Unlearning What I Thought I Knew About Sales

By Katherine Perrin

If you asked me a year ago if I would have considered sales as a career, I probably would have said “no” with a large degree of certainty. But in reality I was uneducated about what sales consisted of and what a sales career actually looked like. Working as an on-campus Ambassador for the Great Canadian Sales Competition (GCSC) really helped me to understand what sales actually was and ultimately led me to the exec position I now hold with the team.

Like many students, if you asked me what sales was, I would have immediately thought of the telemarketer I hung the phone up on last Saturday morning or my first experience buying a car. I didn’t see the relevancy of sales in any of the fields that I was interested in (marketing, advertising, public relations, etc.). So, if you asked me if I would ever need sales, or if I would use sales daily, I would have said no. But let me tell you - I was wrong.

As the Competition Coordinator for the GCSC I use sales daily, but I am not necessarily in a sales role. I have just finished recruiting and hiring 140 ambassadors at 87 university and college campuses across Canada. I had to sell every single ambassador on why they should get involved with the on campus promotion of the GCSC. I am also the Regional Manager of Ontario for the competition, which entails managing 65 students and coaching them on how they can sell this initiative with conviction and persuasion to the student body on their campus.

Understanding what sales is and what it constitutes of is so important in my job, even though I am not in a direct sales role. Every single person uses sales daily, whether they actually realize it or not. You sell yourself to your friends, your ideas to your coworkers, yourself in an interview - the list just goes on. It is a very essential skill and the troubling part is that many colleges and universities across Canada don’t actually offer sales courses to their students. So how will students learn to define this important skill set? How are they going to learn what a sales career actually looks like?

My answer to you is the Great Canadian Sales Competition. This competition gives students an amazing opportunity to get involved in something that gives them a platform to practice sales, to get feedback from the pros and to network with some of the most relevant B2B and B2C sales companies in Canada. The GCSC will help students understand the benefits and the opportunities within defining their sales skill set and what a sales career constitutes of.

If you just so happen to be a student and would like to learn more, please visit www.greatcanadiansalescompetition.com