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RE: Sales skill

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Boy, this is a great question and one that probably most of us take for
granted. Engineering is like any other business and requires strong skills
in selling yourself as well as selling your services.
Unfortunately, short of taking business courses at a local community college
I don't have any short-cut answers. I don't particularly believe that books
will help - the process involves learning how to use your personality and
understand the personality and psychology of your clients. It's not an exact
science. I spent six years outside of engineering in industrial sales and
learned a great deal. The basic "must-do" include the following:

1. Strong communication skills
2. Good references (which is sometimes like chasing your tail as you need
experience to get experience).
3. A track record based on delivering what you promised - even if your
schedule is delayed you must be consistent in insuring a clients
4. I know that most will disagree with me on this one, but outside of
corporate type clients appearance is not the strongest issue. If you have
the personality to sell a client your battle is met. This does not mean that
you should be disheveled or dirty - but sometimes jeans and tee-shirts are
an advantage to some types of clients. Strong personalities that exude an
air of confidence overcomes most clients concerns.
5. Nothing works with strictly price shoppers - but then, they get what they
paid for.
6. A rule of thumb that works for me (every time): The harder you work to
get a project, the less likely you are to get it.
7. Do the best job you can and don't get trapped into worrying about the
liability issues. If the client has a problem, solve it and then worry about

Hope this helps a little.
Dennis S. Wish, PE
SEConsultant(--nospam--at) <mailto:SEConsultant(--nospam--at)>
(208) 361-5447 Efax

-----Original Message-----
From: Juan C. Gray [mailto:juangray(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, December 08, 1999 2:52 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Sales skill

Does anyone know about a good reference on how to develop sales skills
for engineering?

Juan C. Gray