Do Skills Equal Sales Success?

Distributors and end-users weigh in on whether a salesperson should possess welding abilities.

Do Welding Skills Translate to Sales SuccessWhat makes a great salesperson? Empathy? Honesty? Personality? Product knowledge? There are any number of qualities that one could make a case for. How about technical ability? Particularly in an industry such as the gases and welding environment, this is a legitimate question.

Does a salesperson need welding skills in order to successfully sell welding equipment?

Ross Bumcrot, Technical Sales Representative at California Tool & Welding Supply (Riverside, CA), was featured in GAWDA’s Sales Hall of Fame. He says, “The welder’s opinion of the salesperson will change dramatically when the salesperson is capable of getting under the hood and proving some sort of technique that can save that customer money. I can weld with the best of them, and that skill helps me identify a problem or change the process or method.”

Welding & Gases Today put the question out to its social media followers and received an interesting response.

Abbott Welding Supply (@AbbottGases) of Olean, NY, replies via Twitter, “Skills? Not necessarily, but knowledge? Certainly (although 90 percent of the time they go hand in hand).” Is welding knowledge a dealbreaker? Abbott adds, “A high-character person with limited welding knowledge is worth our time to train and is most valuable long term.”

Providing an end-user perspective, @CadToolbox writes on Twitter: “Yes. I wouldn’t buy a car from someone without a license either.” He adds that having welder certification is one way a salesperson can show customers that he or she has the necessary skills. Ultimately, he says, it’s up to the customer to find out how much the salesperson knows.

On LinkedIn, Jacob Marion of American Welding & Gas (Billings, MT) chimes in: “In my experience at a welding retailer, people often pursue salespeople specifically for their knowledge. At least three people stop into our store every day with questions, not necessarily to buy, but because we have a team with a lot of welding and industrial experience. That knowledge provides customers with a level of trust that makes them much more comfortable making expensive purchases.”

What do you think? Does a welding salesperson need to have welding skills? What qualities are most important in a welding salesperson?

See what others are saying about this question on LinkedIn.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association