Turku University of Applied Sciences Coaches Timo Holopainen and Mikael Tomasson explain why sales skills are essential for everyone in life, and how they're using sales techniques to futher the careers of their engineering students.
'Sales skills are essential for everyone, even if not everyone is employed in sales. Selling is, in essence, part of everyone’s daily life: we sell day after day our ideas, thoughts and opinions, like when we recommend a restaurant to a friend. In business life, sales skills are utilized everywhere, from recruitment to communications. For the future professionals, as well as for actual sales positions, the best ways to train ones sales skills are the sales competitions. Coaching is central to the competitions, especially in the preparation phase.
In sales coaching, the sales theories are put into practise with various roleplay and training scenarios thus strengthening presentation, sales and negotiation skills. When training for a sales meeting the trainees will experience in reality, what selling is and what it entails.
This year engineering students from the Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) who have participated in sales coaching will attend local, national and European sales competitions. TUAS sales engineering students have already won the local Turku Sales Competition and the Finnish national Best Seller Competition and now two competitors are attending European Sales competition held on June 1st 2017 at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland.
The common assumption that sales do not belong to engineers, has been shed off piece by piece, while the students have practiced in real and simulated sales meetings and boosting their self-confidence at the same time. The image of sales is evolving from bursting out product features to understanding the importance of listening to the customer and providing value that will match the customer’s needs.
Combining engineering know-how with sales skills and business knowledge will match the industry needs and strengthen the European economy in the long run. For technical sales experts there is always work available and that is why the Turku University of Applied Science, Finland has increased the amount of sales training in its engineering degrees.'
More information about TUAS can be found at www.tuas.fi/en/