Loe helps students step up to the plate in sales
In the late 1970s and early 1980s‚ Dr. Terry Loe helped lead the Mississippi State University Bulldogs to a pair of fifth−place finishes in the NCAA Division I College World Series. Two decades later‚ Loe is passing along the lessons he learned as a catcher to his students in the Michael J. Coles College of Business.
(May 25, 2004) — In the late 1970s and early 1980s‚ Dr. Terry Loe helped lead the Mississippi State
University Bulldogs to a pair of fifth−place finishes in the NCAA Division I College
World Series. Two decades later‚ Loe is passing along the lessons he learned as a
catcher to his students in the Michael J. Coles College of Business.
Baseball taught Loe the importance of teamwork and discipline‚ and it also gave him the confidence to keep going to the plate‚ no matter what the outcome of the last at−bat. Most importantly‚ it instilled in him a burning desire to achieve that continues to pay dividends‚ long after he traded in his college spikes for a spot in a local over−38 league.
“I was a decent athlete‚” Loe says. “And all the students here have enough intelligence to do well. But the reason I did well is because there was no way anyone was going to work harder than me.”
Today‚ Loe endeavors to drive that point home to his students‚ noting that sales is “kind of like owning your own business. If you work hard enough‚ you get rewarded for it. If you don’t work‚ you starve.”
Sales‚ as an academic discipline‚ only recently began gaining a foothold as a serious course of study for college students‚ as opposed to a trade to be learned at a vocational school. Kennesaw State University is one of a handful of institutions at the forefront of this movement‚ and in his dual role as a faculty member with a passion for ethics and the associate director of the Center for Professional Selling‚ Loe is helping to lead the charge.
“It’s kind of a push−pull kind of phenomenon where businesses needed it and wanted it and I think were asking for it‚ and a number of us who are in the discipline were drawn to it because we see a lot of things that need to be done at this level in preparing students for a career that had not been done‚” he said. “When I was coming through in the ’70s‚ sales was mentioned for about an hour my entire academic career.”
That’s not the case at Kennesaw State‚ where sales is a major focus within the business curriculum and the National Collegiate Sales Competition — which Loe developed at Baylor University in Texas before bringing it to KSU in 2003 — is a growing showcase for students hoping to make a name for themselves in this lucrative field.
Executives from many different companies are drawn to the annual event‚ just as professional baseball scouts congregate at the College World Series. The 2004 competition brought representatives of 32 different institutions to Kennesaw State in late March‚ and when the smoke had settled‚ the KSU team of Rhonda Fleming and Heather Reimer finished second overall‚ with Fleming emerging as the individual champion.
“What we teach in sales — it’s a lot of relationship principles that are involved‚” Loe explained. “In our relationships‚ we have to trust people‚ and we have to be able to communicate. And in that‚ you have to have integrity and honesty. And those are the things that we teach our students.
“Really‚ the most successful sales people are those who are in it to help other people‚” he continued. “It ’s like any other profession: If you really enjoy what you’re doing‚ if you see some purpose in it‚ you’re going to do a better job.”
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.