Professor Podcasts on Science Fiction

One of the many summer activities of Professor Gary Wolfe was podcasting with Locus editor Jonathan Strahan, a three-time Hugo award nominee.

Professor Gary K. Wolfe

Locus editor Jonathan Strahan

Episodes 14,  15,  and 16 from Notes from Coode Street are still available on Strahan’s blog, where Wolfe and Strahan discuss all things sci fi, including non-English books in the genre, classic SF “books you don’t need to read,” and other fascinating stuff. A recent 2010 podcast roundup by Jonathan McCalmont said Wolfe and Strahan’s podcasts “are a real ray of sunlight . . .They are fun, they are engaged and they manage to walk a fine line between talking about new books, old books, ideas and issues affecting the field of science fiction . . . Anyone with an interest in science fiction should find it intensely rewarding.”

Interview with a Salesman (and Professor)

This fall, Phil Procida will be teaching the introductory course entitled “Prospecting and Buyer Types” in the new PLS major in Sales. Recently Procida answered some questions for our blog.

Phil Procida is the new Sales instructor at RU

You are teaching the introductory course in the new Sales major.  What’s your background in sales and business?  What do you bring to the classroom from your professional experience?

I was fortunate to work for a company who apparently had the capacity to recognize talent and after working for a degree in accounting at college, I found business accounting boring when I had to do it on a daily basis.  As new jobs were posted I applied for entry level positions in operations, then sales/service, and then finally sales.  My sales career started in New York City and after a few years was signing more business than all the other sales people in a very tough market.

This sales position escalated me over the years, combined with a few moves, to the senior position as V.P. of Sales.   After a few years I was asked if I would spearhead taking our company global, finishing my career after 45 years with this company as corporate V.P. of International Operations, and division President for the global organization, which was number one in the world when I retired.

I believe I can bring to the students the ability to understand, in real life situations, how applying sound sales principals can improve their life and ability to sell themselves in any type of a sales environment.

As you mentioned, the world is also a much “smaller” place now.  How has the sales industry changed as we’ve moved to a global economy?

As we moved into a global environment, in order to compete effectively, the sales industry had to stay focused on who is the customer and adjust their focus to meet these new and existing customer needs.  Though it sounds easy, the process is rather complex involving many different alternatives to achieve desired results.  These alternatives can involve any mixture of retraining, rehiring, moving facilities, adding facilities, partnerships, joint ventures, alliances, and of course R.O.I. always remains paramount.

The US economy has changed greatly in the last decade.  How do you change your sales strategies in a weaker economy?  What factors are significant?

Sound and ethical sales principals never change, regardless of the economy.   To be effective for a long-term relationship, there must always be some form of a “win-win” environment.  As long as the sales representative has the luxury to keep the needs of their company and of their customer in balance they and their company will always do well in strong and weak economies.

Can people who don’t consider themselves good sales people LEARN to sell something?

YES!  I guess I am the perfect example to prove the point.  Moving into a career of solitude hiding behind volumes of ledgers, journals, and accounting functions, I found that introverts, can also sell effectively.  However, you will have to take my course to learn the secrets.

If you are interested in learning more about Procida’s sales strategies or for more information on any other of our courses, please visit the Sales website, call 1-877-277-5978 (I 877-APPLY RU), or email applyRU@roosevelt.edu.