News from the Aurora University community

AU Sales Institute promotes successful selling development

Posted by on November 11, 2016

Salespeople enter their profession by many different routes, but regardless of how they got there, high-performance salespeople — the top 20 percent of the profession — share a variety of behaviors that all salespeople can use to improve their results.

That’s according to Bill Bartlett, founder and president of Naperville-based Corporate Strategies and Solutions Inc. (CSSI), a Sandler training center, where for more than 20 years he has provided sales consultation to clients ranging from Fortune 500 firms to startups in professional, service, retail, internet-based and manufacturing industries.

Junior Alessandra Lerario at a recent Sales Institute discussion on increasing sales productivity.

Junior Alessandra Lerario at a recent AU Sales Institute discussion on increasing sales productivity.

Bartlett discussed some of those traits during a presentation called “Increasing Sales Productivity” at a recent Aurora University Sales Institute. Held every other month, the AU Sales Institute is a series of hour-long educational programs designed to help area businesses, professionals and students hone their selling skills. More than 50 people attended the most recent session. The next Institute presenation will be held Tuesday, Nov. 15 from 7:30-9 a.m. at the Orchard Center.

Among the 10 behaviors Bartlett has identified as being critical to successful selling, Bartlett cited three as most important: continuous prospecting, relationship building and “disqualifying,” that is, knowing when not to pursue a client.

He noted that many sales people often excel at starting relationships with clients but rarely take the time to develop those relationships. The goal, he said, is to build an intimate understanding of the client’s business, its goals and the environment in which it operates so that eventually the client considers the salesperson a partner or advisor rather than just a vendor.

Another key trait successful sales people share is a willingness to continue learning, whether it’s boning up on a potential client’s industry or attending sales coaching sessions, according to Sean Bergan, a CSSI business development specialist who presented with Bartlett. A recent AU marketing graduate himself, Bergan began attending AU Sales Institute presentations as a student two and a half years ago.

“I always find a roomful of energetic professionals, many of them AU alumni,” he said. “The Institute is a great resource for the local business community and a great way to reconnect with the university.”

Alessandra Lerario, a junior majoring in marketing with minors in business management and communication, would add that the Institute is a great resource for students, too. She entered AU with plans of becoming a teacher, but her father, himself a restaurateur and landscape contractor, convinced her to use her teaching skills — very useful in selling — to become an entrepreneur herself.

“[Mr. Bartlett’s] emphasis on building relationships really struck a chord with me,” she said. As a member of the AU American Marketing Association sales team, she said the information she took away from the presentation should come in handy for upcoming competitions.

Upcoming AU Sales Institute Events
All sessions take place at the Orchard Center, 2245 Sequoia Dr., Aurora, Illinois, from 7:30-9 a.m.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016: “Developing a Consistent Approach to Executing the Sales Process from Prospecting to Growing the Current Key Accounts and Generating Stronger Sales Results,” with Dan Troy of TEKsystems
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Tuesday, March 20, 2017
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

For more information about the Aurora University Sales Institute or to register for future events, please contact Shawn Green at or 630-844-5527.