Elon students take top honors at World Collegiate Sales Open

Elon seniors Carl Hairston and Tyler Reynolds won cash awards and placed in the top four at the World Collegiate Sales Open held this month at Northern Illinois University.

Elon seniors Carl Hairston (left) and Tyler Reynolds

The World Collegiate Sales Open required sales students to demonstrate proficiency in both telephone and face-to-face sales skills such as cold-calling, setting appointments and conducting elevator pitches. The eight-phase competition began in September with a qualifying round.

Hairston and Reynolds were among the 20 semifinalists in a field of nearly 200 chosen to advance to the championship round in Illinois.

The duo made it through the competition’s remaining five phases to place in the top four. Hairston, a senior marketing major from Winston-Salem, N.C., won overall champion and received a $2,000 award.  Reynolds, a senior entrepreneurship major from Orlando, won first place in the voicemail phase and second in the appointment setting phase, earning him a $500 award.

“The WCSO was definitely the most challenging competition I have ever been in,” Reynolds said of the experience. “You had to be on your toes every second.”

During the competition, Hairston and Reynolds participated in a reverse job fair, in which they set up informational tables to attract executives from sponsoring firms such as Adobe, Bosch and Enterprise Rent-A-Car served as judges for the competition.

“The World Collegiate Sales Open was an excellent experience not only for cultivating additional sales skills, but also for meeting employers and garnering potential leads for jobs,” Hairston said. “I’ve already been contacted by several of the companies in attendance for interviews and further correspondence.”

Hairston and Reynolds were accompanied by faculty advisor and coach Michael Rodriguez, an assistant professor of marketing in the Love School of Business. Elon students Lindsey Richardson and Priscilla Abad also participated in the WCSC’s qualifying round.

Other schools sending semifinalists to the WCSC were Ball State, Baylor, University of Toledo and Dublin Institute of Technology.