The PSE Pro-Am Sell-A-Thon® is a year-long sales competition held at the PSE fall Regional Conferences and the annual PSE NEF National Sales and Marketing Convention.
"I recently joined PSE this semester at Kennesaw State University and competed in the Pro-Am in Athens. I would just like to extend my gratitude for putting this event together. I learned a lot about how to implement the selling process this weekend. It was also a great networking opportunity with companies and other sales majors."
--Tyler Speer, Kennesaw State University
PURPOSES OF THE PRO-AM:
The primary purpose of the year-long competition is to train and develop students in all aspects of the B2B sales process, not just in preparing them to make one sales call. The year long approach also emphasizes that the pursuit of sales excellence is a journey, not a destination. Students will become uniquely exposed to the way world class sales organizations approach sales.
The secondary purpose of the year-long competition is to award the top true “students” of sales, and not just those who makes an extraordinary sales call on one day of competition. The student has to study and perform throughout the school year in order to garner the top prizes and be called the PSE Pro-Am winners.
Although this is a year-long competition, a student may compete only at the regional conference or only at the national convention, if they wish. Each competition offers the opportunity to win prizes, including cash prizes or a Tom James suit at the national competition.
Finally, the competition is open to all PSE members. Students are encouraged to take the sales training and some learn that sales can be a career opportunity they would enjoy. Also, everyone needs to learn to sell themselves.
PSE Pro-Am Key Objectives:
• Emphasize the importance selling skills play in everyday life.
• Dispel negative perceptions associated with selling.
• Many students enter the workforce in a sales capacity; therefore provide a program that demonstrates real life selling situations.
• Provide a vehicle to teach students about selling in a logical, process-oriented approach.
• Involve professional salespeople in the program to mentor and coach these students during the program to provide real life sales experiences.
• Provide a program that allows students to compete in real life selling situations with all of the variables of a real life situation.
PSE Student Learning Objectives:
• Appreciate the role of the sales professional.
• Comprehend the Sales Process in a B2B setting.
• Demonstrate the ability to perform in a competitive environment.
• Communicate effectively both verbally and non-verbally.
• Assess performance strengths and areas to improve.
HOW THE PRO-AM WORKS:
Only Pi Sigma Epsilon college students from a recognized PSE Chapter are eligible to compete. Students choose to participate in the program when they register online at www.pse.org for their Regional Conference and/or the PSE National Convention.
Students are then directed to review the licensed Carew sales training modules. These are the same three sales modules that Carew provides to its sales professionals and are mandatory for all participants to review.
After reviewing the required materials, the students make a telephone call requesting an appointment with the designated company buyer. Next, the competition moves to the fall regional conference. In the morning of the regional conference, a Carew certified trainer will review the Carew sales methodology for the students and coaches, who are sales professionals. These professionals will spend 1.5 hours mentoring and critiquing the student on his/her prepared sales call.
The next step of the program is the actual competition. This is a simulated sales presentation in which each student is evaluated on his/her ability to successfully move the customer through the sales process and obtain commitment. Each role-play is judged by a panel of sales professionals and video recorded so that the student can review it at the end of the event. The students receive immediate judges’ verbal feedback, and it is also recorded. On Saturday night of either the regional or national competitions, the students will receive their written feedback from the judges.
If the student is competing at the National Convention, they will need to make another telephone call to a different buyer and respond to an email proposal. If they had not reviewed the 3 sales modules, the student will need to do that as well. The final step is to compete in the sales competition at the PSE National Convention.
Scenarios for 2016:
PSE Fall Regional Conference: Liberty Mutual Product/Service
PSE National Convention: Vector Marketing/Cutco Product
In each of these activities, the student receives points for his/her efforts and after the National Convention role-play sales call, the points are added to determine the national PSE Pro-Am Sell-a-Thon® winners for the year.
Point Assignment for each of the following:
1 to 10 points – Student makes a phone call to set the appointment and graded on criteria
5 points - Regional Conference Participation
10, 20 or 30 points - Regional Conference Placement (10 points to a finalist, 20 points to 2nd place, 30 points to 1st place. Those who place do not get both points for being a finalist and placing)
Student registers for the National Convention
0 to 60 points - Email Proposal submitted and graded on criteria that includes the message of the email
1 to 10 points – Student makes a phone call to set the appointment and graded on criteria
20 or 60 points – 1st through 5th places are assigned, points are given for their performance at Nationals.
PLEASE NOTE THE DUE DATES FOR THE PRO-AM POINTS ON THE PRO AM TRAINING PAGE. Any late submissions will be given zero points. No exceptions!
Prizes for the Pro-Am Competition:
Regional Conference: At each of the regional conferences, the first and second place winners will receive:
Second Place: Trophy
Complimentary PSE National Convention registration packet ($275 value)
Recognition at the PSE National Convention
First Place: All of the above
Roundtrip airfare to the PSE National Convention or if driving, reimbursement for transportation expenses
National Convention Prizes: Trophy, plus
Cash Awards are given as follows for the Yearlong Competition:
- Fifth Place of the Yearlong competition – $500
- Fourth Place of the Yearlong competition – $750
- Third Place of the Yearlong competition – $1,000
- Second Place of the Yearlong competition – $1,250
- First Place of the Yearlong competition – $1,500
Prizes are given as follows for the National Convention competition only:
- Top salesperson of the day at the PSE National Convention - Tom James Suit ($1,000 value)
- Multiview will be awarding cash for the Top 5 "Best of the Day"
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A SALES COACH/JUDGE AT THE REGIONAL CONFERENCE?
As a sales coach, you are required to review the Carew materials, sales scenario and criteria provided to you. You may either choose to review the Carew modules of review the webinar on coaching and judging created by Carew. Once you register, more information will be provided.
We then ask that you commit to a Friday morning at a PSE regional conference in your area. At the conference, a Carew certified sales professional will review the materials. You will then be paired up with no more than two students. You will work with the students during the remainder of the morning on developing and/or refining their sales call. Your goals are to:
1. To guide one to two students through the sales scenario.
2. To practice the 12 minute sales call.
3. To offer constructive feedback and suggestions.
4. To answer questions and provide advice.
As a Judge, we ask that you commit to stay at the conference after lunch. After coaching in the morning, you will become a judge in the afternoon. In this capacity, you will watch the students compete and critique their sales call using the established criteria. You will not judge any of the students that you coached.
To register as a coach only or a coach/judge for a PSE Regional Conference, please indicate your preference when you register for your regional conference.
TESTIMONIALS FROM PREVIOUS PRO-AM PARTICIPANTS
“The Pro-Am competition provides a competitive learning environment for aspiring sales professionals. Participants receive coaching from real sales professionals before the role play, and then receive instant feedback once the role play is completed--what could be better than that! You can read as many sales books as you want, but the Pro-Am sales competition is the best way to learn how to perform a sales call, identify your strengths, work on your weaknesses, connect with employers, and showcase your talent!"
Pat Delehanty, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
"The Pro-Am Sales competition provides students the ability to strategically approach each situation within a real world business and leverage key features and attributes of a brand and gain knowledge of applications that can be utilized in a sales call."
Donna Wertalik, Instuctor of Marketing, Virginia Polytechnic Institute And State University
"The Pro-Am Sell-A-Thon is the most beneficial competition someone interested in sales or marketing can compete in. Not only is there potential to win $$ and prizes, but even more important is the professional experience you receive. Yes, I realize you will get nervous. Everyone does. Even after competing in six different Pro-Ams, I still got nervous. But the payoff is so much greater than the effort you give and the nerves you experience. The opportunity to work with and present in front of numerous professionals not only improves sales skills but ALL business skills. In the real world, it is imperative to meet certain presentation expectations and tailor those presentations to your audience. The Pro-Am allows PSE members to hone these skills. What a great tool to practice for the real world!"
Garrett Wirtz, University of Northern Iowa
"The benefits of the PSE Pro Am are incredible for my students. The Pro Am gives them the opportunity to practice and apply their professional selling skills in a real world scenario including call preparation, client research, understanding client needs, handling objections and making the sale. It builds their confidence in their selling skills. Two of our students placed first and second in Regionals and one of them in the top 5 at Nationals. This experience put these students positions where they had lined up sales careers long before the end of their senior years, despite the economy. All four of the students that went to Nationals had positions lined up before we arrived-a lot of their success was due to the Pro Am experience. Three of them said that the National conference was the best experience of their college career."
Kenneth Cherry, Assistant Professor-Marketing & Professional Sales, Central Michigan University
"From our very first experience with PSE’s Pro-Am Sellathon more than 15 years ago, I was impressed with the impact of this unusual sales competition. By combining strong sales training with coaching from active sales professionals, the Pro-Am, and its realistic role-playing scenarios, stands out among other student sales competitions. Vector Marketing Corporation is so proud to have been the initial sponsor of the Pro-Am Sell-a-thon and looks forward to the continued growth and success of this valuable program."
Sarah Baker Andrus, Vector Marketing Corporation
“The Pro-Am is the one place where you can see sales done right! PSE put academics, street knowledge, and passion into sales like no other organization I’ve ever seen."
Tony Parinello, award-winning salesman, sales trainer for Fortune 500 companies, and best selling author of Selling to Vito, Getting the Second Appointment and Think and Sell Like a CEO