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Sales & Negotiations: State Farm Circle of Influence

2017 - Brian McLeish

​Sales Leader at State Farm

Brian McLeishBrian McLeish will present “The Power of Needs and Nods” on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 in the Heritage Ballroom in Tirey Hall at 5:30 pm. (Download event PDF)

He will describe how the needs assessment technique can be used in creating client relationships along with how the simple nod can enhance your connections. His presentation will be followed by a student who has completed a sales internship sharing how understanding the needs of clients played into their experience.

Brian was born and raised just north of Terre Haute in Clinton, IN, and graduated from Saint Joseph College with a degree in Mathematics and Physics. He also lettered 3 years in baseball for the Pumas. He began his career at State Farm in 1989 as an Auto Underwriter in Bloomington, IL, and moved to Paris to be a State Farm agent in 1996. In 2001 Brian transitioned into Agency Leadership and is currently the Sales Leader for West Central Indiana and East Central Illinois. He and his wife, Jami (who works at State Farm in Systems Department) have 3 children and 4 grandchildren. The McLeish’s are passionate about helping kids, and so Brian has served as the President of the Board of Directors for the Community Recreation Center in Clinton, IN since 2005.

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2016 - Melissa Bowler

Executive Director of the Providence Improv Guild

Melissa BowlerApril 5, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. she shared how to use improv comedy to become a better salesperson. 

Melissa Bowler presented “Improving Your Sales Performance through Improv” and described how this technique can be used in training salespeople and engaged the audience in exercises to demonstrate its application. 

Melissa Bowler is a founding member and Executive Director of the Providence (Rhode Island) Improv Guild, an improv school and venue that has quadrupled the improv community in Providence. She has conducted seminars on using improv in sales at other universities such as Baylor University and the University of Georgia.

Her corporate clients include AT&T and Hasbro Hospital. Her partnership with Bryant University’s sales program received the 2014 National Conference in Sales Management Best Sales Teaching Innovation award.

Event Poster 
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2015 - Craig Elias

Craig Elias is author of “Social Selling: Maximize Sales Outcomes by. Using Relationships and Technology.”

Craig EliasCraig Elias is the creator of Trigger Event Selling, ™ author of the award-winning sales book SHiFT! The Chief Catalyst of SHiFT Selling, Inc. and LinkedIn user 3,956 of now over 325 Million users. For almost 20 years, Craig used Trigger Event strategies to become a top sales performer at every company that has hired him – including WorldCom where he was named the #1 salesperson within six months of joining the company.

Craig’s Trigger Event strategies have resulted in:

  • Winning a $1,000,000 prize in a global “Billion-Dollar Idea” pitch competition
  • Being named 15th on Forbes list of the most social sales people on the planet
  • Coverage on NBC news, in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Nikkei Marketing Journal, Business 2.0, and Sales and Marketing Management
  • Earning his last company, the distinction as one of “Silicon Valley’s 40 hottest” and twice being selected as one of Dow Jones™ 50 most promising companies in North America 

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2014 - Tom Black

Author of "The Boxcar Millionaire," 

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2013 - Mike Bosworth

Founder of the solution selling concept and co-author of "What Great Salespeople Do: The Science of Selling through Emotional Connection and the Power of Story,"​

Mike Bosworth"Bosworth has been influential in developing several different schools of thought in the sales field through the last several decades," Jon Hawes, director of the Sales and Negotiations Center in the Scott College of Business at ISU said. "Bosworth was involved in the creation of spin selling, which emphasizes salespeople asking questions of potential clients in a sales call to determine how to best suit their needs, Hawes said. Bosworth also created "solution selling," which is well-known and commonly used by salespeople in the technology industry," Hawes said.

Prominent author and sales expert to speak at Indiana State (January 23, 2013)

2012 - Tom Black

Author of "The Boxcar Millionaire," Black grew up impoverished and credits goal setting and hard work as reasons for his success in sales and business. He presented "Achieving Sales Success Ethically," during which he explained his definition of success with the captivated audience as "the progressive realization of a worthwhile goal or dream."

"It didn't say I'd be the smartest or the best-looking or the richest. It didn't say that I had to have the biggest house or the best car," Black said. "It just said that every morning when I got up, I was progressively moving towards my worthwhile goal or dream."

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"Boxcar Millionaire"™ encourages students to define success, maintain honesty (April 9, 2012)

Sales expert, author to speak at Indiana State (February 27, 2012)