The Rollins College of Business has recently unveiled its sales institute program, as well as a new business lab in order to help students learn and grow as salespeople.
The new sales institute has set up the business lab as a series of high-tech renovated offices designed to help students simulate the experience of a real sale. Students will work together, and sometimes with real business professionals, to act out negotiation between a buyer and a seller.
Teachers can supervise the whole scene through cameras and microphones built into the room, and observe how students react to various situations and trials. Videos are shared to the cloud automatically for easy access for students and teachers to review and comment on.
The system is designed to give students a hands-on and realistic experience in one-on-one negotiations. The sales institute is also funded by real businesses seeking to foster the growth of new sales professionals. These businesses will also provide mentoring and services to assist with learning.
“The more money they give us…the more access they get to our students,” says Christopher Plouffe, Director of the Sales Institute, “Speaking in classes, mentoring them, career workshops.”
But not just anyone can get in. The sales institute is very strict on who will be allowed to partner. “I’ve talked with probably 40 companies since I’ve been here, but I’ve probably only signed up four; that’ll give you an idea of how picky we are,” Plouffe said.
But this service is not only available to business majors. The sales institute is also on the lookout for students to join, regardless of major.
“We’re really looking for students outside the Rollins college of business that are interested,” Plouffe said. “You can be in phys ed., anthropology, advanced basket weaving, whatever…anybody at UTC can pursue a minor in sales, and it’s got a 100% job placement, the jobs are fantastic, so that’s why I’m kind of excited.”
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