Professional Sales Students Host Guest Speaker


By: Harry O. Rodriguez – Professional Sales Student

Mr. Leandro de Andrade Pereira, a full time employee at Genesee Community College, visited the professional sales class taught by Professor Rick Dudkowski.

Leo is a success coach for the nursing program and he’s also a baseball coach at GCC. Pereira was an international student. He is from Curaçao. Pereira shared a little bit about his background and his selling experience with the students in class. He completed a degree in DC, and then he transferred to Florida International University and earned his bachelor’s degree in early childhood. He worked six months at Home Depot selling doors and windows. He said “you have to be assertive but not too pushy that the customers walk away”. He also worked at Verizon.

He said in order to sell you need to understand your customers. For example you would use a different approach with a homeowner than a professional contractor. There is a 75% higher chance that a customer will buy if you relate the product or service back to what they were saying or satisfying their needs.

At GCC Pereira is trying to sell the nursing program. He recently hosted tours for area high school students. Pereira also stressed that the more practice you have selling the easier it gets. After his presentation, students were given the opportunity to ask Pereira questions. At the end of the class, Pereira was given a GCC Plaid Tie as a token of appreciation for coming to class and sharing his experiences with the students.

On behalf of the class, I would like thank Mr. Pereira for his time and advice. We learned a lot from him, sincerely, Harry O. Rodriguez.

Professional Salesperson, Joseph Chappius, a Financial Advisor of Northwestern Mutual, visits Professional Sales Class


Joseph Chappius, a Financial Advisor of Northwestern Mutual, Buffalo NY, volunteered to give his advice in the Professional Sales class which is taught by Professor Dudkowski. Chappius, who lives in Albion, saw himself as a salesperson through his finance internship, many years back. He sees sales as a combination of “Art” and “Science”.

When he wanted to make sales, he followed a 10:3:1 ratio, he will talk to 10 clients and select 3 clients who he thinks he had the opportunity to make a sale to. He also stated that “Time is money” by that he means he will spend the least amount of time with the client that he thinks would not be interested in buying or investing. He stated, “I’d rather spend my time with clients that he likes and the clients who has the willingness to invest”.

Chappius shared his selling experiences with the students in the class. He mentioned that he received more “No” than “Yesses”. He said a successful salesperson had met many failures before he or she succeed. He looked at failing as “keep going”. Every time Chappius failed to make a sale, he will do a “self-reflection” and ask “what do you want for now and your future” and always “Think Big”. He said as a salesperson “you don’t want people to tell you, how much you are worth”. You want to be worth as much as you want, you do rely on a fixed paycheck. Chappius mentioned “the more people you talk with, the more customers you are going to get.” When he talked to his clients, he focused on three criteria, “Are they nice?”, “Do they want to be helped?”, and “Do they have the capacity to save?”

Chappius gave his final advice to the students in the class, which was “be a person, be yourself, know your products, never use “Me” and “I”, and always listen to your clients. After this presentation, students were given the opportunity to ask Chappius questions. At the end of the class, Chappius was given a GCC Plaid Tie as an appreciation for coming to GCC and sharing his experiences with the students.

On behalf of the class, I would like thank Mr. Chappius for his time and advice on how to be a successful salesperson. We learned a lot from him.

Kah Chan “Kevin”
President of PTK – Alpha Iota Upsilon

Professor Bucki’s Keys to a Successful Interview


IMG_20170308_085622Professor Bucki, the Director of GCC’s Information Technologies Department, attended my Professional Sales class as a guest speaker to discuss the side of the job interview process that usually isn’t covered, that being what does an employer actually looks for and consider during an interview. He lead into his presentation simply titled “The Interview” with some humorous personal stories as well as an inspirational story about a lumberjack. Some key factors he shared were:

  1. Develop your self-brand
  2. A good Resume and cover letter can take over 100 hours to perfect and should always be changing as you gain more skills and experience
  3. Most employers spend less than 30 seconds looking at your resume
  4. The point of the interview is not just to see if you have what it takes to do the job, but finding out who you are and if you’ll fit in culturally as well
  5. Easiest ways of killing your interview
    • Trashing a previous employer
    • Ignorance of the company
    • Not having questions
    • Bringing up vacation, promotions, and salary
    • “BSing” your way through the interview
  6. Most common and important interview questions
    • Why should I hire you?
    • Tell me one of your weaknesses
    • Tell me about a time you failed
    • Tell me about your greatest success
  7. How to beat nervousness
  8. Make sure to follow up or send a thank you letter

Special thanks to Professor Bucki for bringing such a unique and exciting viewpoint to our classroom. The presentation was full of valuable information that we can all incorporate into our future job searches.

Starting at an Early Age


Loving to meet and interact with individuals is how Fany Loughlin found her path in life. Mrs. Loughlin’s love of interacting with people came from going on missionary trips when she was a young girl. The missionary trips also fostered a love of travel, which can be showcased by the fact Fany is a Honduran immigrant who has been in this country for over fourteen years. Fanny is the owner of a home open to students as an alternatives to dorm living and a lot of international students take advantage of this wonderful opportunity for off campus housing. Mrs. Loughlin was invited by one of her tenants, Kaisei Sugawara, to come in to our Professional Sales to speak on Friday, November 6.

Fany grew up in a big family that was centered around a business environment. She started at a young age by selling leather key chains in order to make money because her dad told she had to start making her own money. The desire to succeed and make money pushed her into college for two years until she met her future husband, who was a member of the Peace Corps. She ended up moving to the states to be with her husband where she continued to work in business in various ways. In addition to being a landlady, Fanny is attending GCC to obtain a degree in international business. She is planning to become a buyer and act as a middleman between Chinese companies and South America. She would like to represent companies and help import products to South America.

The presentation was an engaging and story like presentation that the students learned various lessons in business and life.
• Learn a language- it connects with individuals and gives you an open mind.
• Want to make your customers/tenants comfortable.
• Use the internet to learn about the world.
• Learn how to interact with individuals.
• Learn what is needed for a job or task.
• Sell yourself all the time.
• Go into business early.
• Do the extra things because it shows.
• It’s ok to make mistakes.

Fany is a very good role model for students. She pushes herself to be a better student and individual in life. Fany is a mother of two, she takes seven classes a semester at GCC, knows three languages and teaches languages to others, and she is a member of Rotary and a leadership program at her church all while running her business! Fany demonstrates that you need to push yourself to become a better person in business and in life.

 Thank you Fany for a very inspiring and entertaining presentation!

Adventures in Sales: Part 3


Monday October 26th, three other students and I had the opportunity to attend the Buffalo Niagara Sales & Marketing Executives Student Day. Kourtney Shearer, Danielle Board, Taylor Tracy, and myself attended a day long conference, which included a choice of one of three tours, a special presentation by Bill Knoche, a networking opportunity, and a dinner presentation with Marc Adler. As I previously stated in my last blog post, I have decided to split the blog post into three separate posts and this is the third part in the three part series.

After our soft skills seminar with Bill Knoche, there was networking for an hour followed by dinner and a presentation, by Marc Adler. Each student who attended was paired up with a member from Buffalo Niagara Sales & Marketing Executives. I had the great opportunity of being paired up with Joseph P. Lojacono. Mr. Lojacono is the President of Valmark Associates, a Marketing Consultancy Agency, and he was also a former President of BNSME. Mr. Lojacono guided me around one of the banquet rooms at the Hyatt Regency, introducing me to the members of BNSME.

 I had the immense pleasure of meeting just a few of the many BNSME members including Eva Balazs, Anthony Blasting, a financial advisor for Northwestern Mutual;, and Tim Finney, a Human Resources Advisor. The diversity of members there was astounding to me and these are just a few of the amazing individuals I had the pleasure of meeting. Mr. Finney gave some fabulous advice about taking the opportunities you are given. He had said that everyone at those gatherings could be doing something else, like being home with their family or meeting with a client, but they choose to give up their time and come to the meetings. They come to the meetings to network, get to know people, and have a fun time interacting and learning. The point he was making was that if you are sacrificing your time to go to these meetings and events then make the most of it by interacting and not being a wallflower. The advice Mr. Finney gave can be applied to not just selling, but to life. Every opportunity we get, we must take advantage of that opportunity and use it to the best of our abilities because we never know how that opportunity could impact us in the future.

In talking about opportunities, Marc Adler, the special guest speaker of the evening, touched on opportunities in his delightful presentation. Mr. Adler’s presentation was called Why Not Marketing? The presentation showcased how we all are marketers trying to communicate some type of message. We are all our own little market and marketing surrounds us all. There are three questions we must ask ourselves in order to be successful in marketing:

  1. What do we want and what goals do we want to achieve?
  2. Who are you going to target?
  3. How do you distinguish yourself from others and how you communicate those ideas?

Each of these questions, are influential to your success if you properly understand them. We all have goals, but we just need to define what those goals are. Once a week you should make it a goal of yours to open the lines of communication with someone you are trying to target. Be different and standout by honing in on the things that make you different. You can find out what those things are by sitting down and finding out what skills you have and how you try to prove it. Tell your story in an engaging way. If you are hardworking then don’t just say you are hardworking show how you’ve been hardworking in the past through examples.

Mr. Adler’s presentation was filled with anecdotes and it was a pure joy to listen to. There are five different points in the presentation that I loved and they were:

  • Follow up- call and send a thank you note. He really emphasized this point!
  • It’s all about the experiences you go through.
  • Always strive to build a greater you.
  • Exhibit the desire and energy to learn.

The Buffalo Niagara Sales & Marketing Executive Student Day was filled with the passion Mr. Adler was talking about. Everyone I met who was a part of BNSME was passionate about their career and they were passionate about the organization they were a part of. Being passionate about the organization and their careers just made such an amazing opportunity that much better. Buffalo Niagara Sales & Marketing Executive is a great organization that really does supplement the learning we are acquiring in the classroom. It is an incredible opportunity for students, professors, and anyone in sales or marketing should consider taking advantage of these spectacular monthly networking and learning opportunities.

I would like to say a thank you to Francine Brooks, FB Displays & Design, Bill Knoche, Marc Adler, Joseph P. Lojacono, and all of the BNSME Executives for this amazing opportunity. It was a privilege to attend Student Day! I would also like to say thank you to Professor Dudkowski for allowing myself and the three other students the privilege of attending the joyous sales and marketing day!

A Total Tan Experience


This blog post was written by Krista DiRienzo.

I invited Abbey Marchiano to speak with my Professional Sales class about her amazing selling techniques. Abbey is the Leadership Coach for a well-known company, Total Tan. She trains new employees and teaches them to the best of her abilities. She teaches them everything there is to know about the company and their products, as well as what it takes to promote what the company has to offer.

Abbey broke down her presentation into points that relate to the real world. She taught us how to deal with customers to how to make someone’s day a little bit better. She provided us with the comfort that people are going to turn you down in life and it is okay when it happens. She explained to us the little things like reading a customer’s body language, how to notice if someone is having a bad day, or just how a smile can brighten anyone’s day. She told us to never give up on a customer no matter how difficult they are to deal with.

Abbey enlightened us with so much information on what it is like to be a successful salesperson. When asked what made her fall into the field of sales she said, “I just love to talk to people!” As a student heading in this direction as many of my fellow business classmates are, it is important to know that selling is so much more than being a robot and repeating yourself. Abbey showed us how to love our jobs and what we do everyday should reflect not only on our career path, but on something we are extremely passionate about.

Adventures in Sales: Part 2


This past Monday, three other students and I had the opportunity to attend the Buffalo Niagara Sales & Marketing Executives Student Day. Kourtney Shearer, Danielle Board, Taylor Tracy, and myself attended a day long conference, which included a choice of one of three tours, a special presentation by Bill Knoche, a networking opportunity, and a dinner presentation with Marc Adler. As I previously stated in my last blog post, I have decided to split the blog post into three separate posts and this is the second part in the three part series.

After our tour at  FB Displays & Designs, Inc., we traveled to the Hyatt Regency in Buffalo to take part in our late afternoon and evening activities. Our late afternoon plans was a special presentation by Bill Knoche. Mr. Knoche’s presentation was on soft skills. Soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. Communication was the soft skill that Bill’s presentation focused on. The presentation was insightful and offered many useful tips to be the best salesperson you can be.

Growing up your experiences effect your soft skills, most specifically your communication skills and here are some useful tips about how to build your soft skills that we learned from Bill’s presentation:

  • Sales presentations tend to be one sided and that is why communicating with the customer is very important.
  • Start to understand your buyer in order to build a relationship.
  • Conversation is key.
  • Life is little pieces of selling.
  • Breakdown walls.
  • Engage people.
  • Understand people.
  • Understand the question.
  • Understand the process.
  • Stretch the truth.
  • Give the customer opportunities.
The presentation was fabulous and filled with great pieces of information. I will say my favorite quote from the presentation was “Soft skills are just better than average communication skills.” I hope to have better than average communications skills after using these useful tips!

Adventures in Sales: Part 1


This past Monday, three other students and I had the opportunity to attend the Buffalo Niagara Sales & Marketing Executives Student Day. Professor Dudkowski selected Kourtney Shearer, Danielle Board, Taylor Tracy, and myself to attend a day long conference, which included a choice of one of three tours, a special presentation by Bill Knoche, a networking opportunity, and a dinner presentation with Marc Adler. In order to do this amazing day justice, I have decided to split the blog post into three separate posts and will be sharing the rest of our amazing experience throughout the week.

Our day started off at 1:30 with a tour and the three tours we were able to select from were IIMAK, FB Display & Designs, and Rigidized Metals Corportation. IIMAK, a manufacturer of printing, imaging and marking consumable products with 1,000 employees worldwide. Headquartered in Amherst, New York, with additional manufacturing, distribution and sales operations in Belgium, Brazil and Mexico, IIMAK serves global needs for thermal transfer ribbons, direct thermal films, inkjet inks and related products.  FB Displays & Designs, Inc., is a full-service display and graphic design company. Their strength is “identifying and meeting our clients’ needs”. Their specialty is designing and constructing trade show displays and exhibits using modular components, thus creating flexibility, ease of setup and cost savings. Rigidized Metals Corporation lead ‘s the world in the development and production of deep-textured, three dimensional metals used in architectural, industrial and transportation applications. Rigidized® products are known for their attractive, economical and functional appeal. The Rigidized® process adds strength, impact resistance and the ability to hide scratches.


We selected FB Displays & Design and it was a fantastic decision. We met with the wonderful owner, Francine Brooks. She told us about her company and then she showed us around the office. Francine started the company in 1994 after being a stay at home mom, selling jewelry and doing aerobics classes on the side. When her daughter went off to college, Francine decided to go back to work and after a brief stint with another design company she decided to go off on her own.  Francine started off in a garage and now has a large space located in Williamsville, just outside of Buffalo, NY, where she has eight full time employees and two interns, one’s name is Zach! The company has been around for over 20 years now and has over 1000 clients.

FB Displays & Design’s goal is to help their client achieve their goals from beginning to end and in helping them achieve their goal they are responsible for:

  • Custom Displays
  • Preshow campaign
  • Lead generation strategies
  • Post show follow up
  • Booth staff training
  • Inspector repair
  • Installation/ dismantle
  • Logistics
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Francine gave us wonderful insight about what it is like to
deal with clients and work in a creative industry, such as creating displays for trade shows.  Trade shows are a great way for a brand to stand out because it is a face to face marketing event and it is important to stand out at a trade show whether it is with bright colors, lights, or technology, such as iPad kiosks. When dealing with clients, it is crucial to establish a good relationship with your clients and make sure you are doing what’s best for them. Always have a dialogue going with your client going at all times. Remember to under promise and over deliver. Francine keeps a dialogue open with her clients and over delivers resulting in a very successful business.
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The four of us had an amazing time learning about different displays that are available to companies and brands. We also got some great ideas for displays for the 35th annual GCC Fashion Show! We enjoyed Francine and her employees. Francine said she loves coming into the office because it is a fun environment and the fun environment was definitely shown on the tour. The experience at FB Displays & Design was spectacular and we want to thank Francine Brooks for the fabulous opportunity!
Here are some photos of us enjoying the displays and standing with the wonderful, Francine:
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Jamie Edwards and her Purple Briefcase


On the GCC website in the section for Career Services, it says this, “In support of Genesee Community College’s mission and vision, Career Services is committed to providing assistance in navigating career and educational planning. Our office develops and sustains positive relationships with students, alumni, faculty, staff, employers, and our community members. These meaningful partnerships, in addition to customized educational experiences, are designed to coach, prepare, and support individuals to become a career confident citizen in the global work environment.” The key phrase from that statement was, “Our office develops and sustains positive relationships with students and faculty,” and their office was doing just that by Jamie Edwards, a Career Services Specialist, coming into Mr. Dudkowski’s Professional Sales class this past Friday to talk with our class.

Freshman, Kourtney Shearer, invited Jamie to come in and speak with our Professional Sales class about Career Services and what they do. Doing this presentation was a way for the Career Service office to develop and sustain positive relationships’ with the students in the class along with the fabulous, Professor Dudkowski. Jamie had a wealth of knowledge that she shared with our class about the services available to students and how we can best take advantage of the wonderful opportunities offered to us by Career Services.

There is so many opportunities offered by this office. One of them being Purple Briefcase. This is an amazing website for any GCC student to participate in. This website allows you to create a visual resume. You can virtually get in contact with businesses who participate with Purple Briefcase and explore the job opportunities around in a efficient manner. Along with the resume there is other parts to the website, such as the job bulletin, that allows you to search through all available job posts. You can easily apply and learn about the company by clicking on there posted profile. Also there are career tests you can take which will evaluate your strengths. weaknesses, and interests to narrow your career choices to ones that best fit you.

The information Jamie provided us was invaluable and will definitely help GCC students apply and get jobs or internships during and after their GCC career. Along with Purple Briefcase, Jamie’s job responsibilities include, but are not limited too:

  • Providing career orientation, job placement, and the advisement of students and community members
  • Coordinating job placement functions including job fairs, maintain a job bank, and employer on campus recruitment
  • Designing and implementing workshops, career networking events, and opportunities for students that promote career exploration and job search strategies

After Jamie presented the information, we were able to ask her questions about the programs and her job. A student asked what her favorite part of her job was and her response was, “working with the students.” A great response to go along with a fantastic presentation!

Guest Contributor Kourtney Shearer

Selling with Enthusiasm


It was a cold and rainy Wednesday morning when Tanya Martin, the Director of Admissions here at GCC, walked into Mr. Dudkowski’s Professional Sales class. Tanya glided into the classroom with enthusiasm not willing to let the dreary weather influence her or her presentation. Tanya was invited to class because of her enthusiasm and energy. My Professional Sales class was given an assignment to interview or bring in a salesperson to speak to our class about the real world of selling. Mr. D suggested Tanya Martin, the Director of Admissions here at GCC, because she has the responsibility of selling GCC to prospective students. I jumped at the chance to bring Tanya in and I immediately raced to Admissions to persuade Tanya to come to class to speak. Tanya agreed and came in on September 30th.

Tanya had an immense amount of wisdom to give in the short fifty five minute class. She started off her presentation by saying that as a salesperson you should never be late because it makes a terrible impression, however if you bring donuts and coffee it does soften the fact you were late.

She continued her presentation by following a timeline of her life by telling us where she was from (Alfred, NY), what she majored in (Business, but later switched to Communications), where she previously worked (New York Chiropractic College and St. John Fisher), and how she sells GCC to prospective students.

Tanya sells GCC by the features and benefits the college has to offer. She asked the class to write down what they thought some features of the college were and share them with the class. The three major features the students brought up were:

  • GCC is affordable
  • GCC has small classes
  • GCC offers flexible scheduling

The benefits that go along with those features are:

  • GCC is affordable- all of your credits transfer to a 4 year college or university and you do not have to worry about paying a lot for college.
  • GCC has small classes-offers hands on learning and as a student you are able to interact with your professor. The professor genuinely wants you to succeed and they will do everything in their power to get you where you want to go. Professor Dudkowski is a great example because he sincerely wants his students to excel and he has an amazing network to help his students do just that.
  • GCC offers flexible scheduling- GCC understands that the majority of students here have a job or family and they offer the students the ability to receive a degree while working.

Tanya gave us additional advice and information throughout the presentation and included:

  • Accept as many responsibilities and opportunities as you can.
  • Job shadow or intern to find out what you want and do not want to do.
  • Find a job you love.
  • When selling, make the customer understand that they could be a part of something bigger if the purchase the product.
  • Build a relationship with the customer and genuinely care about the customer.
  • Network as much as possible.
  • Do not promise something that you cannot deliver.
  • Be persistent, but not aggressive.
  • Smile and remember that public speaking is a comfortable conversation not a scary situation.
  • Do not miss out on something in life because you are not comfortable speaking.
  • Do not ever forget that everybody is somebody.

Tanya gave an amazing presentation and it was a great reminder of what is going on in the industry and how it relates our class. Her presentation was fast paced and filled with anecdotes.  Each student in the class took away something different from the presentation and the most important thing I took away was to never treat anyone differently or rude because you never who you are going to meet or interact with in the future. I am very thankful Tanya had taken the time out of her busy schedule to come and speak with us!

Giving Tanya our GCC plaid as a thank you for coming into class.

Giving Tanya our GCC plaid as a thank you for coming into class.