Machine Tool Sales Engineer Eddie Torres: Opening Doors
Ask machine tool sales engineer Eddie Torres what’s most important to him. The answer might surprise you. It’s not selling equipment. “I have a passion for making friends, and opening doors on new opportunities,” he says. “And in my spare time, I enjoy cooking, fishing, and listening to rock music.”
Torres didn’t name what kind of fish he likes to catch, but placed Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, and other classic bands high on his playlist. He also expressed a fondness for grilling and Spanish food. That’s hardly unexpected, given that Torres is a native of El Salvador and represents the Latin and South America regions for Kent USA.
Machinist to Machine Tool Sales Engineer
After immigrating to the United States at the age of 16, Torres had three years of machine shop training. He then worked as a machinist for a time, until he and his brother decided to pursue a business opportunity.
“We started selling high-end plumbing supplies to hotels, hospitals, and restaurants in Central America,” he says. “My brother and I started from nothing and were doing quite well, but eventually got ripped off on a big deal. We lost everything.”
Undeterred, Torres went back to the machine shop. He found that he missed meeting new people each day, so took a position as a machine tool sales engineer with Sharp Industries. Long story short, he moved to Kent USA, where he’s worked for the past 16 years.
Face to Face
Torres has customers all over the world, from Puerto Rico and Costa Rica to Saudi Arabia and Spain. Many of these are Mom and Pop shops, while others are big corporations. Regardless of the company’s size or physical address, however, he says he’s proud of the service that Kent provides.
“That’s one of the things that sets us apart from other distributors,” he says. “Sometimes I have to hop in the car and drive down to Mexico to take care of a customer, and I can tell you there aren’t many machine tool sales engineers in the US who are willing to do that. It’s important to show your face, and be there when they have a problem or concern.”
From Torres’ perspective, these visits aren’t so much an obligation as they are an opportunity to meet someone new. “I’ve always enjoyed working with different people and learning about different countries and their cultures. And quite often, you meet someone and become good friends. You maintain a close relationship for many, many years, regardless of whether they buy something from you. It’s a wonderful feeling.”