Preparation is vital for success, so I immediately began developing a game plan for my day in the field. I needed to ensure I was spending my time efficiently and effectively in order to accomplish my goal and carry out the project successfully. Below is a list of the steps I took in preparation for game day:
- Researched enrollment data
- Printed off campus maps for routing
- Made a spreadsheet of information that included the faculty's: disciplines, office location, office hours, phone number, email, etc.)
- Created a customer information sheet for each individual professor
- Developed a list of interview questions for both professors and the campus bookstore manager
- Emailed professors
- Created campus binder
- Planned out my routing
The TCC online directory was helpful when preparing my faculty information spreadsheet. Since the directory had all of the professors' emails, I was able to send out an individualized email to each instructor. Of the 30 emails I sent, I received a response back from six professors. It was exciting to see that the email strategy worked, I received far more responses than I originally anticipated. I was able to set up multiple appointments via email and professors that were unavailable for a meeting were able to respond to a personalized questionnaire that I created.
I started at the Virginia Beach campus because of the large student body and additional disciplines offered when compared to other campuses. The bookstore was my first objective, followed by the Business, Engineering and Computer Science departments. Each had the highest enrollment out of the offered disciplines on campus. During interviews, my goal was to not only ask the "right" questions but actively "listen" to their responses in order to get a better understanding of their wants and needs.
Visiting the TCC campus and speaking with a number of professors and staff exceeded my expectations. I was a little nervous before the first call, but I adapted quickly and I could feel my confidence building with each additional interview throughout the day. Even though I come from a pharmaceutical sales background, I felt there were more similarities than differences during my day in the field and I was excited to flourish a different sales environment. Sales is in my blood, so I am confident I will be just as successful selling to professors as I was selling to physicians.
I really enjoyed the conversations I had during my day in the field. The professors were very responsive to me and I was able to get a better understanding of the value Pearson representatives bring to the table. I also think being a military spouse worked to my advantage. A number of the professors I spoke with were either in the military at one point or knew someone close to them who was, which I felt made me relatable and allowed them to communicate more openly with me. This made it easy to help build a positive first impression with my customers and I believe I have already begun to establish great rapport.
One of my objectives at the start of this project was to determine if this position was a good fit for me and I can say with complete confidence that I am beyond excited about this opportunity and I truly feel I am the ideal candidate for this position.