WCU marketing major takes first place at regional sales competition
12/18/2008 -

WCU professor Jim DeConinck helps Joe Hampton and Trevor Lambert prepare for the sales competition.

College of Business faculty member Jim DeConinck (left) and students Joe Hampton and Trevor Lambert fine-tune elements of Hampton's first-place sales presentation.


A marketing major from Western Carolina University’s College of Business recently captured first place in a regional sales competition, marking the first time a WCU student has earned the top honor in such a contest.

Joe Hampton, a senior from Raleigh, outperformed about 30 competitors from Ball State University, Purdue University and the University of Louisville at the Midwest Regional Sales Competition hosted by Ball State’s H.H. Gregg Center for Professional Selling in Muncie, Ind.

College of Business faculty members Jim DeConinck and Julie Johnson assisted WCU’s two representatives – Hampton and a second marketing major, senior Trevor Lambert of Asheboro, in preparing for the contest. DeConinck attended the event with the two students.

The competition consisted of two rounds in which students were required to role-play a sales call pitching Net Suite, a customer relationship-management software package. The higher-scoring student from each college advanced to the second round, DeConinck said.

Before going on to the final round and winning the competition, Hampton edged out his teammate Lambert by a fraction of a point, the smallest first-round margin for any of the colleges in the contest.

One of the unique aspects of the event at Ball State is the prompt critique the students receive, DeConinck said. After completing the sales-call role play, each student receives immediate feedback from one of the professional buyers who serve as judges.

“I am very proud of the effort from both our students,” DeConinck said. “Their performance indicates the quality of the students enrolled in our sales program.”

Hampton expects to receive his bachelor’s degree in May, and he is looking for employment in sales.

“Meeting the company representatives at the competition was a great experience and has allowed me to get in contact with a number of excellent companies,” he said. “Even with our current economic situation, it is encouraging to know that there are companies actively recruiting and hiring students. I know that having been given the opportunity to meet these companies is an asset to my job search, as I have been in contact with a few of them, and will begin interviewing in the spring.”

Hampton and Lambert said they appreciate the help they received from DeConinck and Johnson in preparing for the competition, and funding provided by the College of Business that allowed them to travel to the event.

Lambert also expects to receive his degree in May and start a career in sales. “I was impressed by the number of companies that were involved in the competition and their willingness to provide helpful suggestions for the students,” he said.

Both Hampton and Lambert will compete in late February at the National Collegiate Sales Competition at Kennesaw University in Kennesaw, Ga. About 100 students from 50 universities will participate in that event.

For more information about WCU’s marketing program, contact DeConinck, director of WCU’s Center for Professional Selling and Marketing, at (828) 227-3704 or deconinck@wcu.edu.

Maintained by the Office of Public Relations
Last modified: Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008



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