AMA sales event draws crowd in Elliott Hall


On Jan. 14, the Oakland University chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) hosted a professional sales presentation in Elliott Hall Auditorium. 

On Jan. 14, the Oakland University chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) hosted a professional sales presentation in Elliott Hall Auditorium. The presentation featured Bryan Chaka, Regional Sales Manager for the Hydraulic & Fuel Filtration Division of Parker Hannifin Corporation, as the main speaker.

Chaka took time to touch on the often overlooked potential for various careers in sales as a starting point for any business-related endeavors.

“Nothing happens until you sell something,” Chaka said. “This is true for all facets of business, as all companies have sales divisions, which makes experience in professional sales a great starting point in any career field.”

Chaka stressed the importance of identifying the difference between marketing and sales. Marketing may be defined as the process of identifying, anticipating and meeting the needs and requirements of consumers in order to make a profit. Sales involves persuading customers that your product and services will provide what they desire.

“Products rarely sell themselves, which is what makes the field of sales so vital,” Chaka said. “Even though companies could not function without sales people, many still see the word ‘salesperson’ and focus only on the negative connotations.”

Throughout the event, the speaker touched on a variety of topics. Chaka focused mainly on the importance of sales divisions in all companies, both in and beyond the business world.

He broke down the pros, cons and qualities of what it takes for an individual to pursue this field. He also took the time to provide insight into specifics associated with starting as a Technical Sales Associate for Parker Hannifin Corporation.

“There are many reasons to consider a position in professional sales after graduation,” Chaka said. “If you are someone who is generally optimistic, outgoing, self-motivated and can deal with frequent changes and even rejection, sales could be something to look into.”

Chaka continued on to outline the benefits of working in sales, such as creative freedom, task and schedule variety, varying earnings potential, and exposure to a multitude of professional contacts in an environment filled with networking opportunities.

Aside from the qualities of a successful sales associate, Chaka also mentioned the importance of first impressions and basic business etiquette when applying and interviewing for sales and any other professional position.

“When we interview candidates for our positions at Parker, we are looking for people who show potential for success in that job,” Chaka said. “Differentiate yourself from the pack, make an impression that they will remember.”

Additionally, Chaka detailed a variety of things job seekers should look for before accepting any sales position including a competitive base salary, the opportunity to increase earning potential and  tools and training programs offered.

“It is important to remember that many companies hire based on personality and aptitude for a position instead of strictly experience. Anyone can train for a job, but not everyone is made for what the position has to offer.”

For more information about how to join the AMA and ways to be involved in their upcoming events, visit or find AMA on GrizzOrgs.