The Courier spoke with Jamie Scarborough, partner at Sales Talent Agency and co-founder of the Great Canadian Sales Competition, about how you can get involved and what’s in it for you.
This isn’t just a competition for business or marketing students, it is open to everyone and could benefit students that don’t see their skills traditionally connected to sales. Jamie Scarborough explains that no matter what you want to do with your career, you will still need a strong understanding of how to sell.
“It’s important to learn how to get people to listen to what you have to say and how to sell an idea internally. It’s important to learn how to sell yourself and a product in an interview. It’s important to learn how to do a discovery and ask really good questions… learn how to present, to negotiate and close opportunities and make deals happen.”
How to Enter
Visit the website and submit your video pitch before January 30, 2016.
You can find more information and view the 64 Centennial student pitches and over 1000 others already submitted at
Advice for Contestants
“Be brave and don’t over-think it. What’s going to be natural is to procrastinate. I think everyone wants to be a part of it, but then they think that it’s too big or they have to really think of a good topic, or they really have to study how they’re going to do it.
The contestant that won last year was pulled out of a lineup as she was walking down the hallway and was asked to pitch something. She pitched something, got to the second round, and then started to really build some momentum and ended up winning the competition and she won $5000. So don’t be finicky, don’t procrastinate, just do it!
You can always do another video later and remove the first one, don’t let this time go by, don’t get to the end of this competition and not have entered just because you didn’t step up for yourself, you weren’t brave enough.
Careers work that way as well. You don’t walk into a company and immediately become the CEO, you walk into a company and you have to be prepared to start at the bottom and work your way up and this is that competition too. Start at the bottom and work your way up.”
What’s in it for me?
Learn the sales skill set. Get people to listen to what you have to say and learn how to get people to buy into your idea. Scarborough explains it’s important to learn how to sell yourself and a product in an interview. It’s important to learn how to ask really good questions, how to present, to negotiate, close opportunities and make deals happen. No matter what you want to do with your career, knowing how to sell is an invaluable skill. This competition can give you a chance to apply those skills.
There are 25 sponsors including some of the biggest and fastest growing companies from across Canada. This is an opportunity for those companies to connect with young people. The Millennials in Canada have a 14.5% unemployment rate, in Toronto it’s 15% and this is an opportunity for them to really be able to be successful… as opposed to having to go out into this horrible world of job fairs and interviewing. This is an opportunity for them to actually get noticed by really amazing employers who are actually looking to make hires.
The top prize is one full year of tuition (on average $7500). There are also lots of little prizes and prizes for 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th.
The top 25 will also all get to participate in the competition at the Google head offices in Toronto and a gala at the Corus Entertainment Building at the end of the day.
Take a chance and submit your 30-90 second video pitch by January 30, 2016.