West Lafayette, IN (PRWEB) February 18, 2014
Students in Dr. Scott Downey's advanced sales and marketing class at Purdue University recently raised close to $6,000 for two diverse charitable organizations – the Wounded Warrior Project, a veterans' service organization that provides programs and services to severely injured service members during the time between active duty and transition to civilian life, and the Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis.
The donations were the result of an innovative partnership between Downey's class and Vector Marketing Corporation, the single-level, direct sales division of Cutco Cutlery Corporation, the largest manufacturer of high-end kitchen cutlery in North America. The partnership, called Cutco in the Classroom, enables students to expand the theoretical knowledge of sales learned in the classroom and gain real-world sales experience by selling Cutco. The students are given training on Cutco products and are asked to develop and implement an effective sales strategy. Most importantly, they must go out and sell product.
"It's one thing to learn sales theory from a textbook, and it's another thing to apply that theory to real-world situations," Downey says. "Going out and selling Cutco teaches students valuable skills such as setting up appointments, making presentations, communicating with prospects and even handling rejection. These are all things you must experience to understand."
Other skills developed selling Cutco include:
- Time management
- Closing techniques
- Customer service
Downey notes that sales is not for everyone, but that his senior students who will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in sales and marketing benefit from a first-hand experience in selling. "Many students love the idea of setting their own schedule and earning an income based directly on how hard they work. Others find that they prefer supporting the sales function." Either way, Downey says that selling Cutco prepares students for whatever future career they decide upon. "No matter what we do in life, we are selling, whether it is selling ourselves during a job interview, selling an idea in the boardroom or selling our spouse on our desired vacation destination."
Downey has been implementing Cutco in the Classroom for the past seven years, however this marks the first time the program has been integrated with a fundraising endeavor. The students each picked their favorite of the two charities and had fun competing against their peers.
"This was not just a lesson in sales; students were excited that the project helped them serve those less fortunate. It is a model we plan to continue," Downey said.
About Cutco Cutlery Corporation and Vector Marketing
Cutco Cutlery is a 65-year-old company with headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Olean, New York. Vector Marketing is the company's sales division, coordinating all sales for Cutco Cutlery through a national network of college students who sell products through in-home personal demonstrations. More than 15 million US households have a Cutco product.