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Old 11-23-2018, 02:10 AM   #1
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Hello. Is there anyone who has gone from working with the tools to doing sales? Sales such as LED lighting or any other type of sales within the electrical industry? If so, do you enjoy it? How easy is it to get into sales?
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Old 11-23-2018, 02:34 AM   #2
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Why........would anybody do that? Maybe after retirement. Or a major case of burnout.
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Old 11-23-2018, 06:09 AM   #3
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Hello. Is there anyone who has gone from working with the tools to doing sales? Sales such as LED lighting or any other type of sales within the electrical industry? If so, do you enjoy it? How easy is it to get into sales?

I can understand guys getting burned out by 110 degree attics and 10 degree crawl spaces and general contractors that drag you out for 90 days. If you have people skills, distributors and rep firms will hire you in a heart beat because of you field knowledge. How many times have you dealt with an inside salesman and even a counterman who has no clue how his products are used in the field?
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Old 11-23-2018, 06:32 AM   #4
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^^^ what he said.


It would be in your interest to finish that apprenticeship though. According to your profile you were an apprentice back in '16 when you joined this site. If you finish that apprenticeship you can always fall back on it.
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Old 11-23-2018, 07:24 AM   #5
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A friend of mine was working for anelectrical company ,then started doing sales for Klien .

He loves it and makes more money .
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Old 11-23-2018, 07:58 AM   #6
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A friend of mine was working for anelectrical company ,then started doing sales for Klien .

He loves it and makes more money .


You must realize the following example is exceptional and you have to work your way up in any organization... but a close friend of mine who owns an industrial elect supply house (He competes with the AB house across town) told me that every single one of his outside salesmen makes 6 figures a year.


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Old 11-23-2018, 08:56 AM   #7
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Remember that sale is part of what accounting calls S&GA...sales and general administration costs. Usually try to keep this at 5-10% for a small company like an electric supply house. So you want your sales at 20 times your burdened "cost". If you figure in taxes and insurance, take your annual pay and double it. So if you make $50k a year you cost $100k. So at 5% S&GA and this leaves no money for someone answering phones or running the shop, that's 20 times that number or $2 million a year in sales. That's a lot of LEDs. If you do a little on the side, great. I figure 10-20% margins in my estimates on Hobson stuff I supply. It's "easy money" compared to labor (my hands) and for things like "spares" or "backups" with zero installation on my part. But moving $2 million a year in pop lights is a lot of work.

If you think my numbers are excessive large supply houses average 7%. Contractors 10%. It's easier "work" but it's still work. Good for the BS artist though because that's what they're good at.

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Old 11-23-2018, 09:50 AM   #8
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@99cents did that, give him a bit and he will answer.
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Old 11-23-2018, 10:06 AM   #9
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The responses are awesome!
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Old 11-23-2018, 10:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by MikeFL View Post
^^^ what he said.


It would be in your interest to finish that apprenticeship though. According to your profile you were an apprentice back in '16 when you joined this site. If you finish that apprenticeship you can always fall back on it.
Yes. I’m in my last year of apprenticeship. The company I’m with asked me if I want to turn out with them. Great shop but deep down I’ve always been more of a inside guy.
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Old 11-23-2018, 10:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeFL View Post
^^^ what he said.


It would be in your interest to finish that apprenticeship though. According to your profile you were an apprentice back in '16 when you joined this site. If you finish that apprenticeship you can always fall back on it.
Yes. I’m in my last year of apprenticeship. The company I’m with asked me if I want to turn out with them. Great shop but deep down I’ve always been more of a inside guy.
Great advice and I belive you can put your ticket on hold as long as you pay dues .

So you can always work out of the hall if the sales Avenue dosnt work out for you .
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Old 11-23-2018, 11:36 AM   #12
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If you finish your apprenticeship, I think going into sales would be great, you may or may not take to it - in my opinion some personalities are cut out for sales, some are not - but it will give you a much different perspective on the business end of things, and that is really valuable whatever you wind up doing.
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Old 11-23-2018, 11:42 AM   #13
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@99cents did that, give him a bit and he will answer.
Handled. I would finish the apprenticeship first, though.

I went into sales almost immediately after I got my license. Now I are a contractor .
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Old 11-23-2018, 12:08 PM   #14
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My last job was a salesman. Motors, drives, control products and gearing.
Outside sales with a territory.
Most of these type jobs require a degree. Especially manufacturer's reps. I worked for a distributor that used to be my vendor when I was using tools.

Knowing the work and the products is very important. The days of taking people to lunch, giving them ball game tickets and similar old methods do not work like they used to.
Customers want helpful account managers.
Yes, thats what we called ourselves. "Account Managers" because that is exactly what we did.
Knowing more than your customer does on any given product is expected today.
Knowledge trumps freebies. Knowledge helps build a customer base.

Sales is more than just selling. It is also supporting. Supporting the customer.
Like I have said before. "The customer is NOT always right". And that requires the trust and respect from the customer.
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Old 11-23-2018, 12:40 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by John Valdes View Post
My last job was a salesman. Motors, drives, control products and gearing.
Outside sales with a territory.
Most of these type jobs require a degree. Especially manufacturer's reps. I worked for a distributor that used to be my vendor when I was using tools.

Knowing the work and the products is very important. The days of taking people to lunch, giving them ball game tickets and similar old methods do not work like they used to.
Customers want helpful account managers.
Yes, thats what we called ourselves. "Account Managers" because that is exactly what we did.
Knowing more than your customer does on any given product is expected today.
Knowledge trumps freebies. Knowledge helps build a customer base.

Sales is more than just selling. It is also supporting. Supporting the customer.
Like I have said before. "The customer is NOT always right". And that requires the trust and respect from the customer.

Interesting perspective. I guess it depends on the organization you're working for. As far as what we buy from distributors, there are 4.


The biggest who has the most inventory doesn't have squat for engineering support, never any discounts and never free shipping. To their credit, when you place an order it ships and you get it, sometimes in <24 hours. I have never seen a human who works for them.



The 2nd biggest who has almost everything you could ever want. They are my #1 choice because they give me free fedex priority overnight even if I order 1 item for $0.01, every time. I get 10% - 20% off depending on what I'm buying, every time. Their FAE's come here about every 1-2 months and we go out and have a nice lunch. I can e-mail their FAE's who have immediate access to the manufacturer's engineering department when I need information not contained in a spec sheet.


The 3rd biggest has very good inventory as well. They come here a few times per year and we have a nice lunch. They are not my 1st or 2nd choice because when you order priority shipping, it won't ship until the next day, whereas if you order ground shipping, it ships the same day. They never have been able to explain that one. I pay for shipping every time and I pay list price every time. I'll pull from their inventory if they have what the others don't (and it happens) but they're not my first choice.


We also get visits from manufacturer's reps who we tend to have more fun with. They'd rather do happy hour than lunch if you know what I mean. Some even invite all their clients from a region so you get to network and pick brains of employees from another company in positions that you don't have. It's lots of fun.


So it depends what you're selling and who you're selling it for.


When you go for that sales job, make it all about them. "I knew I wanted to sell Acme Brand LED Lights because I hear they're the best and the industry standard of tomorrow, but I knew nothing about the business so I spent 5 years in the trade learning as much as I could about how your products are used and installed before I came to apply for this job."
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Old 11-23-2018, 12:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeFL View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Valdes View Post
My last job was a salesman. Motors, drives, control products and gearing.
Outside sales with a territory.
Most of these type jobs require a degree. Especially manufacturer's reps. I worked for a distributor that used to be my vendor when I was using tools.

Knowing the work and the products is very important. The days of taking people to lunch, giving them ball game tickets and similar old methods do not work like they used to.
Customers want helpful account managers.
Yes, thats what we called ourselves. "Account Managers" because that is exactly what we did.
Knowing more than your customer does on any given product is expected today.
Knowledge trumps freebies. Knowledge helps build a customer base.

Sales is more than just selling. It is also supporting. Supporting the customer.
Like I have said before. "The customer is NOT always right". And that requires the trust and respect from the customer.

Interesting perspective. I guess it depends on the organization you're working for. As far as what we buy from distributors, there are 4.


The biggest who has the most inventory doesn't have squat for engineering support, never any discounts and never free shipping. To their credit, when you place an order it ships and you get it, sometimes in <24 hours. I have never seen a human who works for them.



The 2nd biggest who has almost everything you could ever want. They are my #1 choice because they give me free fedex priority overnight even if I order 1 item for $0.01, every time. I get 10% - 20% off depending on what I'm buying, every time. Their FAE's come here about every 1-2 months and we go out and have a nice lunch. I can e-mail their FAE's who have immediate access to the manufacturer's engineering department when I need information not contained in a spec sheet.


The 3rd biggest has very good inventory as well. They come here a few times per year and we have a nice lunch. They are not my 1st or 2nd choice because when you order priority shipping, it won't ship until the next day, whereas if you order ground shipping, it ships the same day. They never have been able to explain that one. I pay for shipping every time and I pay list price every time. I'll pull from their inventory if they have what the others don't (and it happens) but they're not my first choice.


We also get visits from manufacturer's reps who we tend to have more fun with. They'd rather do happy hour than lunch if you know what I mean. Some even invite all their clients from a region so you get to network and pick brains of employees from another company in positions that you don't have. It's lots of fun.


So it depends what you're selling and who you're selling it for.


When you go for that sales job, make it all about them. "I knew I wanted to sell Acme Brand LED Lights because I hear they're the best and the industry standard of tomorrow, but I knew nothing about the business so I spent 5 years in the trade learning as much as I could about how your products are used and installed before I came to apply for this job."
I’ve heard people at trade shows and at our JATC that some of those guys that get into LED lighting sales can make big money. Incidentally, not many of them are electricians.
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Old 11-23-2018, 01:30 PM   #17
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Iíve heard people at trade shows and at our JATC that some of those guys that get into LED lighting sales can make big money. Incidentally, not many of them are electricians.
Just like chemical companies and others hire hot chicks to make sales calls, lighting and electrical parts in general really require no experience.
Thus the supply house counter guy.

In the business I was in it could be a $50,000 special motor someone is ordering. There is no way they can just call that in and expect it to show up and be correct And they are going to pay a hefty shipping bill too.
That kind of order requires hands on treatment. Measurements, considerations, visiting the site and finally the customer signing off on the purchase and instructions.
Sometimes equipment has very long lead times and sometimes they are built in other countries.

To equate a counter guy or a LED salesman is to marginalize the difference between a VW and a Jaguar. No comparison except they both have four wheels.

Mike. Of course salesmen still take people to lunch, give them things just as they have always done. In fact the only time my lunch was on the company, is when I had a customer with me.
My point is times have changed in this regard.
And a big yes on manufactures reps. Seems many of those guys have a keen interest in strip clubs and fine dining........LOL

Free shipping is for Amazon. We could not ship for free unless it was in our stock and our driver could deliver it during his regular route.. In fact we marked up shipping, as margins on this equipment can be very tight. And competition is even tighter.
If you are placing orders with Grainger and or a place like McMaster Carr, all you need is a number out of their catalog.
Places like this do not dispatch people to assist with installation or technical specs.
These sales people do not need to know much about the equipment other than to get the order right and to have somewhat of an understanding as to how it looks and how its used or whats its called.

I could never ship a 100 HP drive to you for free. There are instances where the manufacturer will do it. That is rare as well.
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Old 11-24-2018, 01:56 PM   #18
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Yes. Iím in my last year of apprenticeship. The company Iím with asked me if I want to turn out with them. Great shop but deep down Iíve always been more of a inside guy.
Keep in mind that your scholarship loan agreement requires you to work 5 years under a contract that contributes to the JATC or pay back the cost of education.
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Old 11-24-2018, 02:19 PM   #19
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Handled. I would finish the apprenticeship first, though.

I went into sales almost immediately after I got my license. Now I are a contractor .
My shift was not immediate but other than that I did the same thing. It sure gave me an inside track on how the pricing is done.
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Old 11-24-2018, 11:09 PM   #20
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I have several friends that went into sales, UPS, generators, maintenance services and they do not work as hard and make very good money $$$$$.

But you have to have the gift of the gab able to sell ice to Eskimos.
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