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Old October 7th, 2017, 07:14 PM   #1
sparkie
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Breaking into more controls work

Since I had to relocate, I've been working in new construction as an electrician, however my boss is definitely open to letting me take on controls work. He is well connected and respected in this area, he just doesn't do controls.

I was wondering if you guys had some tips on approaching the local industry we have around here and getting our "name in the hat."
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Old October 7th, 2017, 09:33 PM   #2
damica1
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Web Site.
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Marshall Electric / www.mei-tech.com

PLEASE READ: https://www.prlog.org/12642091-marsh...-industry.html

PLEASE READ: https://www.prlog.org/12680572-marij...hold-word.html
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Old October 8th, 2017, 03:54 AM   #3
geniusintraining
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Originally Posted by damica1 View Post
Web Site.
After the website is up start knocking on doors and let your current customers know that you are getting into the line
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Old October 8th, 2017, 07:27 PM   #4
diat150
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Originally Posted by sparkie View Post
Since I had to relocate, I've been working in new construction as an electrician, however my boss is definitely open to letting me take on controls work. He is well connected and respected in this area, he just doesn't do controls.

I was wondering if you guys had some tips on approaching the local industry we have around here and getting our "name in the hat."
I feel like the only way you can do it is to knock on doors. You either have to be a very likeable character and can convince someone to help you out by giving you work... or find a way to save them alot of money... Or get lucky by walking into a situation at the right time when the customer is having trouble with their existing vendors. My experience at least in my industry is that advertising is useless. The decision makers are bombarded every week with people selling the same services so there is no need for them to look out for advertising.
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Old October 8th, 2017, 08:09 PM   #5
kalabdel
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Originally Posted by diat150 View Post
I feel like the only way you can do it is to knock on doors. You either have to be a very likeable character and can convince someone to help you out by giving you work... or find a way to save them a lot of money... Or get lucky by walking into a situation at the right time when the customer is having trouble with their existing vendors. My experience at least in my industry is that advertising is useless. The decision makers are bombarded every week with people selling the same services so there is no need for them to look out for advertising.
That is exactly my experience. Even way back before the internet became so accessible, sort of early to mid 90s, when businesses spent fortunes on yellow pages advertising I went door to door, shook hands and got a business card which I used to put together a mailing/calling list to keep reminding them of the products and services I provided. Some took more than a year to call but every customer I got stayed with me in time had total confidence in my company. That way I got exactly the clients I wanted.
You have to be good though or you will lose them pretty quick and they never come back.
I did it intuitively and by trial and error only to realize years later, after taking a marketing course, that what I "invented" was basic marketing.
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Old October 8th, 2017, 08:30 PM   #6
damica1
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Part of what worked 20 years ago just does not work today. Hard work and dedication does not always pay off. You should find a "Niche", find out what your competition is missing. Then sell yourself/company on providing just that.

You have to give them a reason to change, banging on doors and calling them over and over will get you no where.
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PLEASE READ: https://www.prlog.org/12642091-marsh...-industry.html

PLEASE READ: https://www.prlog.org/12680572-marij...hold-word.html
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Old October 8th, 2017, 08:58 PM   #7
sparkie
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Thanks for all of the info so far. I'm seeing what you guys are talking about. I've made it a point to speak with our general contractors and let them know we have the capability, and a journeyman at the company, who also enjoys controls a LOT, likely helped land us our first small controls job for a small industrial job we are doing, and we were talking about how to expand more into it.

The company owner isn't all that interested in getting into controls, as he puts it, "Because I'm pretty old, I'm good at what I do, and I'm not all that interested in learning about it." That being said, he still has no problem if me taking on the work if I can find it under a different employment arrangement.

I'm going to keep speaking with general contractors and see if I can start building up contacts. All it takes is for their "normal" guy to be too busy to help sometimes.

As far as finding that niche, I have asked around about the couple guys that do all the controls work in the area, but I have not been able to get their customer's names yet.
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Old October 8th, 2017, 10:47 PM   #8
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A turn off for me is the repeated emails and calling and another is getting quotes back ASAP.

Also, it is the tiny projects that I wish we had someone I could call to get it done without having to provide a 50 page document of drawings and specs and instructions. If I gotta do all that then I will do it myself. Don’t create more work for the client if he calls you.
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Old October 9th, 2017, 01:42 AM   #9
Toine
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As far as finding that niche, I have asked around about the couple guys that do all the controls work in the area, but I have not been able to get their customer's names yet.
A niche is not necessarily about which controls guy supports which firm. I think of it more like a combination of skills or features you can offer that none of your competitors has.

For me, a niche was controls combined with foreign languages. Find me another guy in my area that does controls and speaks+writes french fluently, in addition to english and german (none of these is my mother tongue). It was what got me into my current position.

That is more like a niche for getting hired as an employee, but the same goes for finding a niche for your company to provide services. Have something on offer that your competitors don't (and that the companies in your area need - no use selling ice cream on the north pole)
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Old October 9th, 2017, 02:04 AM   #10
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Also, it is the tiny projects that I wish we had someone I could call to get it done without having to provide a 50 page document of drawings and specs and instructions. If I gotta do all that then I will do it myself. Donít create more work for the client if he calls you.
This is quite important actually... having someone flexible to pick up the specs and do a change here and there within reason is a plus for me. Obviously this has to work both ways where the person doing the work is flexible but not getting screwed over.

Also, if you have a couple of sites where you guys worked as electricians, one major plus to highlight along with your services will be the knowledge of the site, the company's policies, HSE protocols and so on.
Do be patient and understanding when you don't get a huge job coming your way with the controls, but make it clear that no job is too little. You may get started with small bits here and there and once proven you can probably start getting more of the big jobs.

But whatever you do, don't hassle people.
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