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Contact: Christine Payton Nov. 9, 2009
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu
UL Lafayette sales team
Members of the UL Lafayette Bayou Sales Challenge championship team include (left to right) Jonathan Guidry, Joseph LaBauve (Overall Runner-up), Visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing and team coach Duleep Delpechitre, Marketing Instructor and Assistant Dean for Special Projects in the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration Frank Wallace, Peter Gervais (Pressure Round Champion), and Kimberly Abrahams (Overall Champion). Photo courtesy of Kimberly Abraham.
Sales is all about building relationships. Last week though, it was all about competition for students from seven universities throughout Louisiana.

Four marketing majors from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette – Kimberly Abraham, Joseph LaBauve, Peter Gervais and Jonathan Guidry – joined students from Louisiana State University, Nicholls State University, the University of New Orleans, Southeastern University, Xavier University in New Orleans and Southern University of Baton Rouge to compete in the ultimate regional sales challenge, the 7th Annual Bayou Sales Challenge, hosted by Nicholls State University’s College of Business.

The event is sponsored and judged by top executives and sales teams from regional and national businesses who view the event as an opportunity to recruit some of the top sales students in the state.

The judges faced the daunting task of narrowing the field of 23 competitors to just two finalists for Best Individual Competitor – Abraham and LaBauve. Judges role played as customers giving each student a mere 20 minutes to identify their needs and make a sales presentation. Live feeds of each sales presentation were broadcast to judges in conference rooms throughout the facility. They graded competitors on areas such as professionalism, identification of customer needs, and handling customer objections.The remaining students competed in the Pressure Round, a fast paced consolation bracket with a 10-minute time limit. Abraham, LaBauve, and Guidry all advanced to the semi-final round. Gervais, unable to participate in the initial elimination round due to a class presentation, was ineligible for the semi-final round.

“ The Bayou Sales Challenge enabled me to experience competition with fellow scholars in a real time setting and showed me the need to differentiate myself within the marketplace” said Gervais.

Abraham, a 23 year old native of Lake Charles, and a senior marketing major at UL Lafayette was announced as the best individual competitor.

“ I feel as though this has opened up so many doors for me, and I have gained so much experience throughout this process,” said Abraham. “One thing that has stood out through this entire process is that selling is all about creating that relationship and relationships make friends, and that's what life is all about, “ she continued.

In addition, LaBauve received the runner up individual competitor award and Gervais won the Pressure Round. The four-member team from UL Lafayette also took home the Outstanding Team Award.

Abraham and LaBauve will represent UL Lafayette in the national sales competition in the spring.

“ Building our sales program and preparing our students to set themselves apart in the world of sales is something we have been diligently planning for and working on for the past three years,” said Dr. Gwen Fontenot, head of the Department of Marketing and Hospitality at UL Lafayette.

Fontenot explained that the department and the administration of the Moody College of Business has plans to create a sales lab that will allow students to create videos of themselves while role playing to assist in their preparation for a sales career. Plans are for the facilities to be used not only for classroom purposes but to help local companies with training and certification programs in the sales area.


About UL Lafayette
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the second largest university in the state, with over 16,000 students. It’s a public institution that awards bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. It includes diverse offerings from the humanities to scientific research and leads the nation in areas like computer science, biology and nursing. Its student-athletes – Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns – compete in NCAA Division I, the highest level of collegiate competition.

Document last revised Monday, November 9, 2009 1:52 PM

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