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8 SMT Magazine • December 2016 by Stephen Las Marias I-CONNECT007 Selling Success in the PCBA Industry I am neither a salesperson nor a market- ing person, but over the course of my editori- al work, and through speaking to technology and systems providers in the electronics manu- facturing industry, I have learned a few things when it comes to sales and marketing, name- ly, the importance of collaboration, positive re- lationships, and technical knowledge. For ex- ample, the sales and the marketing teams must work together to make sure deals get closed and contracts are awarded. I don't know if this can be considered a mar- keting/selling process, but in numerous media panel interviews I have attended, the sales and marketing guys are almost always together. The marketing executive gets us editors interested in the company or the technology that they are creating—so that we attend said media event— and the sales guys sell the idea to us, so that we write a good story about their technology. Another thing I have learned is the impor- tance of creating and maintaining a good re- lationship. Many a time I have joined clients (in my previous work) to visit their customers to write customer success stories. In my ob- servations during these visits, I saw that both parties enjoying a genuinely good relation- ship—almost a friendship—and not just the obligatory vendor-customer relationship. And I think this tends to happen, custom- ers becoming your close friends in the indus- try. In our recent survey on sales and marketing, majority of the respondents said it takes around six to 12 months before a prospect becomes a customer. Technically, there are other aspects to consider, such as the scope and complexity of the project, and the qualifications by the cus- tomer. Others even answered more than a year E DITOR'S NOTE

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