Taking Pains to Train

May 1, 2003
A new book from EW's chief editor offers some assistance in training new recruits.On average, an Electrical Wholesaling reader has 17 years experience

A new book from EW's chief editor offers some assistance in training new recruits.

On average, an Electrical Wholesaling reader has 17 years experience in the business. The typical reader's company stocks about 162 manufacturers and an average of 245 product lines. Those two guideposts alone represent a tremendous build-up of specific technical and application knowledge, not to mention the accumulated customer insights, sales savvy, competitor backgrounds, distributorship procedures and more that you have acquired over the years.

For you, that knowledge represents a massive amount of information to process and recall. It is, however, what makes you so good at your job and so valuable to a distributorship. Parallel situations exist at electrical manufacturing firms and independent manufacturers' representative companies.

That massive body of knowledge that an electrical industry veteran carries within presents a pressing problem, too. How does one pass along all that accumulated knowledge to a newcomer? How do you go about downloading your personal hard drive, so to speak, onto an eager but unsuspecting new recruit? Whether you are the executive conceptualizing the training plan or the counter sales veteran mentoring the newcomer, you are bound to come up against the dilemma many times in your career.

It is certainly a question that has puzzled most electrical distributors at one time or another. One time-honored solution has been to start the beginner in the warehouse (where he or she can absorb the vital information from the diagrams or bar codes on the boxes, I guess). Although it has proven effective enough for distributorships of the past, working up through the ranks tends to be a time-consuming and often hit-or-miss approach that probably won't make it in the future. Especially difficult to convey is the big picture-where you, the recruit and electrical distributors in general fit into the U.S. economy and your local marketplace.

We have come up with something that can help. Electrical Wholesaling's chief editor, Jim Lucy, the magazine's chief editor, has written The Electrical Marketer's Survival Guide, a book for new employees of electrical industry companies who need an understanding of electrical market basics, and industry veterans who need a basic reference. Jim has done a wonderful job with the book, interweaving frequently requested articles from Electrical Wholesaling with new material written exclusively for this book.

Among the material you will find in the survival guide are the full series of market reports developed by Jim and published in this magazine over the last few years. These immensely popular articles include cutaway diagrams showing a typical installation and the electrical products found in them, a perfect training tool.

In addition, the book contains worksheets and instructions for market analysis and planning, condensed from 20+ years of Electrical Wholesaling's annual November "Market Planning Guide."

Any company that invests in in-house training for its employees will find a wealth of source material within the covers of this book. You will find Jim's book to be a valuable resource and a problem-solver. PowerPoint presentation materials are also available for companies that want to use the text as a basis for a training module. Take advantage of this well-thought-out tool for survival in today's competitive and changing market.

The 120-page book sells for $29.99 (use item #6891 to order). The Power-Point presentation materials cost $250 (item #6891TM). Both can be ordered by calling 1-800-543-7771.