seldom keep regular office hours B u s i n e s s F i n a n c e
While the book attempts to provide scenarios of real-life salespeople, nothing compares to your own personal experience. You will set up an interview with a direct salesperson (not retail) and write a 3-4 page, double-spaced, typed formal paper about your experience, with cover sheet. Required questions are attached for you, although you may include additional questions as appropriate. Salespeople are very busy and seldom keep regular office hours. Therefore, it is imperative that you begin contacting your salesperson soon. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE DAY BEFORE THE ASSIGNMENT IS DUE! No extensions will be granted because of your failure to make contact or complete this assignment. Shadowing them is a very educational experience and many salespeople do not mind this, as long as you follow their rules about participating in actual sales calls. However, if your schedules do not permit a shadow day/virtual experience, you are permitted to set up an appointment/conference call to interview the salesperson of your choice. These reports are worth 100 points and may be shared in class, time permitting. Assignments are considered late if turned in after the class is over on the day the assignment is due. Late assignments, if accepted, will lose 10 points per day. Scanned or real business cards of the interviewee are required and 5 points will be deducted if there is no business card attached to the assignment. Points are also deducted for improper grammar, misspellings, poor sentence structure and poor quality appearance. Don’t forget the cover sheet with your name, interviewee, and your class time. Failure to turn in a paper with a cover sheet will result in loss of points.
Select a salesperson within any company that provides direct sales. They should have customer contact and have some responsibility for customer service as well. Please do not choose someone who is an order taker or who works in transaction-type selling. Examples of appropriate industries include: financial planners, advertising executives, realtors, industrial salespeople, media salespeople. The primary goal is to identify someone whose job you are interested in learning something about. The interview should take approximately 30-45 minutes, depending upon their answers to your questions. To shadow a salesperson, you may need to follow him/her to morning appointments or visit him/her in the office. Time spent should be equivalent to time necessary to get an idea about what they do.
Once the interview is completed, type a 3-4 page summary including any additional comments you have relating to your experience. These may be shared in class. These should be typed in a formal paper format with a cover sheet listing your name, class time, and subject’s name, title. The paper should be in narrative form, double-spaced—NOT question and answer. An introduction to your paper including a brief background about the person and company is required, as well as a conclusion about what you learned from this assignment. YOU MUST include a business card from the person you visited or you will lose 5 points. These will be due on Blackboard on Sunday Nov 1 by 11:00p.m. and will not be accepted late. You may turn these in on Blackboard or via email with the business card scanned. Attach the scanned business card as the last page of your paper, do not email it to me.
Shadow Day Assignment Questionnaire
1. What is your current job title?
2. Name of the firm, department
3. How long have you been in sales?
4. What is/are your background/credentials?
5. What are your job responsibilities? (prospecting, sales calls, follow-up, correspondence, service etc. and approximate time devoted to each aspect)
6. What is the most difficult part of the job? The easiest? The part you like the most?
7. Who are your primary customers? (types of companies, individuals) Who do you sell to?
8. What skill(s) do you feel will be the key to success in professional sales in the future?
9. What words of advice would you offer to new grads?
10. What qualities would lead you to hire one applicant over another following a job interview?
11. Are there any professional sales positions that have growth prospects in the next decade? Or where do you see growth areas occurring in professional sales?
12. What are the salary ranges and perks for new hires in your industry?
13. Any other questions you want to know.
14. Conclusion paragraph (summary of what you learned, closing thoughts, etc.)
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