Presentation Title

Implementing Design-thinking Projects in the Sales Classroom

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Abstract or Description

This projects entails application of a design-thinking project, traditionally used within Art courses at Stanford University, to a Professional Selling course. Just as designers must learn to think from the user’s perspective, sales students need to understand that all products are solutions. Student groups first reflect on the features and benefits of an everyday object they own– a wallet. Students go on to individually design their own unique paper wallet prototypes that serve to solve everyday problems through imaginative features and benefits. Finally, students practice needs discovery techniques in pairs, during which they attempt to learn about their ‘buyer’ and how the buyer’s needs match up with the product offered. An on-the-spot product presentation is given with the wallets, with each student directly addressing their buyer’s needs. Introductory sales students tend to have fun with this creative and unique project, while deepening their understanding of how to uncover and address needs.


Society for Marketing Advances Teaching Moments (SMA)


Atlanta, GA