Students from FIU, Florida State University and University of Texas – Arlington took the top 5 spots at the College of Business’ inaugural Global Bilingual Sales Competition.
Using role-playing techniques, participants had to sell RUN, an ADP-powered app that handles payroll administration for small business, to a buyer from a global organization during a 15-minute in-person meeting. The sales pitches were conducted in English-only, Spanish-only, and in both English and Spanish on April 15 at FIU’s new Global Sales Lab.
There were five overall winners: Susan Crispin (FIU), Rodrigo Gil Kessler (FIU), Anly Renda (Florida State University), Andrea Saladrigas (FIU), and Juan Reyes (University of Texas – Arlington).
In a surprising twist, the competition’s final round featured two buyers, one with stronger English-language skills and the other more Spanish-dominant, requiring translation skills to build rapport, identify each buyer’s needs, present the product, handle objections and close the sale.
“The students weren’t expecting that,” said Nancy Rauseo, Marketing Department senior lecturer and director of FIU’s Global Sales Program. “It wasn’t easy, but they did very well.”
As local, national, and worldwide organizations increasingly seek bilingual sales representatives, the Global Bilingual Sales Competition tournament hopes to create a pipeline for account managers and sales managers. Judges included representatives from global businesses as well as College of Business faculty teaching sales courses. Alongside the competition, the Sales Program also hosted a Career Expo for students seeking internships and jobs.
The Global Sales Competition capped a productive year for the Sales Program, which included the inauguration of its Global Sales Lab, featuring 12 sales training rooms, each equipped with a camera and microphones, and recording and playback capabilities. This spring, the Sales Program was named a “Top Universities for Professional Sales Education” program by the Sales Education Foundation (SEF), recognized for preparing students for successful careers in professional selling.