Job Title: Regional Sales Manager/Engineer
Type of Company: The company I work for makes instrumentation to measure the effectiveness of filters, primarily for pollution control.
Education: BS, Mechanical Engineering, Northeastern University MBA, Suffolk University (Boston, MA)
Previous Experience: I started off as a design and applications engineer and later made the transition to sales and marketing with the same company. Since then I have held several sales and marketing positions.
Job Tasks: In a typical day I talk to possible clients who may have reason to need our products. The ultimate reasons are to improve or control their filtration processes or to comply with emissions regulations. I use my technical background to understand their process and to determine the appropriate equipment (or software) they need to help them capture and record the required information. Knowing this, I put together a proposal and present it to the client. This may be written or delivered face-to-face. I answer their technical questions and listen to their concerns so I know what further information they might need to make a decision. I also need to understand what competitive products the client may also be considering so I can be sure to demonstrate the strengths of our solution. Ultimately, I continue to follow up with them with the objective being to close the sale.
A different part of the selling cycle involves "prospecting," searching for companies and clients who have installations which include this type equipment and where our products might be of interest. After I identify those people I try to contact them, normally by phone or e-mail. My objective is to quantify their need and interest. If there is a need, I try to set up an appointment with them.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is traveling to meet people in their facilities and get a tour to look at the equipment they have. The facilities are amazing. This year alone I have been to steel, chemical, cement, power, munitions, mine and appliance manufacturing plants.
Worst part: You can work hard (and for a long time) on a project hoping to make a sale but the project never gets off the ground or a competitor gets the business. You get nothing for all that work.
1. This type job requires traveling alone. If you don't like traveling alone, this is not the job for you.
2. "Communications" is key. You need to be able to write well and speak clearly and concisely. Although I rarely speak to large groups, I strongly recommend that you take a public speaking course. The experience will be invaluable. Equally, take writing courses and practice those skills.
3. This is a sales job. The more sales you produce, the better you will be compensated. The upside potential is unlimited but you need to stay motivated.
Additional Thoughts: 1. Although "travel" sounds exciting, the job does not allow time for touring. 2. Eating in restaurants on a daily basis sounds fun, but it gets old real fast. 3. Having both technical (BS) and business (MBA) training has been quite helpful to me. I am surprised at how many companies like this combination for their technical sales staff.
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