PSE Chapter Takes Top Spots At Pro-Am Sell-A-Thon Regionals
For the second consecutive year, Cal Poly Pomona was the site of sales, marketing and management fraternity Pi Sigma Epsilon’s Western Regional Pro-Am Sell-A-Thon, a competition conceived to train and develop students in all aspects of the business-to-business sales process.
PSE members from California universities from as far south as San Diego and north as Berkley headed to CPP’s College of Business Administration Nov. 6-7 where the fraternity’s Beta Kappa chapter hosted its brothers and sisters, although with remarkably different results than before.
“Only two people from our chapter competed in the Pro-Am last year,” second-year marketing student Jessica Rockwell said. “We had eight or nine this year and I don’t mean to be sound cocky, but we kind of swept the competition.”
Although the top six Sell-A-Thon students were recognized during at the awards banquet, only first and second place received awards from PSE’s national headquarters. Rockwell claimed the second spot behind another Bronco, Chen Wu.
Wu was presented with a the first place trophy and provided travel accommodations as well as complimentary registration to represent the western region at PSE’s national convention set to take place March 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisc.
“It seemed like everyone was so good - I was surprised,” Wu said. “Dr. Fabrize and Oakley held training sessions and went really in-depth in what we should know and ask the questions we should ask and that really, really helped.”
Fabrize and Oakley are professors with the College of Business Administration’s international business and marketing department and PSE advisors. The two put on twice-weekly practices for Beta Kappa’s representatives in the three weeks leading up to the Pro-Am.
In a mock business-to-business sales meeting, Wu drew a circle on a piece of paper then wrote the company of the competition’s focus, LiveRoof, in the middle. She started naming its current problems while jotting each down on the paper and began crossing them off while pitching the numerous issues her product solves.
For her runner-up efforts, Rockwell said she probed the client to find out its true problems, and then positioned the product as a gap-filler. Although her degree emphasis is in marketing, Rockwell said the sales experience provided a different perspective.
“A lot of people in marketing don’t understand the actual consumer or buyer so they market a product the way they see and don’t think about the person buying it,” she said. “Learning about the sales process gives you a better mind for marketing.”
In addition to the Pro-Am Sell-A-Thon, PSE members from the different universities also squared off in a Speakers Competition where contestants were allowed to present on anything, as long as one of Enterprise Holdings’ founding values was included.
Danielle Kellum represented half of the Beta Kappa Speakers Competition entries and the fourth-year marketing major spoke on how business students are stereotyped as money-hungry when they should be want to be seen as helpers using business knowledge to improve the community.
“I was trying to juggle the Pro-Am and Speakers Competition and make sure I didn’t embarrass Cal Poly Pomona with a horrible speech,” Kellum said. “When you’re passionate about it and you feel it, it’s much easier to go in front of people and talk to them.”
Kellum said her mixed emotions going into the Speakers Competition were replaced with feelings of shock after she was announced the winner. The news capped off an impressive weekend for the hosts.
“It really got our chapter out there and let other fraternity chapters know we’re serious about being competitive,” Wu said. “We’re not using PSE as a social tool; we’re doing it to improve ourselves and better ourselves in preparation for the business world.”