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Students from Belgium participate in Sales Mission project

International Trade students from the EPHEC School of Higher Economics and Technology in Belgium were welcomed to the Cheshire campus in January 2017 to complete their Sales Mission project in collaboration with Manchester Met’s Department of Business and Management.

Wednesday 15 March, 2017

Posing as Manchester Met purchasers for corporate gifts, Senior Lecturers in Business and Marketing Nathalie Ormrod and Carrianne Wallace met with the various groups of students to test their pitching and negotiation skills.

Each group were given fifty minutes to convince both buyers to purchase various luxury products ranging from Belgium sparkling wine, Leonidas chocolates, Speculoo biscuits and Cuberdon sweets as well as other delicacies. The groups had to prepare to cater to the values of the buyer’s company and expectations as well as being knowledgeable about their products. All sales negotiations were conducted in English, with lecturers challenging their offerings under the careful eye of their home tutors.

The Sales Mission project included a guest lecture by Phil Barratt, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for online comparison software company DeltaXML Ltd. Over recent years, Phil Barratt has led on marketing strategies solutions in various software companies across the world including German based Ovidius GMBH, American based Quark Software Inc, Canadian company Ayogo and the TBS Group, who have offices across the globe. Phil has also worked extensively in the field of gamification's applications within healthcare alongside pharmaceutical companies and the NHS. During his presentation, Phil explored the way marketing and sales techniques have evolved in our digital age and the impact of macro forces (including Brexit) upon international trade and marketing.

The Sales Mission project, running for the second time at Manchester Met’s Cheshire campus, allowed students to perfect their sales and marketing techniques in a professional manner whilst making new, international connections. The students also had the opportunity to experience the culture of a university campus in the UK and explore the local area with students from Manchester Met.

Nathalie Ormrod, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Manchester Met said: "It has been a real pleasure working with EPHEC colleagues and students once again, especially with Jean-François Vuylsteke who, as coordinator of the project, provides the students with a real business opportunity in sales and marketing.

"Carrianne and I truly challenged EPHEC students who did not expect last minute changes to previous email confirmations prior to their pitch - they quickly had to adjust to changes in budget and size orders which reflect true business situations. We were also thoroughly impressed by their mastering of the English language. Our students would truly benefit from similar experiences abroad, better still in another language."