Professional Sales Students Host Guest Speaker

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.
  • BE PASSIONATE!

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

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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

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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!