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Over the last few years, the nature of selling in the gases and welding industry has changed with the economy. Welding & Gases Today went to the industry salespeople and sales managers who are making a difference in today's economy to find out what makes them successful in their field. Seventeen sales reps and managers are featured in the article, "GAWDA Sales Hall of Fame," which appears in the Fall 2011 issue of Welding & Gases Today, the leading magazine for the gases and welding equipment industry.

Recommended by suppliers and manufacturers, these sales superstars epitomize the characteristics of a successful professional. They share what they think makes a top-of-the line sales rep, and they offer advice for those just beginning a career in the gases and welding industry.

"Instead of delivering golf games, the salesperson today needs to deliver real value," says Heath Wells, regional vice president of sales at Cee Kay Supply. "The salesperson must either save that customer money or enhance their productivity." Wells advises that salespeople must get in front of as many people as they can, at as many levels as they can. "Don't just go visit that contact that was handed to you. You want to go three levels up and three levels down in each account," he says.

Rick Maier, sales manager at Badger Welding Supplies, explains what makes him successful in sales: "Product knowledge sets a successful salesperson apart from the competition. That knowledge, together with people skills, helps to build long-term relationships." Maier compares his job to teaching, whether it is providing a product or sharing basic information needed to understand how a particular product or technology works.

To find out what sets apart the 17 salespeople featured in this article, read "What GAWDA's Sales Hall of Fame" (http://www.weldingandgasestoday.org/index.php/2011/09/gawda-sales-hall-of-fame/) at Welding & Gases Today Online. For more information, contact Devin O'Toole, content editor at Welding & Gases Today at devin@weldingandgasestoday.org or 315-445-2347.

Founded in 1945, the Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its member journals (www.weldingandgasestoday.org), e-magazines, newsletters and industry wiki (www.gawdawiki.org), GAWDA connects suppliers of gases and manufacturers of related equipment as well as manufacturers of welding equipment and distribution leaders, for the purpose of safely delivering optimal solutions to the users of those products. GAWDA publications are the industry's voice for all matters related to the latest technology and the most up-to-date processes spanning welding equipment and products and services related to industrial, medical, specialty and cryogenic gases. A 501(c)3 organization, GAWDA members are located throughout North America.

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