Local Business Executives 'Sold' on NSU's Sales Education Training, Say Program Was Long Awaited

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Four South Florida Executives Share Insight With NSU Faculty On Sales Course

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Speaking to a packed room of professors and administrators at Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Huizenga Business School, executives from four South Florida companies had this to say: sales knowledge and experience is one of the most important factors when considering new hires.

"Many people think that all they need is a degree, and they will land a job – but the post-recession job environment for college graduates suggests there’s so much more to it," said Michael Fields, Ph.D., dean of the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship. "We already provide a high-quality education, but through our sales courses and degree programs, we are arming the next generation of Huizenga School graduates with the ability to add more immediate value to the employers who hire them."

Senior executives from City Furniture, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Florida, Brown & Brown, and Mallah Furman – all of whom spoke at NSU recently – are looking for distinctive attributes in their new employees. But they all have one common need, which is to hire people who understand the sales process and present themselves professionally.

"No matter what you do in life, you are selling something. Whether that's furniture, insurance, homes or ideas, we all need to know how to close a sale in our careers," said City Furniture Senior Vice President of Human Resources Curt Nichols. "Approximately 90% of our managers and executive team, including myself, started as salespersons and grew from within the company – that's the way we like to do it. So, naturally we have a growing need for people who understand sales. NSU is wisely building its undergraduate and graduate sales education training and degree programs, and as a result we'll be shopping for more employees there."

In the fall of 2010, NSU's Huizenga Business School launched its Sales Institute with Sandler Training® and Sales Education. In January, 2011, NSU rolled out its first M.B.A. in Sales and Certificate programs, and in fall 2011, will launch an M.B.A. in sales management.

"The two most important things for any business are revenue and expense; for too long colleges and universities have only been teaching half of that equation," said Penny S. Shaffer, South Florida Market President for Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Florida. "We need people who can build relationships to help not just on the sales end, but throughout the whole revenue cycle including implementation and collection. With fewer employees in many companies these days, we all need to be generalists, not specialists, and we must be able to sell."

Executives who spoke to NSU faculty were: Howard L. Goldstein, C.P.A., Managing Director, Mallah Furman; Stephen E. Patton, AAI, Sr. Vice President, Brown & Brown of Florida, Inc.; Curt Nichols, Senior Vice President of Human Resources of City Furniture; and Penny S. Shaffer, South Florida Market President for Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Florida.

For more information about NSU's sales courses for degree and certificate programs, visit http://www.nsusales.com

About the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship: Serving more than 6,000 students, the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in areas such as accounting, finance, human resource management, public administration, sales courses and more. The Huizenga Business School also boasts the largest Master of Business Administration MBA sales program in Florida as well as sales certificate. The school is housed in the five-story state-of-the-art Carl DeSantis Building on Nova Southeastern University's main campus in Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Florida, but programs are available at multiple locations and online. For more information, visit http://www.huizenga.nova.edu/.

About Nova Southeastern University: Situated on 300 beautiful acres in Davie, Florida, Nova Southeastern University is a dynamic fully accredited institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs of distinction from preschool through the professional and doctoral levels. NSU has more than 29,000 students and is the seventh largest not-for-profit independent institution nationally. The university awards associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, doctoral, and first-professional degrees in a wide range of fields, including business, counseling, computer and information sciences, education, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, dentistry, various health professions, law, marine sciences, early childhood, psychology and other social sciences. Classified as a research university with "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU was also awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification in 2010 for the university’s significant commitment to and demonstration of community engagement. For more information about NSU visit http://www.nova.edu.

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