Representor Summer 2024 - Rising Stars

RISING STARS: Dylan Yingling

Dylan Yingling
Outside Sales Representative
Wallace Electronic Sales

To gain better insight into how early career professionals in the electronics industry have turned challenges into opportunities to ensure continued growth, The Representor interviewed Dylan Yingling, outside sales representative for Wallace Electronic Sales. He shared how honesty, humility and an appetite for learning has helped him make the transition from the restaurant industry to electronic component sales.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself, personally and professionally.

I am 30 years old and was born and raised in Columbia, S.C. I now live in Kernersville, N.C. I have a twin brother who lives in Alabama and works as a cardiac perfusionist. Growing up with a twin was such a blessing; having a partner in crime to navigate childhood with was a perfect way to grow up.

My amazing wife and I are expecting our first child in October, and we couldn’t be more excited to start our family! We have two dogs, Luna and Ruby, who do a great job of teaching and reminding us about unconditional love and not to take life too seriously. Sports are a huge fixture in my life; baseball, football and basketball are the big three I love. Few things make me happier in life then sitting on a porch with my friends and hearing Scott Hansen say, “Seven hours of commercial-free football starts NOW.” Also, Go Gamecocks! I started off my work life pursuing a career in restaurants. In high school my first job was at a Jersey Mike’s which was a springboard into my love of food, customer service and delivering a product/service that enhances someone’s life. My last restaurant job was working as the GM of a family-owned local Italian restaurant called Alodia’s. This opportunity was a catalyst in helping me develop personally and professionally. Cooking, reading books and spending time with my family and friends round out the rest of what makes me tick.

What made you choose this industry as your current career path?

The restaurant business is fun, but very demanding. I hit a fork in the road and decided that I couldn’t sustain that lifestyle forever, so I started looking for what was next. My best friend was working in the industry and being the excellent sales guy he is, he convinced me that I would love it and find the same fulfillment I had in the restaurant industry. He was right! I’ve been in the electronics industry now for 2.5 years, all with Wallace Electronic Sales.

What are some of the main challenges you encountered as you embarked on your career journey?

Focusing on the things you can control and not worrying about the things you can’t. This took me a long time to figure out and is still a work in progress. You can put your head down and try to outwork your peers to success, but a rising tide lifts all boats. Understanding this has been very helpful in growing within the companies I’ve worked for and developing relationships that are rock solid.

What are some steps that you have taken to overcome these challenges and to ensure that you can establish and nurture a successful career?

Being empathetic, having perspective, thinking long-term and constantly working on being a better leader through service.

What are training tools or networking/ industry events you find beneficial to your professional growth?

The ERA Conference has been tremendous for my professional growth. Spending time with industry folks meeting face-to-face and talking about the challenges we are seeing, successes we have had and opinions on where the industry is headed is invaluable. Each time I walk away with more tools in my toolbelt and feeling like I am a part of something bigger than just our rep firm.

Do you think there is enough new talent entering the electronics industry and what could make this field more attractive to future young professionals?

I do think that we need new talent in the electronics industry, but I also think it’s trending in the right direction. The Mark Motsinger White Pin Internship is a great program to introduce college-aged kids to the industry. The NEXGEN group at ERA is wonderful for bringing together new hires in the industry. This industry is dynamic, fulfilling, challenging and every day is different. The field itself is attractive, but the things that make it attractive need to be communicated at a higher level.

Where do you see your profession and the industry 10 to 20 years from now?

The rep model coupled with strong distribution relationships is the most economical way for many manufacturers to go to market, and I don’t think that will change. Interactions will continue to become more virtual and automated. That makes face-to-face time with customers even more valuable/crucial for developing relationships and helping the customer be successful.

Professionally, what keeps you up at night?

The idea of not fully understanding the technical aspects and technologies in the industry. Not having any background in engineering, the learning curve for selling and understanding electronics has been steep. It’s easy to get flustered and self-conscious about not knowing the technical information but being honest, humble and having an appetite for learning have helped significantly.