Ronnie Oldham
GAI-Tronics Corporation Sales Rep & Tiger Team Member
1990-1996

My six years with GAI-TRONICS CORPORATION provided me with one of the most varied and comprehensive business educations imaginable.   In addition to mastering the powerful Sandler Selling System,  I gained a tremendous insight into the management and operation of American industry.   I consistently succeeded in selling large capital projects with long sales-cycles to senior decision-makers.  As a sales representative, I generated over $5 million in revenue from the sale of engineered industrial communication and alarm systems and wore many hats:

    For five years as a sales rep, based in Dallas-Fort Worth, I called on electrical engineers, plant managers, corporate executives, end users, and contractors in virtually every industry.  The projects typically had a sales cycle of several months to years.  When I accepted the job, I was looking for more stability of income from month to month.  I also had a young child, Fiona, and I desired a position that would allow me to spend more time at home with her.  I wanted an opportunity to develop and nurture long-term relationships with customers, rather than the one-call close.  I wanted the base salary and company car.  I took the job without even knowing what I was to be selling, but I learned fast and exceeded quota my first year.  My territory was Oklahoma, New Mexico, and most of Texas.  My quota was typically $900,000 per year.  Almost always made it.  Achieved Growth Club a Quota Club.  

I was promoted to Corporate Tiger Team and moved to corporate headquarters in Reading, Pennsylvania.    The "Tiger Team" was a cadre of the most technically competent employees in the company, handpicked by the company president to market a new line of intelligent, microprocessor-controlled equipment.  The Advance line was born as a result of sales by myself, David Kruger and Chris Andersen.  We were pursuing opportunities driven by regulatory compliance and alarm issues, a market traditionally left to fire alarm people.  I sold the first and third systems before the Advance line was completed and helped force the company to invest in the development of the new software and hardware.   Advance was technically much more sophisticated than GAI-Tronics' standard equipment and required a more coordinated and professional approach.  When field sales reps identified an opportunity for the new equipment, I would provide technical sales presentations and assistance in closing the deal.  I was the big gun brought in to make the business happen. 

The position at corporate was an eye-opener.  I came to understand the traditional conflicts between functional roles,  the meticulous process of product development, and the difficulties associated with major acquisitions.  I was able to observer senior managers first-hand and evaluate the effectiveness of various management styles.  Eventually, I realized that further advancement would require more formal education.  I resigned in October of 1996 to return to school full-time.

GAI-Tronics Awards
Partial GAI-Tronics Customer List
My Criticism of GAI-Tronics Management Strategy
Click Here to read my Letter of Resignation

One of the best compliments paid me while with GAI-Tronics came from Keith Vittatoe, a tech sales engineer.  Keith would tell others that if Ronnie says an order will come in during a particular month, bank on it.

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Working the phone for GTC.  Fort Worth Home Office - March 1992

Salient 3 Communications, Inc. (GAI-Tronics' Parent Company)
Instrument Associates (1994 GAI-Tronics acquisition)

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Copyright Ronnie Oldham 1998.  All rights reserved.
Revised: April 01, 2011.

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