Marketing Specialist, Electrical Equipment Company
By Joe Nowlan
Before arriving at the Electrical Equipment Company (EECO), Allyson Murphy gained valuable customer service, sales and marketing experience along the way.
She graduated from Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C., in 2002 with a degree in business administration. She worked at the second largest PC company in the world, Lenovo, and a pharmaceutical company, among others. She liked something about each career stop, she explained, but feels she has finally found the right fit in electrical distribution at EECO.
“The people that I work with in the electrical industry are…very down to earth people,” she said. “The people here at the Raleigh office are like my family. Quite a few of them have been here longer than I’ve been alive. That amazes me.”
She started at EECO in 2010 as a lighting sales associate.
“I came in and called on government sectors, schools, colleges, state offices,” Murphy explained, “and tried to get their lighting business.”
She went out on sales calls for lighting retrofits alongside an EECO product manager. It was a learning experience for her as some calls were more involved than others. She enjoyed the challenge of selling and explaining the retrofit advantages as well as seeing the resulting customer relationships.
“We grew a lot of business,” Murphy explained. “We built relationships with new customers by educating them on cost savings. Maybe we didn’t get their lighting upgrade project but we gained their trust and do a lot of day-to-day business with them now.”
The 32 year-old Murphy holds the title of marketing specialist at EECO. Recently, she has been involved in a lot of customer research, something she enjoys and often initiates.
“I do a lot of marketing research, talking to customers and understanding their wants and needs,” she explained. “We try to stay ahead of the game and really value our customers’ opinions. There’s a lot to be learned from customer feedback and we genuinely value their opinions.”
“Occasionally, I assist the sales teams by conducting marketing campaigns. These campaigns quickly inform our customers of new products or services. Qualified leads are identified and handed over to the sales team for follow-up. Oftentimes, these calls result in sales.”
Murphy is also getting involved in social media and writes the occasional blog for EECO.
“Social media definitely gets our name out there,” she said. “But it’s something that is still growing and evolving. In the industry that we are in, it is not as advanced as in other industries.”
Born and raised in Durham, North Carolina, Murphy and her husband Philip live three houses away from where she grew up. Even there, Murphy laughed, she can’t seem to get away from some form of retrofitting. She and her husband have recently completed a thorough renovation of that house which is more than 50 years old.
“The house we live in used to be my grandparents’,” Murphy explained. “We added on nearly 800 square feet and completely upgraded everything. We had a contractor who handled the majority of it but we did a lot of the work ourselves.”
Q. What advice do you have for other young professionals in the electrical industry?
A. Find a good mentor within the industry who has years of experience and soak up as much knowledge from them as you can. Ask a lot of questions to make sure you fully understand the products and services you represent so you can present them to your customers with confidence. Listen carefully to your customers’ needs and work towards building relationships and partnerships rather than just taking orders.
Q. In the past five years, what has changed the most in the industry?
A. There are certainly changes here and there that have taken place. Technology improves and we learn more efficient ways to do things. In the lighting industry, there are certain lamps and ballasts that they’ve been able to create that use less energy. But I know one thing: over the past five years, people are becoming more dependent on the Internet for researching electrical parts, shopping and comparing prices. I see that is increasing.
Joe Nowlan is a Boston-based freelance writer/editor and author. He can be reached at email@example.com.Tagged with tED