College of Business Students Take Silver Honors at Sales Competition

Congratulations, competitors

If, as Glengarry Glen Ross proclaims, coffee is for closers, it’s time to put a pot on the stove for the College of Business Sales Club. The team brought home second-place finishes in the 2021 Western States Collegiate Sales Competition in individual and team selling competitions.

The team (seniors Emily Gatchis, Ashley Habros, Kyle Huber and junior Melissa Rinaldo) outperformed schools with nationally recognized sales programs, defeating teams from Arizona State, Utah State and Oregon State among others at the competition held April 1-2 at Cal State Chico in Chico, Calif. The team successfully pitched a materials handling system that integrated three forklift models and a racking system, and received a $1,750 prize for their silver-medal finish.

“We were the only company that could provide this integrated solution,” Gatchis said, “and each of us were knowledgeable and became experts about one aspect of this integrated solution.”

Like most business students, the members of Sales Club weren’t experts in warehousing products heading into the competition, so establishing expertise in products offered a challenge. It wasn’t the biggest challenge the team overcame, however: An illness knocked out one member of the team two days before the competition, so the Biz Rams were forced to call up an alternate and make adjustments to their game plan at the last minute. Virtual conferencing gave them the opportunity to course correct, consulting their instructors and reconfiguring the presentation up through the morning of the competition.

“I am most proud of how we came together as a team and overcame adversity,” Gatchis said.

Biz Ram success continued in the individual sales competitions. Huber placed second in a field of 24 competitors, earning him a $1,000 award and a personal commendation for his sales style during the awards presentation by Tom Villa, the executive director of the Cal State Chico sales program and event host.

“This combined performance is impressive as we were able to score better than schools with excellent selling reputations,” marketing instructor and Sales Club advisor Kevin Kuhnen said.