To give you a bit of background, a sales competition consists of a timed role-play where I act as a seller having a conversation with a buyer (played by a professional salesperson) and am judged by a panel. This is my favorite type of competition and I have been quite successful in every one I have entered. This past week however, I competed with a partner in a sales management case competition.
It was my first time in this sort of competition where we were given a case in the morning and had to present the very next day. The case includes information about a company and their sales force (or in this case, their lack of sales force) and we have to act as third party consultants making a presentation to management with our recommendations for improvements and how we would address issues.
The ensuing 24-hours from getting the case to presenting saw my partner and I holed up in our hotel room with papers everywhere, ideas flying, and focused effort on getting this presentation ready in time. When 2am rolled around we called it a night and collapsed into bed so we would have some sleep before getting in front of the judges.
My partner Brian and I were pleased with our performance, although we weren’t in the top 8 finalists out of over 40 competing teams. This gave me time to practice for a competition where I was a finalist: speed selling.
The speed selling competition required competitors to make 90 second elevator pitches explaining to 5 companies why we would be a good fit for their organization and how we demonstrated characteristics that would be well matched with the role they were hiring for. Out of over 200 competitors I was in the top 10, meaning I would have to go to the final round and present my elevator pitch in front of the hundreds of people attending the competition.
The speed selling competition was the one I was least prepared for (read: I practiced for 30 minutes before competing), but it was awesome to go to the finals and to be recognized for my selling ability. Not competing in the role-play portion was strange and I certainly missed it (my professor said he’d already taken me to more than my fair share haha), but overall the week was a success.
It certainly helped that the competition was in sunny Orlando (although I was stuck in a hotel room for most of the time…) and it was a good experience to test myself outside of role-playing. Really, the highlight of the week came at the very end when I got to see the new Harry Potter addition to Universal Studios.
This story of how I ultimately made my way to Harry Potter World has a few bumps in the road. When we got our tickets from the people running the competition, my partner Brian and I decided to skip out on the awards ceremony to maximize our time in the park. When we arrived, however, we found that the tickets were not good until 2pm and the park was closing at 5pm. Obviously three hours in Harry Potter World is not sufficient, so we went to guest services to solve the issue. Sixty bucks and a half hour later we were on our way to Harry Potter World and oh my goodness was it magical!
The level of detail and intricacies in every aspect of the area was incredible. The ride in Gringotts was so fun and I could have spent the entire time wandering around. If you get the chance to go make sure you take your time walking around and find Knockturn Alley. There are secrets hidden everywhere if you have your eyes open.
This marks the end of a very rewarding and challenging era of competitions for little old me. While it is sad to leave my sales competition days behind, I can now look forward to getting out into the real world of sales after graduation and testing how the abilities and skills I built throughout college apply!
How do you deal with the end of activities you love?