WMU News

Sales and marketing team gets down to business

April 20, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Two Western Michigan University students learned a few tough lessons in business while landing high honors at the 2004 National Collegiate Sales Competition.

Sales and business marketing majors Ann Meyer and Alexi Mavrellis were chosen from among 10 WMU finalists to compete in the annual event, which was staged March 18-20 at Kennesaw State University near Atlanta. During the two-day competition, Meyer and Mavrellis made two sales calls, which tested their abilities to build rapport, determine client needs, make the pitch, handle objections and close the sale of one product and one service.

Overall, the WMU team placed fourth among the 32 universities in the competition, up a notch from their fifth-place finish in 2003. In addition, Meyer won first place for best service call and she ranked fifth among the 63 students in overall individual scores.

As part of the competition scenario, Mavrellis and Meyer put their skills to use for Kemp Farms, a hypothetical peach farm that needed to improve its operations. During their 20-minute presentation, the two worked to persuade a Kemp executive to buy a new contact management software system and UPS shipping services. Business professors and professionals judged them during a live video feed.

"This was one of the best experiences of my college career," said Meyer, a native of Marine, Ill. "The most challenging aspect was trying to become an expert on ACT! software and UPS in three weeks."

Meyer, who plans to work in sales and marketing at Thrifty Car Rental-one of the competition's sponsors-has always wanted to go into business. "As a kid, I even dressed up like a real estate agent for Halloween."

Her partner, Alexi Mavrellis, also was pleased with the opportunities the competition offered.

"The biggest prize was the networking,'" said the Ann Arbor, Mich. native. "Here we were in a place where we were surrounded by the top sales students in the country and had the ability to hear, share and learn from national sales managers from some pretty powerful companies."

"Both Ann and Alexi deserve to be commended for their hard work and dedication to the sales and business marketing program," says Dr. Steve Newell, associate professor in WMU's Haworth College of Business. For more information, call Newell at (269) 387-6166.

Media contact: Gail Towns, 269 387-8400, gail.towns@wmich.edu

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