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Old 06-11-2007, 08:53 PM
I miss my MBZ
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 531
Industrial or Outside sales ?

Hey Y'all,
The short version of the story is this - There might be an opening for Klockner-Moeller factory rep in my part of Ohio. Right now I am doing controls Engineering for a conveyor company that specializes on retail distribution centers. This factory rep job sounds pretty good (base salary + sales bonuses, company car, work from home, cover a 4hr radius from my house...). It sounds pretty good, and I might even have a string I could pull to get me in...

My problem is this - I've never been in "sales" before. I have a BS in Mechanical Engineering Technology, I've always wanted to design and build things, becoming technically excellent in the process so a "sales" position isnt exactly what I had in mind-the impression I get is that a factory rep would get training/support so that he/she would become technically proficient...with that companies products =)

I used to be Reactor Operator on a submarine, now I'm just a nameless dad who drives a desk half of the time and works on jobsites the other half of the time wishing he made more money and had more time to spend at home. I deal with salesmen/distributors/factory reps a little bit right now, but my company is an OEM so I think we get "special" treatment sometimes (with the volume of $$ we do...)

Anyone in Industrial or outside sales care to comment ? My "in" thinks I'd be good for the job, but I'm still not sure what I'd be getting myself into. What % late nights ? How many interrupted dinners ? How many trips to HQ for training courses ?

Thank you in advance, I have a lot to think about already...

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Old 06-11-2007, 08:57 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
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Sales success is mainly about organizing your time, follow up, and hard work. If you are a good listener and know how to ask the right questions, you can be good at sales. Your technical background sounds like it would be helpful as long as you don't let it get in the way of these other things.

I hope this will work out for you.
" The market, like the Lord, helps those who help themselves. But, unlike the Lord, the market does not forgive those who know not what they do."- Warren Buffett

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Old 06-11-2007, 10:23 PM
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Location: Seattle
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Outside sales can be a great job. You can have the ability to make a lot of money. You have to understand the details of their compensation. It can be a little like your own business with the commission aspect. And as such the pay can go up and down. It is important to understand the level of sales existing and what your pay will be and what growth they want. I am always surprised at how few people are interested in sales and how many think it is "hard". Basically you have to like helping people and be good with follow up and details. If you know something about the product that is a big plus. In that case you will really stand out since many reps don't know too much.

I would not expect any dinner interruptions but you will have to ask. Sales is pretty straight forward. People are just the same as you when you are looking for a product. You need questions answered fast and correctly. You need solutions to problems. Just make sure you understand the pay structure. If you can talk to some one who did the job before or in a different location then they can tell you the reality of working for this particular company. Make sure you don't get into a situation where you do everything they say and when it comes time for the paycheck they pull the Charlie-Brown-Football trick on you. Been there, done that. It depends a lot on the company. A great company is great to work for. A lousy company is lousy to work for. Sometimes a company starts out great and then after a while turns lousy...

Also it has a lot to with personality. Your personality and the customers. If they like you they will buy from you. People buy from people.

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Old 06-11-2007, 10:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2000
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The two most important attributes necessary for a successful sales career are honesty and integrity.

.....once you've learned to fake that, you've got it made.


If you consider yourself a "people person" or if others do, you can do sales. Regardless of whether you're selling safety pins or submarines, it comes down to being able to relate to the other guy. The other "stuff" you can learn (...sounds like you have).

Go for it!
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Old 06-11-2007, 11:43 PM
E150GT's Avatar
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I don't know about the OEM side of the sales market but I work for an electrical distributor in Texas and hopefully will make my way to outside sale position one day, but the bad part of that is the San Antonio market is saturated with salesmen and It will be hard to kind of hard pick up the pieces and tidbits that the other salesmen left behind. As for our reps they can have a pretty sweet job because customers are assigned them and all they gotta do is show interest in us and we feel happy with them and give them orders. A buddy of mine wise beyond my young years told me sales is just 99% BS and only 1% business. All i know is I like sales and hope to be an outside guy for my company someday.I apologize as this probably was a huge waste of mine and your time as I didn't really say much regarding your post.
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:04 AM
I miss my MBZ
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 531
Thanks for the responses,
I'm up in the air, I think I have a pretty secure job right now, and I like what I do, decent guys, company travel policy is nice...

This job seems like it might be a good opportunity, not that I've "always wanted to be in sales", but I am beginning to see...

"I am always surprised at how few people are interested in sales and how many think it is "hard". Basically you have to like helping people and be good with follow up and details"
...THAT is something I can do

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Old 06-12-2007, 10:03 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: At the Birkebeiner
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Are you particularly empathatic?

Do you say the right things at the right time?

Do you know how to read other people's non-verbal cues?

Do you refrain from saying "stupid" things?

Are you confident in your own abilities?

Do you always start sentences with yes?

Can you see the big picture?

Are you emotionally resilient?

Are you financially resilient?

Do you really care about other people?

Do you relish small victories?

If you answered yes to the above, then maybe, just maybe, sales is the job for you.
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:15 AM
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F K I ?
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:52 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 46
I am a sales and management professional for a large manufacturer of thermoplastic shapes. I deal with engineers, distributors, sales people, etc and have been very successful. The "secret" to my success is relationship building, Period.
All things being equal a person will buy from the person he likes; if things aren't equal he'll find a way to buy from the person he likes.
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:35 PM
I miss my MBZ
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 531
No, not FKI, but most of the guys I work with are from FKI

I don't want to give my workplace name here (you could probably find it elsewhere on this board) I don't want to disrespect them, or my bosses, all of whom I respect. I like my curent job a lot, so I don't wish to make waves or set things in motion unintentionally, but I don't wish to be blind to other possibilities.

PM me if you are or were with FKI, I'd be curious to meet more people in this industry...

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1994 Miata M-edition (salvage-rebuilt)

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