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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
By Tara Dunn
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Flex Talk: A Glimpse into PCB Sales
Here is a little sneak peek into the daily life of a PCB salesperson.
Somebody who is not in PCB sales might get a little laugh, but those of us in the trenches see this and and think, haha, is that me? Yes, it is! It is incredibly hard to get in touch with PCB buyers or designers and when someone answers the phone, we do a little happy dance. Then if they don’t say “no thanks,” we are sure they will one day be a customer. We just have to be patient.
When a customer calls:
I know…someone is reading this and thinking, “Really? The PCB salespeople I know like to take long lunches and spend their afternoons golfing. They don’t want to help me.” Old stereotypes are hard to overcome. But I have been in PCB industry a very long time and have had the privilege of getting to know many PCB salespeople that are very good at what they do. In my opinion that is often because they truly enjoy getting to know their customers and helping to solve problems.
As I was thinking about what I wanted to say about PCB sales in this column, I thought it would be both interesting and educational to ask both customers and manufacturers their thoughts on PCB sales. I was pleasantly surprised at the enthusiastic response I received.
In your opinion, what traits do good PCB salespeople have in common?
From PCB Users:
- A better than average knowledge of PCB construction
- The ability to offer suggestions and solutions when we struggle with a new design and technology need
- Respond quickly when there is a request or issue
- Provide follow-up to the details so I don’t have to worry about what is being completed
- Know the line between persistence and annoyance. PCBs aren’t the only thing on my plate
- Excellent communication skills
- Understands when I call with an issue and helps work with manufacturing or engineering to resolve the issue so I can focus on other things
- Takes the time to learn how we prefer to work and customizes responses to fit as best as possible
- In-depth knowledge of the PCB market, new materials, supply issues, etc., and provides information on what might be important to us
To recap: Knowledgeable about PCBs and the industry, organized, strong communication skills and customer focused.
From PCB Manufacturers:
- Persistence and tenacity to follow through and listen more than they talk
- In-depth understanding of the customer, how they like to work and what additional business is available
- Respond quickly and thoroughly
- Consistently find new opportunities and new business
- Great follow-up, know their customers, aggressive when they need to be and very personable. Did I mention organized?
To recap: Knowledgeable about customers’ needs, organized, strong communication skills and brings in new business. These two lists are actually pretty similar
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