional Sales Competition on Friday in Muncie, Ind. This competition will allow students to put into practice the knowledge and skills they have acquired in a real-world business setting.

Each student competing will be in a room with an executive and will have 20 minutes to engage the executive and ask good questions. The student must demonstrate the value of the product or service they are representing, said Dr. Andrea Dixon, executive director of the Center for Professional Selling and Keller Center for Research.

The Baylor students competing at Ball State are Temple sophomore David Shine; Eustis, Fla., junior Clayton Whitener; Waco junior Annah Smith; and Sugar Land senior Alicia Boczar. Dixon said these individuals have worked hard to prepare for this competition and have received excellent coaching along the way.

Senior marketing lecturer Chuck Fifield has a lot of experience in sales and has been coaching Baylor students for the last seven years. Along with coaching, Fifield teaches a professional selling course at Baylor, so he gets to know many of the students on a personal level prior to coaching them during their junior or senior year.

“My goal is to help students learn about professional selling and to prepare them for specific competitions,” Fifield said. “These competitions are a means to enable them to learn more about what they’ve chosen as a career.”

Fifield said the competitions greatly impact student development.

“I think the best educator is experience,” said Fifield, “and my role as a coach or mentor is to guide them through this experience in a way that is hopefully productive for their skill development.”

Shine said he has benefited greatly from Fifield’s mentorship. Shine said he spends every Tuesday and Thursday working with Fifield.

Dixon said Shine was selected as a sophomore, over other upperclassmen, to compete in this regional sales competition. He competed in the Baylor Business Sell-Off his freshman year and placed ninth. However, this will be his first time to compete in a regional competition.

“I just take what I’ve gotten from Fifield with great weight,” Shine said. “I expect to win. I have prepared to the best of my ability. I wouldn’t be going if I didn’t think I could.”

Boczar is also competing at Ball State. In preparation for the competition, she has met with a faculty coach twice a week as well as a student coach twice a week.

Boczar has participated in local competitions before, but this is her first time to compete regionally. She has also served as a student coach and had the opportunity to travel with the National Collegiate Sales Competition team last year and learn from them.

Baylor alumnus Jeremy Villarreal will be the onsite coach for this year’s Ball State competition. He reviews the material that will be covered in the competition and ensures students are prepared and mentally ready for what is ahead of them.

Villarreal said he gets to know the Baylor students for the first time upon getting to the competition. He has the chance to sit down and talk with them and make sure they are relaxed and prepared.

“Students are going to get as close to a real life selling experience as possible,” Villarreal said. “There is pressure to succeed and pressure in preparation.”