– The Closer –

Lillian Hulbert had 20 minutes to make her pitch.

It was all she needed to convince the judges to award her first prize in the annual sales competition of the College of Business and Economics.

Not bad for someone who once had to drop a public speaking class because she couldn’t deliver a five-minute speech. “I was terrified then, but now feel like I’ve come full circle,” Hulbert adds.

Hulbert beat 25 other students who were all tasked with selling customer relationship management software to a construction company.

“I overprepared,” says the senior business administration and marketing major, explaining that she discussed the scenario with a family friend who works in the software business.

“I didn’t know every detail,” she admits, but was still able to put herself in the customer’s shoes when she met with the “client.” “I was told I asked really good questions and was able to see the company’s needs,” she says.

Students were judged by seasoned sales pros from top area companies. Judges evaluated their approach, how well they identified the buyer’s needs, their presentation of the product, how well they overcame the buyer’s objections, the close and their overall communication skills, enthusiasm and professionalism.