Sales Management and Professional Selling Professor Josh Dorrell
The University of Wyoming College of Business is unique in that many of the classes offered are taught by people who are currently active in their fields. One of these professors is Sales Management and Professional Selling Professor Josh Dorrell. Currently the Business Unit Leader, Technology Services and Solutions at TriHydro Corporation Dorrell teaches MKT 4210 at the COB on Wednesday nights. We interviewed him to find out what sets his class apart and why he loves teaching at the College of Business.
On How he Found his Way to the COB
Originally graduating from the University of Wyoming with a Mechanical Engineering degree, Dorrell eventually ended up transitioning into sales and found he had a passion for it.
“I absolutely loved selling so I began reading everything I could about sales – the sales process, the psychology of selling, developing loyal customers, etc,” he said. “I was lucky to work in an environment that valued learning and practice, which made it easy to form a solid skill set and a passion for the right way to sell.”
He found his way to teaching at the College of Business through a chance meeting with marketing professor, and then MKT 4210 professor, Kent Drummond in 2006. After offering to guest lecture for the class Dorrell found himself found himself teaching the class the following spring.
“I was impressed that there was a sales course at UW and offered to guest lecture, Kent took me up on my offer during the fall semester,” Dorrell said. “Then in the spring Kent was unable to teach the course and asked if I would do it. His are big shoes to fill, but I didn’t want to pass up such a great opportunity. I’ve been fortunate enough to teach nearly every semester since.”
On his Class
Dorrell takes a different approach to his class, choosing to focus on not only on how sales applies in the business world but also in students’ lives.
“Maybe one of the most ‘different’ parts of my class are the rants. I started those about five years ago as a way to connect sales techniques to everyday life. That five or ten minutes at the end of each class has become a fun way to challenge students to utilize sales skills outside of the classroom.”
Students learn different sales techniques throughout the semester and apply them in a final sales simulation at the end. Since the course fills an unusual time slot, once a week from 7-9:50 pm, it also allows for a unique course structure, “The topic and time are the biggest drivers for the structure of the course,” Dorrell said. “Sales requires a lot of personal interaction and experimenting with the techniques, so breaking up into smaller groups works well. I’ve borrowed techniques from corporate training sessions as well. Also, because the class is one night per week for three hours I try to break up the lessons and make it entertaining.”
On Goal Setting
The last few weeks of MKT 4210 focus on goal setting and how students can apply it in their own lives. Dorrell recently created a goal setting presentation he not only uses in his class but has had the opportunity to present at different organizations around the state.
“Setting goals and continually assessing your performance are keys to maximizing success at an individual or organizational level,” Dorrell said. “Goals and sales go hand-in-hand so integrating goal setting and achievement techniques into the course was a natural extension. Whether I’m giving that presentation in the classroom or at an organization my goal is really the same – to inspire people to continually set and achieve goals. There are many great resources and techniques on the topic that I can’t cover in an hour-long lecture, so my hope is that I get people started on their own lifelong goal setting journey.”
On his Favorite Part of Teaching
What does he enjoy most about teaching at the UW College of Business? “The students bring a tremendous amount of positive energy and excitement every semester. I definitely enjoy that. I also really love sales so it is fun to teach a subject I am so passionate about. It is easy to teach in a place with so much support from staff and other faculty.”
When asked what his favorite part about teaching the class is Dorrell replied, “It is hard to narrow it down to one, so here are a few. I like how the students respond when I ask for something more and different in their assignments - I’m blown away every semester by their creativity after I challenge them to, ‘Gimme some mo.’ Another part I really love is right after the sales simulation – the looks on students’ faces and the excitement they have for sales after they not just survive, but thrive, the dreaded sales simulation… priceless.”
Dorrell has one goal in mind each semester for his students, “My goal for each class is for students to leave the class saying, ‘I learned something that I can use in my other classes or my everyday life, and I had fun doing it,’” he said. “My goal for the semester is for students to leave saying, ‘Sales is interesting, challenging and fun. Even if I don’t pursue a career in it, I can use sales techniques in other areas of my life.’”
It’s professors like Josh Dorrell that make the College of Business one of a kind. Sales Management and Professional Selling is offered every semester on Wednesdays from 7:00-9:50 pm. Why not check it out for yourself?
“Okay, I guess I do have a favorite part," Dorrell added. "My favorite part is when a student reaches out and says, ‘Hey, your sales class helped me land a job, close a big deal, or impacted my life in some positive way.’"