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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm still apprenticing, but I'd like to look into sales/marketing when I get my Jman license. I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to prepare for the change, or get my feet wet before I make a career move.

I'm already going to college. Should I just focus on getting a business degree and bring up the subject of marketing when I graduate?

Or maybe I should tell my employer that I'd like to take on some marketing responsibilities in the near future?

Has anyone here gone from electrician->Marketing rep/manager? What was the transition like? Advice?
 

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Selling is a completely different skill set than being an electrician. Bidding a job from a set of plans and specs and getting it if you are the low bidder is not selling.

Selling is when you get the job at a higher price than your competition because you have convinced the buyer it is money well spent.

Salesman are some of the highest paid employees around (the great ones). Salesman are some of the lowest paid employees not around (the not good ones).
 
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Estwing magic
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I have spent more time in the sales end of this industry than I have on the tools and contracting. I made a very successful transition to sales on the manufacturing side of things.

A business degree and a journeyman's license is a very lethal combination.

People skills is where it's at. My suggestion is to land a job where you actually get out and talk to customers rather than sitting in an office. That's where you develop your people skills.

I got out of it because the Harvard grads were taking over. Harvard grads are numbers robots. I don't even know if they're human. Cooper is a very good example. The division I worked for spent six years training me on the technical side. Then they told me to abandon technical selling and wander around to the supply houses with boxes of doughnuts. They took all the fun out of it. Then they fired me and hired a doughnut guy.

Despite that experience, I still think business is all about relationships and those with good people skills will win in the end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have spent more time in the sales end of this industry than I have on the tools and contracting. I made a very successful transition to sales on the manufacturing side of things.

A business degree and a journeyman's license is a very lethal combination.

People skills is where it's at. My suggestion is to land a job where you actually get out and talk to customers rather than sitting in an office. That's where you develop your people skills.

I got out of it because the Harvard grads were taking over. Harvard grads are numbers robots. I don't even know if they're human. Cooper is a very good example. The division I worked for spent six years training me on the technical side. Then they told me to abandon technical selling and wander around to the supply houses with boxes of doughnuts. They took all the fun out of it. Then they fired me and hired a doughnut guy.

Despite that experience, I still think business is all about relationships and those with good people skills will win in the end.
I was actually hoping for a response from you. I read through some of your earlier posts and I've seen that you have done a lot of marketing/sales work in the past.

I'm actually good friends with the owner of the shop I work for. I'm positive he'll let me make whatever moves I want within the company as long as It helps his business out and I'm prepared for the change.

If I can distill your post, you're saying to keep going to school, get a business degree, get licensed, and try to work directly with the customers are much as possible. Maybe I should ask to be given autonomy in residential service work.
 

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Estwing magic
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I spent fifteen years in commission selling. If you want to make bucks that's where you want to be. The biggest scores I made were through what we called "overage". That's where the principle established his price and paid me everything I got over that. I made $10,000.00 on an overage sale once. Hubbell thought they had a lock on a job. I broke spec with the engineer, beat Hubbell's price and walked away with a little pot of gold.

Personally, I think you're wasting your time with contracting unless you're with a big guy with big jobs. At least work out a bonus structure. Better yet, go commission or a percentage of profit.

The big bucks in selling are performance based. It's not for the timid. When I started in commission sales I sold my house so I had a slush fund to live off of. I got lucky. I was making enough to live within three months.

If you have a business degree, a journeyman'a license and some sales experience, you will get head hunted. I can almost guarantee that.
 
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