Best Seller Competition
At the beginning of our sales course we heard about the possibility to participate to Best Seller Competition, a national sales competition for Finnish sales students. I was immediately interested to know more about it, but the thought about winning felt distant. Before our sales courses my sales experience was B2C sales from an optician store.
I had been selling eyeglasses for almost two and half years alongside school and in school holidays. During our sales courses, I realized that I had already used some sales technics without knowing them. Without being aware, my preparation had already started in that optician store.
During our sales courses, we learned about different sales theories and heard real- life examples from our teachers. I remember uppermost the SPIN-questions and how to sell value instead of features. While learning sales theories and technics, we did different kinds of exercises to practice selling. I discovered that the best exercise for me was the following one: We had a group of three students; one was seller, one was buyer and one was evaluating the seller. This exercise allowed us to get new points of view from the others, add the best parts to our routines and take away some parts that weren’t as good as we thought. In addition, every time there came an unexpected question or a response, and we had to find the best way to react. Another important part of the preparation was to get to know the product and to define the values and the advantages of the product. This was something we did in groups, which I found crucial. We shared our thoughts and discussed about them to find the most important values and advantages.
Before the competition I had a two-week break from practicing, because I travelled to Bali with my family. The break wasn’t planned, but later I realized that it was the time of mental preparation. So, I didn’t physically practice my routine. I only prepared to be mentally
ready to compete by talking about the competition and revising my routine in my head. When I came back to Finland I started finalizing my routine. I organized my routine logically, based on the order of the evaluation sheet, prepared the final SPIN-questions and practiced with sales students, who participated in the competition the year before. With their tips, I polished my SPIN questions, arguments and closing. Also, I made notes for myself to remember to cover all the steps of the meeting.
The day of the competition was exciting. I was more nervous than I had ever been. Before my first performance, I would have had a possibility to practice while waiting for my turn but I decided enjoy my time by talking with the other competitors. When my name was called and it was time to enter the competition room, my heart was beating faster than ever before. After my first performance, I couldn’t remember much about what I said, only that I covered all the steps I had planned to. I followed the time very carefully, which was crucial. The time passes by very fast as it’s limited in the competition situation.
Before the final, I read the new case few times and thought about possible arguments with my friend Mandi, who was helping me to prepare. We didn’t practice the whole routine at all, because it would have made me more nervous. I wanted to focus on being as stress-free as possible. On the competition day, my strengths were relaxed but determined attitude and a logical order of my routine.
The competition was an enriching experience, which I can look back with a smile on my face. There are few tips that I can give: Practice, practice and practice, by yourself and with your colleagues, and don’t be afraid to share tips! Organize your routine, make good questions and think about possible arguments and reactions. Also, a very simple but important tip: remember to smile! By smiling you can hide your nervousness and you might even feel less nervous yourself.
Best Seller Competition winner 2017 Turku University of Applied Sciences