Lingnan University team achieves remarkable success at the 16th National Sales Challenge Bringing honor to Hong Kong
24 Nov 2023
Lingnan University Team achieved international recognition and brought pride to Hong Kong at the esteemed 16th National Sales Challenge held in the United States recently. The team, comprised of talented students from the Faculty of Business, Zhao Yunying and Dai Yanyan, secured first and second place respectively in the Asian Region individual performance category.
The National Sales Challenge was organised by the renowned Russ Berrie Institute for Professional Sales. It is the oldest university sales competition in the United States, with a remarkable legacy spanning 16 successful editions. The three-day event encompassed intensive training sessions, rigorous competitions, and a career fair, attracting top-tier university students worldwide who were eager to enhance their sales skills. Esteemed representatives from leading US corporations were present to witness the event and discover promising sales talents.
With the guidance of Prof Nancy Chen Yifeng, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Business, the Taught Postgraduate Office team, including Prof Shi Shanshan, Prof Yan Aihua, Ms. Wendy Kwok Wing Sum, and Ms. Margaret Ng Kei Shan devoted themselves to thorough preparations for the National Sales Challenge, resulting in the selection of exceptional representatives. The Department of Marketing and International Business from the Faculty of Business offered comprehensive support for this competition. The department head, Prof Peng Ling, recommended a reputable coach, Prof Tong Steve, to train the team. Prof Tong, a seasoned professional, wholly committed himself to training the students into adept sales specialists. He meticulously crafted a series of workshops aimed at enhancing the team members’ skills in areas such as presentation and analysis, public speaking, speed selling, and objection handling. Without the dedication from the Taught Postgraduate Office, Department of Marketing and International Business and the coach, this success would have been impossible.
On 13 November, guided by Prof Paul Whitla, Associate Director of Undergraduate Business Programmes, the Lingnan University team embarked on their journey at the National Sales Challenge. The competition presented a dual challenge for the student competitors. Firstly, they had to effectively sell themselves and highlight their suitability for professional sales roles during the Speed Selling Competition. Subsequently, the Role-Play Competition pushed the boundaries of their skills by simulating sales call meetings. Participants were required to propose effective solutions to real business scenarios within strict time constraints. Kevin M. Short, Chief Executive Officer of ORS Nasco, North America's largest wholesaler of industrial supplies, assumed the role of a discerning buyer, putting the teams to the test.
Prof Nancy Chen Yifeng graced the competition with her presence, demonstrating unwavering support for our students. Through the collective efforts of Prof Chen and Prof Whitla, the Lingnan University team emerged as champions of the National Sales Challenge in the Asian Region individual performance category. Lingnan University's excellent performance on the international stage also demonstrates the commitment of the Faculty of Business to excellence in education and the development of invaluable professional sales skills among Lingnan students, laying a solid foundation for their future academic and career development.
Zhao Yunying, a student of the Faculty of Business, said: "This experience gave us the opportunity to travel to the US and allowed us to experience real business scenarios and propose solutions within a limited time frame, speaking English throughout the competition. It was a valuable learning opportunity that showcased our teamwork, communication skills, and ability to make calm judgments under pressure."
Dai Yanyan, also a student of the Faculty of Business, said: "The competition was highly competitive, and it was not easy for me to represent Lingnan and attain such an honour on the international stage. This experience not only deepened my understanding of the nature of sales but also helped me master marketing strategies and present my talents in the sales field. It was an important milestone for the Lingnan team and brought me a great sense of achievement."
Prof Nancy Chen Yifeng, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Business added that she is very proud of the Lingnan team's outstanding performance, bringing glory to Hong Kong. Prof Chen also expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the competition's organiser, Professor Mike Chao, Director of Russ Barrie Institute, Prof S. Joe Qin, President of Lingnan University, for his strong support and leadership, as well as colleagues of Business Faculty. This journey to the US not only broadened students' international horizons, but also provided them with a valuable opportunity to personally experience the cultural differences between nations, truly embodying Lingnan University's core value of cultivating students to achieve holistic and comprehensive development.
“The competition also helped students and faculty members to develop networks and build new business. Their excellent performance was recognised by professors from other competing universities, and attracted the attention of US corporate representatives, who encouraged them to pursue careers as sales specialists. Lingnan University's excellent performance on the international stage also demonstrates the Business Faculty's commitment to teaching excellence, and to equipping Lingnan students with professional skills in sales, providing a solid foundation for their future academic and career development,” said Prof Chen.