The event was designed to place students in the seller’s role of pitching a product or idea to potential clients. The exercise provided business students with valuable sales experience presenting in front of a panel of highly successful business leaders and sales associates.
The judges panel included: Kimberly Martin, Regional Recruiting Manager for Enterprise; Mike Rossi, Director of Marketing at Crexendo; Michele Chapman, University Recruiting Specialist for ADP; Zack Swire, president of SWIRE; and the one and only Steven G. Mihaylo, CEO of Crexendo.
There were a few workshops prior to the event such as mock sales exercises to get the students prepared ahead of time with their pitch. They were critiqued and advised of ways to improve before presenting in front of the panel. But once they were behind the podium on stage speaking to the audience, their selling skills were put to the test.
Victor Nunez, president of ENT, was the moderator of the event and introduced each sales pitch presenter. He said it was a great experience for students to get involved and pitch their ideas to a successful panel because, “if we ever have a sales job where we start off at entry level, we might have to sell some type of product.”
Five presenters made their pitches around either how to franchise a Chipotle or a Subway, or revolutionize the bidet.
The top three pitches that placed were awarded with a certificate. All five participants received constructive feedback from the judges.
First place went to business administration major David Ludden, second place went to business major Kevin Chen, and third place went to entrepreneurship and marketing major Anthony Delos Santos.
Chen, being just a freshman, chose to be comical with his product because he thought the other contestants were going to be more serious. His electronic bidet earned him a respectable second place finish.
“When you sell things it doesn’t always have to be serious,” said Chen. “You’re more comfortable buying something when you’re … laughing.”
Those who attended, whether they participated or were just cheering from the sidelines, learned the importance of maintaining composure when not knowing the answer to something a customer was asking. A good rule of thumb is to simply reply, “That’s a great question. I’ll have to get back to you on that.”
Steven Mihaylo gave his final advice to the participants and spectators. He said that the presentations were great real world experience because this happens regularly in the workplace. He also proudly expressed to the audience that CSUF is doing great things, particularly the business school.
“Everyone that came, really got a treat, they did a great job and I’m real proud of them,” added Mihaylo.