From Components to Chemicals to Critical Cleaning
Regional Sales Manager, North Central & Eastern Canada
Fast. Sharp-edged. Direct. Decisive. These might be some of the adjectives which come to mind when you first meet Kevin Marion, the MicroCare Regional Manager for the Midwest. He’s very talented and we are proud to have him on the MicroCare team.
“MicroCare has so many different types of cleaning chemistries, we have your solution to your cleaning issues.”Read More...
But oddly, he didn’t start his career in sales. His deepest enthusiasm was (and is) for anything involving team sports, especially ice hockey. He played baseball and hockey at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point but dropped baseball after the first year as he was recruited to play hockey. School work and two sports proved difficult.
“My passion was to give professional hockey a try after my senior year at UW-Stevens Point before heading into the workplace. I played professionally in the ECHL, my home being in Columbus, OH playing for the Columbus Chill. I headed back to Wisconsin, and started to look for a job but that is when my wife stepped in.”
A Sales Career
The surprising turn of this tale is that Kevin’s wife found him his first non-sports job: inside sales at Marshall Industries, back in 1993. “I didn’t know anything about semiconductors, resistors, capacitors nothing, but they taught me what I needed to know,” he said. “I got comfortable with it. We had a great staff in the Milwaukee office and I became pretty good it. I was at Marshall Industries for seven years. From components to chemicals to critical cleaning — that’s my life in sales.”
Finding Solutions to Problems
Today, Kevin works closely with MicroCare reps, distributors and the end-users to support existing critical cleaning applications as well as find new ones. His secret sauce? He listens.
“When you go into an account, you’re looking to provide a solution to an existing problem.” he said. “For example, today the customer had a question about no-clean fluxes which were leaving white residues. I listen to the voice of the customer. I don’t open up the catalog and go page by page, I just listen ask them what is most critical in the plant and guide them to a resolution.”
Learning the new products and processes at MicroCare has provided an exciting and challenging change for Kevin. “MicroCare has so many different types of cleaning chemistries, we have your solution to your cleaning issues,” he said. “End users are understanding the technical resources at MicroCare, with our Critical Cleaning Lab and the hundreds of years of expertise that’s behind us, I’ll bet we have a product to solve almost any cleaning application.”
All the emphasis on sports and competition has made Kevin a better salesperson. Both of these work together with a team and a team environment. At the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, he won three consecutive NCAA Division III National Championships (1988-89, 89-90, 90-91), had numerous all-conference honors and was named All-American – 2nd team after his junior year.
“After 26 years in sales, I have a very good knowledge of the regions that I cover, expanding the end user base, expanding our channel partners, and working on cleaning processes. I’m always learning, always finding new ideas and new markets,” Kevin explained. “People still need to clean and there’s a huge business out there for our products. The message is pretty clear at MicroCare we need to be diversified in every way and promote our NEW and older products to all markets.”
On a Personal Note
Kevin is a family man. He and his wife Kris will be married 25 years in September of 2018. They have four children – Erika, Allison, Teddy and Charlie and two German Shorthaired Pointers. Bucky and Beau. “I got my first pointer when I was 23,” he recalled. “They’re great bird dogs and great family dogs; I just ran my youngest dog Beau in AKC field trials in May.”
He volunteers at his local parish to help local food pantries, supports their annual parish festival, and various school programs. He also has assisted in setting up a local traveling museum for our local veterans before they departed on their “honor flights” to Washington, D.C.
Even though Kevin no longer is playing hockey, he still enjoys attending his kids’ baseball, lacrosse and hockey games. He used to coach baseball and softball, and still coaches hockey part-time for teenage boys. A solid team environment is key to the success of any youth team to a multi-million dollar corporation.
Good advice for all of us!