Sales Skills vs. Technical Skills

From the Conversation on Welding & Gases Today’s Social Networks

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

Welding skills poll - 70% must have skill; 30% no skills needed
“Welding skills go a long way in helping a salesman become a consultant rather than just a source for products. When I hire salespeople, I ask questions to see if they are electrically and mechanically inclined. It makes a difference.”

“There are already too many salespeople who are selling coffee machines and can’t make coffee.”

“Never doubt the benefits of an aggressive regimen of training and refresher courses. It breaks up the monotony, helps one stay fresh, and it’s just plain fun to pick up the equipment and get dirty.”

“At my store, people pursue salespeople specifically for their knowledge. At least three people stop in our store every day just with questions, not looking to buy. That knowledge provides a level of trust that makes them much more comfortable buying expensive stuff.”

“We go out of our way to inform our customers of important information which they might not know, might not know that they don’t know, probably wouldn’t know to ask about, and would probably suffer for the lack of. This habit may hurt our sales in the short term, because it often prevents customers from buying the wrong thing. But it goes a long way to establishing trust.”

“A tech-competent salesperson with moderate sales skills will crush a super salesperson with no tech skills 7 out of 10 times.”

“There are so many resources about welding and welding products that it’s easy to find information needed to help customers.”

“Many of the top salesmen I know are ‘people’ people. They use me when they need technical help and never had any interest in learning technology beyond who to trust when they need help.”

“The process of selling is the most important component, being able to identify their needs in the situation and their capabilities.”

“Product knowledge is the key to recognizing customer’s needs and understanding how to assist them when they have a problem. A sales team may have one person more knowledgeable in filler metals, another in gas processes, another in machines. This is where a team effort works.”

“A good salesperson, if they have the right profile and attitude, can be very successful, even more so than a technical person cloned as a salesperson.”

“Time will give you the experience you need.”

“A better system is a good salesperson with a good technical support system behind him over an average salesperson with good welding skills/knowledge.”

Gases and Welding Distributors Association