Andrew Leoncio

1. Andrew- You have a great background in the electrical industry. You have worked as a rep for a legendary company, 3M Electrical, as well as for a “newer” transformer company, Emerald Transformer. Looking back at the time you have had in both enterprises, what did you learn in each role? Also, what products and solutions have been your favorite to sell in each company?

Both at 3M Electrical and at Emerald Transformer, I learned and re-learned that your continued commitment to your customers is what makes the sale, and more importantly what keeps them as a loyal customer for the long run.

As far as products or solutions, 3M’s Electrical division focused primarily on cable connectivity accessories, electrical tapes, and related firestop products. At Emerald Transformer, here in the Western region, we provide disposal services focused on transformers and electrical distribution equipment. This includes tear-downs and disposal of substation transformers. We also offer technical field services for transformer maintenance.

At 3M I enjoyed selling medium-voltage accessories and firestop because those products allowed me to offer the contractors new opportunities to grow their businesses. By offering free training and certification to their crews, I opened the door for contractors to participate in jobs they used to turn away from. Here at Emerald Transformer, I consult with our utility and contractor customers on their disposal needs and guarantee their compliance to stringent state and EPA rules through the process.

2. Who is your typical customer? What “needs” do you target in the market?

Typical customers are electrical utilities and contractors. The “need” stems from the hazmat classification of transformers in California. We protect our customers from liabilities associated with their disposal through a strict process of decommissioning, processing, and documentation that assures compliance to the strictest regulatory standards in the United States. Moreover, being focused and specialized in this space has allowed us to develop a highly skilled and efficient team of people that make up the heart and soul of our company.

3. You obviously have a broad view of the Electrical industry and the “end users”. What pain points in the market are not being addressed yet? What do people want but are not getting for some reason?

Responsiveness is the #1 differentiator among competitors in this industry. This has been echoed by customers numerous times and is something that is of paramount importance as a sales team. The faster you can get the information you need about a project, the faster you can provide that quote and the faster that project gets reviewed, approved, and funded. More importantly, my customer, views Emerald as a go-to for quick, thorough response- a resource for more efficient perspectives on a project, and a company they can trust to protect them from any costly compliance issues down the road.

4. Tell us about a day in a “factory rep’s” life. What challenges do you face? What are your greatest accomplishments? What makes a GREAT day in the job?

Maximizing productivity is the #1 challenge for a field rep. You have to strike a balance of digging for new business, following up on opportunities, and working the back-office tasks like producing project quotes & coordinating with your compliance and field engineers to deliver on your promise to the customer. If you can stick to consistent formula for discipline in this regard, you will have great days where you see positive movement in these three segments and maybe get the win for a project or three.

5. Who are your favorite customers? Why are they your favorite, what makes them so great?

My favorite customers are the ones that are most demanding and innovative. Because they are pushing themselves to grow and innovate, it opens the door for me to support their ever-changing priorities by being, again, ultra-responsive in bringing tailored innovations to the table, whether it be a unique product that fits the need or an innovative process that we can work on in partnership to reach their goals.

6. When you are out there making “sales calls”, customer visits, product trainings, what is your ultimate goal? What do you hope to accomplish on a daily basis?

Sales calls and trainings are an opportunity to connect physically with your customer/partners. As communications technology relentlessly marches forward, more and more of our interactions with customers is done electronically. It is a wonderful thing as it speeds up processes exponentially and provides for efficient communication between stakeholders. However, making the human connection, especially in B2B service oriented relationships, is still very important. Putting a face, a handshake, a smile to a name or email address allows both parties to be more sensitive and empathetic to each other—to trust each other more. Sales, to me, is about caring for the customer, caring for my distributor, caring for my counterpart in the business relationship, caring about my contact’s performance in the eyes of his or her organization. I feel like I communicate that empathy best when I can meet face to face with my customers and let them know that I have their backs. In turn, they give me first shot at the next business opportunity or offer me the opportunity to counter potential threats.

7. From a REP perspective, where do you see the Electrical Industry in the next 5-10 years?

The electrical industry can’t avoid growth. Human demand for more electrical and telecommunications infrastructure is being driven to support an ever-increasing amount of electricity-based industrial machinery and processes, the transition to electric vehicles, and more electrified home accessories. This necessitates the electrical industry to innovate, to upgrade, to improve on EVERYTHING. The reliability of those power networks thus becomes more and more critical, demanding relentless innovation down to the humble wire-nut. In our business here at Emerald Transformer, we are seeing strong growth in the disposal of distribution equipment due to network upgrades, increased demand for specialty services like testing and re-commissioning of equipment, and a surge in sales of reconditioned transformers for both expanding networks and as backup gear. I see this trend continuing well beyond just the next 10 years.


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