Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

UC Sales Team to Showcase Their Selling Savvy

Monday, December 19, 2016 6:31 PM
Keg of Nails Sales Competition pits Carl H. Lindner College of Business against University of Louisville.

The University of Cincinnati and the University of Louisville will face off on February 10 in the first Keg of Nails Sales Competition at the University of Louisville.

Nine students from each college are set to compete in the regional competition for a trophy based on their selling techniques. Each team will role-play selling NetSuite (a customer relationship management system) to a fictional restaurant supply company.

Team members Michael Hogan, CEAS ’13, Jordan Mohler, BBA ’13; Alexandra Land, BBA ’15; Alex Delea, BBA’13; Garrett Lee, BBA ’13; Matt Best, CECH ’15; Jaclyn Hyde, BBA ’14; Chris Munz, BBA ’12; and Steven Quinn, BBA ’15, will be judged on their selling skills including building rapport, uncovering needs, demonstrating the product, handling objections, and closing the sale.

The Keg of Nails Sales Competition is the precursor to the National Collegiate Sales Competition (NCSC).

“NCSC is like the NCAA “March Madness” tournament for sales students,” says Jane Sojka, an associate professor-educator of marketing and director of the UC's Center for Professional Selling in the Lindner College of Business. “At NCSC, we begin with 122 students with only four students making it to the final round. The winner is decided from the “final four.” 

Two students who perform best at the regional competition will represent the Lindner College of Business at NCSC March 2 through March 5 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Keg of Nails Sales Competition was founded this year by Sojka and Raymond ‘Buddy' LaForge, Brown-Forman Professor of Marketing from the University of Louisville, and author of the “SELL” textbook.

Lindner College of Business competitors are chosen based on dependability, professionalism and performance displayed during practice. The role-play competition is designed to perfect sales skills including needs identification, handling objections, and closing the sales. Students learn how to prepare for a sales call, adapt to an unknown buyer, and think on their feet. Sales competition role-plays help students prepare for the real-world challenges faced in a professional sales career.

The Lindner College of Business sales team is coached by Jane Sojka and John Cox, sales training specialist at Total Quality Logistics (TQL), and assisted by UC doctoral marketing student Riley Dugan. The coaching staff and students practice Monday evenings and weekends as a team. Team partners practice throughout the week.

Cox, a former NCSC first runner-up, knows how much time and effort it takes to get ready for a competition. But the thrill of competing, the value of performance feedback from sales experts, and the life-long friendships made at competitions makes the sacrifice worthwhile.

The Keg of Nails regional competition at the University of Louisville is sponsored by TQL, ADT, Northwestern Mutual and Tek Systems. Representatives from each company serve as judges and buyers.