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  • EEVblog #68 – I should be Selling Oscilloscopes

    Posted on March 16th, 2010 EEVblog 45 comments

    Another drive-time rant. Dave laments the difference between designing oscilloscopes and selling them. Seek and ye shall find.


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    • http://naxxfish.eu/ Fish

      Sales sucks. I got turned down a job selling a certain high profit operating system because I had actually used it, and knew that it wasn’t as stable as I was told to tell customers it was.

      I watched this with Google’s speech recognition captions on. It gives lines like “I think it’s a waste” and “She’s hell of a hell”. This amused me.

      • http://blog.0x53a.de/ Marvin S.

        Harrr…. that recoginition is a complete fail. :D

    • http://truthspew.wordpress.com Tony P

      Laugh but this what a former employer wrote about me:

    • http://dogber1.blogspot.com dogbert

      I’ve developed a strong dislike against sales people – usually, they are ruthless, lying slime buckets who are trying to make a buck on your expense. Yes, there certainly are exceptions, but in general, they are almost as bad as these annoying head hunters.
      If I ever decide to join the sales force, you have the permission to shoot me.

    • RyanE

      “I know he can get the job, but can he *do* the job?”

      “I’m not arguing that with you… I’m not arguing that with you!”.

      :)

    • Maverick

      Haha precise and 100% accurate. Dave you have hit the nail on the head, engineers are far too honest to be salesmen and I feel exactly the same way as yourself and couldn’t do sales for the same reasons.

      I wonder what it is about us tech guys that gives us this sometimes detrimental sickeningly honest streak when it comes to engineering. Maybe we all share and engineer gene that’s triggered anywhere near electrical fields ;lol

    • Robert

      Interesting facts… So have are the FAE doing? Do you count them as sales men as well? Is this list true?

      Best money: Pure sales men
      Better money: Field Applications Engineer
      Good money: “Normal Engineer” (those who makes the products)

      In general would that list be valid? Or should it be in a different way? What do you guys think? :)

    • Ken Young

      Love the traveling rants. They make for nice listening without having to focus on the screen so I can wander the office while tuning into some nice advice or typical geek talk.

      Also, I think you got the engineer/sales thing nailed right on the head.

    • http://error_success.piku.org.uk James

      I used to work in a shop selling outdoor gear and it was awful for similar reasons to what you said in your video. I’m glad I don’t do that any more, if I had to endure one more sales rep telling me how good their GoreTex jacket is compare to everyone else’s GoreTex jackets I’d go crazy.

      The thing that makes engineers crap at being salesmen is our desire to produce the most optimal result. Find out the customer’s requirements, use your skill and experience to create a solution that fits and is within budget. Salesmen on the other hand just want to take as much money as possible.

    • Robert

      That’s strange cause I could’ve sworn you were already selling them…

      *goes back to the door to wait for his 1052 to show up*

    • Ray Jones

      Consider the engineer the primary producer, just like your spud farmer.
      They only get 10cents for a spud, but Woolies gets a dollar.

      Easier selling cream than milking the cow.

    • chris

      Salesmen make promises, engineers have to deliver it ;)

      (And if the engineers do, the salesmen earn the praise…)

      @Dave: i like these drivetime rants, would you mind to offer them as mp3-podcast?

      Best greetings from *.de ;)

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        @Dave: i like these drivetime rants, would you mind to offer them as mp3-podcast?

        That’s not a bad idea, I’ll look into it.

        Dave.

    • David DLC

      Dave, you are a salesman already.

      Do you have an idea of how many Rigol oscilloscopes have you sold since you review ?

      I got mine after watching you review so count +1

      We love/hate/don’t care about salemans,

      But unless you design a product that will sell by itself you will need sales guys to get the money in the companies pockets.

      • ivan

        +1 Rigol

      • Ray Jones

        +1 Rigol

      • SergeM

        +1 Rigol

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        Dave, you are a salesman already.
        Do you have an idea of how many Rigol oscilloscopes have you sold since you review ?

        Not entirely sure, but from all the emails and comments etc from both the blog and various forums it would be over a hundred that I actually know about. And it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s actually 10 times that figure.

        But given that I widely exposed their overclocking scheme, and helped encourage the new 100MHz mod that will take off like wild fire, I figure they may not like me all that much!

        Dave.

    • David DLC

      Oh and you also sold a Fluke 87 V multimeter ;-)

      • http://www.stewartallen.org Stew

        +1 Fluke 87-V

      • http://kaqelec.dyndns.org Kathy Quinlan

        +1 Fluke 87-V ;)

    • http://kaqelec.dyndns.org Kathy Quinlan

      OK I have a semi EE story ;)

      I was an apprentice electronics service tech in the security industry. I was out with an engineer looking over a job that I was to do next week. The engineer (who was new to the company) made some promises to the customer about how the system will work. I stood in and corrected him. Later that day I was called in to the managing directors office, and given a massive ass tearing for doing this.

      When my apprenticeship was nearly up, I witnessed the managing director making wild claims (even claiming we could do things that he knew did not work as we had proved that the week before on another site). I walked on that job within the month, I could not work for a company that could outright lie to customers and then hand the mess to the install techs to “make it work”……

      Regards,

      Kat.

      • http://www.test-equipment-shop.com.au Duncan Livingston

        wow Kat – I can only hope that the next chapter of the story becomes how the company went broke soon after you left. They deserve to!

        Dave – you would make a good oscilloscope sales man and would make lots of engineers happy – And sometimes the opposition sales people too!

        But if it is for the company in Sydney I think it is don’t do it! Too many bad stories and high staff turnover you will also find that the promised $150k package is a bit of an empty promise but you don’t fully get to discover that for a year or so…

        Duncan

      • http://hackedgadgets.com Alan Parekh

        Those situations are the worst. I worked for a company where the equipment line was a moving target, the salesman would often come to me after talking to a customer saying I hope product X can do Y because that is what I promised…

      • http://www.nialstewartdevelopments.co.uk Nial

        Kat,

        I read recently of a company who introduced a new ‘ethics’ policy which was generally treated with suspicion, but which the guy posting the story jumped on signed and immediately returned.

        He had been forced into sales and said it gave him a get out clause for the next time he was told to pretend the company had capabilities it didn’t!

        Dave, this is an ideal sort of short rant for drive time bogs, the initial trial was too long.

        Nial (not at all envious of your good weather)

    • http://www.soasystem.com shafri

      too few advice and too short of a video. i dont want to be saleperson. i want to design something, gimme some advice on engineering, not selling.

      engineers design things, by hook or by crook. same with salesperson, by tie or by lie, they need to sale things out. cant blame them, nor cant trust them. i mean the salesperson.

      one more thing, no salesmen will ever care to watch this blog, only engineers and enthusiastist. thats why everybody will slam on the salesperson and no one will back them up.

    • http://www.elproducts.com elproducts

      Actually, I disagree.
      Engineers make great salesman because the customers will respect their knowledge and trust their opinion because of their honesty.
      Problem is most engineers don’t want the job.
      I suspect the reason they pay more is because its the only way to get someone to take the job.

    • Joe

      As an FAE, I have suggested our products and presented the technical case. Often I am asked about competitors products. I never can the competitor products, but perhaps point out the technical differences and the customers respect me for this.

      After gaining respect in the electronics industry (this took a year or so), customers now come to me when they are starting their new designs and ask me for offerings straight up.

      The FAE should be able to understand the tehcnical and commercial customer requirements in a design. Then present offerings to suit. Often FAE’s can provide a “technical executive summary” of the products on offer and save the customer a lot of research time.

      Some people who don’t have good communications with distributors and their FAE’s often complain…..”gees this part has gone obsolete or has an errata after a year of design”. But if they had good communications with their distributor / suppliers the problems may have been forewarned before the design started.

      Just my 2 cents worth.

      Joe

    • dougg

      While studying Elec Eng at UNSW I used to drive a taxi for pennies. Now I live in Toronto. Since your rant agreed with my prejudices, the real challenge was spotting where you were. Ah, the Bull and Bush … on a ticket to Ryde?

    • http://www.fuzal.com Ellenburstyn

      Thank you for bringing a well thought out and reasoned comment to the discussion.

      Online electronics

    • Michael Thompson

      O-scopes-SHMO-SCOPES

      I’m buying one of those LED head lamps!!!

      :D

    • http://fuzal.com/ quennlatifah

      The FAE should be able to understand the tehcnical and commercial customer requirements in a design. Then present offerings to suit. Often FAE

    • GuShH

      Am I the only one wondering why there are no new entries in eevblog?

    • Ondre

      I suspect Dave’s preparing something reeeeally big for the next show! Or maybe he’s just on vacation.

    • todd

      In his forum under News he noted he was going on a walkabout. For where he is from that’s about a month vacation.

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        I’m back from my walkabout. Now I’ve just gotta sort through thousands of emails, forums posts, and comments!

    • GuShH

      Oh OK, maybe he could tell a fellow engineer to step up for him in the mean time :>

    • Embedded

      I used to work for that Z company as an FAE. Never did have to lie. Didn’t get paid as much as a Salesman but that was in Toronto.

      In Canada EE designers get paid decently and have some respect. In Texas they are more or less Mushroom’s.

    • shawn01

      Dave are you planning on producing more videos or a ya jest takin a break. it’s been a while and we need some more good stuff from ya.

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        I’ve been on a 2 week holiday, regular programming should resume once I settle back in.
        Dave.

    • [-_-]

      Hey Dave, how come you haven’t reviewed any handheld scopes yet? Something cheap from Chine like Hantek 1060 / 1200 / 1600 would be a decent start…

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        I can only review products that people or companies give or loan me. If someone wants to send me a handheld scope, I’ll review it.
        Dave.

    • http://www.prc68.com Brooke

      Hi Dave:

      While working as a EE I was asked to go into sales. I said, OK if I don’t have to wear white shoes and purple pants, and if I don’t have to lie to customers. They said OK.

      Sales involves a lot of traveling (to get some idea of that see the movie Up In the Air). You spend a lot of time away from home in hotels, rental cars in traffic, bad weather, etc. so the increased money is to compensate you for that suffering.

      Marketing is not sales and I think is the more creative endeavor. Many companies get marketing and sales confused. If the marketing is done well sales follow naturally.

      Statistical Product Control (SPC) has a lot of implications to management and sales that’s not understood. Just as the idea of offering a reward for creative work will have the reverse effect (see TED.com Ted Talks for more on this).

      You can not make much money working, to do that you need to invest. See The Two Factor Theory of Economy by Kelso.

      Have Fun,

      Brooke

    • ramcur

      Hahahaha you are already selling oscilloscopes without the pay ( ???? ) . I just purchased a brand new rigol 1102d because of you . SO you are the new prototype of salesman that big cie should take real care of . Thanks a million time for your blog . there is a tremendous ammount of information and your level of language is perfect , ( i am french ) i understand 99% of what you said , i will try to integrate it during my sleep . People like you make the world a better place . regards .

    • ClaudeA

      Today, WHO buys ANY THING from a sales rep?

      That plain being a lazy sucker begging for a death blow!