Arrow Tech Expo 2022

November 15th, 2022

Control Sales and Panasonic Industrial Devices Sales Company of America were proud to exhibit at the Arrow Technology Expo on Thursday, November 3rd, 2022 at the Stonegate Conference Center in Hoffman Estates, IL. A productive day of sharing new products and diving into the latest technologies. Thanks to Arrow for a great event!

Control Sales Announces the Addition of Mike Marshall

November 8th, 2021

Control Sales proudly announces the addition of Mike Marshall as the new Account Manager for the Southeast Wisconsin territory. Mike comes from TTI, Inc. in Brookfield, Wisconsin where he was a field sales representative with an impressive growth track record.

Mike comments “I am excited to start a new challenge as a manufacturers’ representative at Control Sales. From my roles at TTI, I bring sales experience with many of Control Sales lines including ITT Cannon, Panasonic, C&K, and Sensata. Also, I have been working with customers in the territory for over four years. I am eager to leverage my experience into the rep sales model where I can work closely with engineers to deliver high-value, design-in solutions.”

Kingsland Coombs, President of Control Sales, said “We are very proud to announce the addition of Mike to our team. He is a proven electronics sales professional who comes with industry knowledge and customer experience. More importantly, he has the energy, enthusiasm, and flexibility necessary for selling in an industry undergoing growth and change. Mike has tremendous potential and I look forward to helping him succeed.”

Mike can be reached at 414-313-9787 or

Virtual Sales and a Call to Action

November 8th, 2021

Article Published in The Representor Fall 2021

Author Kingsland Coombs

President, Control Sales, Inc

We need to have a conversation about virtual meetings. From my perspective, there are far too many virtual calls that still have the feel of a technology thrust upon us during dark times. Something reasonably effective, but a temporary substitute for “real” selling. Alas, we have come to realize that virtual calls are here to stay no matter what happens with Covid.  They are efficient, effective, and many customers PREFER them.  So, why haven’t we 100% embraced this medium and become experts?

Aren’t we in the business of selling our brand, our manufacturers’ brand?  How is that accomplished if we don’t present ourselves in the best possible way?  In the ERA Virtual Training classes, a lot was discussed about best practices for virtual meetings.  I will share three main thoughts with a focus on customer sales calls.

#1 Energy and Professionalism

We are now selling our brands through a virtual medium that is an invisible barrier to personal connections. Before Covid, our skillset included ways to maximize our physical presence with firm handshakes, food, eye contact, vocal tone, body language, and carefully reading a room. Are these skills suddenly less relevant? In fact, the opposite is true! We must enhance our skillset to create a virtual presence that achieves the same personal connections that our physical presence once did.

This begins with how we present ourselves on camera. Must the camera be on? Even if the customer’s is not? A thousand times yes! If you were invited to a face-to-face meeting, would you join via a conference call? Customers want to see your smiling faces no matter whether they have their camera on or not. Professional dress, personal grooming, and bright, flattering lighting will make you camera ready. Frame yourself so that your head and shoulders dominate the screen. Make sure the sound is clear. Your appearance matters in person and matters virtually as well.

Put everyone at ease by being relaxed and confident on camera. This can feel awkward at first, so practice. Smile and make eye contact by using the camera, not the monitor. Use hand gestures for emphasis and vary your vocal tone to keep your audience engaged. Share your personality by telling stories that help form connections and memories. Eliminate all distractions like notifications or noises to ensure your focus.

Importantly, bring your positive energy and enthusiasm. You may have to amp it up for it to translate virtually! Be willing to try new things and seek feedback and coaching.

#2 Follow the Scout Motto “Be Prepared”

The best salespeople prepare for a call. Virtual calls require extra planning to compensate for the loss of the natural conversation when meeting in-person. We need to replace the quick glance around the customer’s office for clues about common interests and the impromptu factory tour that provided more ways to sell our line card.  Instead, we do more research before the call.

Ask questions, review websites, scrub your CRM data.  When reviewing websites, focus on the customers’ products you are confident are designed in your area.  Try as best you can to break down the product in your mind and how it relates to your line card.  A block diagram visual is a method to help focus your thoughts.  Then, prepare meaningful visual content and possibly invite a technical expert from the factory to join the meeting. Also, leverage modern search tools to learn about your audience and find personal connections through previous positions, companies, achievements, or interests.

Virtual calls are time sensitive. Create a meeting agenda in 10-to-20-minute increments with time to establish rapport and wrap up. Be prepared to shrink or expand call length depending on last minute customer requests with a plan B,C, and D.

#3 Display Competence

You have one chance to make a first impression and fumbling through a virtual meeting is not the way to gain confidence. Practice, practice, practice all aspects of virtual meeting technology. Nothing is worse than an unforeseen delay that causes participants to drop off the call.

Know the meeting platform ahead of the call or be sure to practice before the meeting. Master the virtual meeting essentials: seamless screen sharing, file sharing, and website navigation via a good connection with fast internet speeds and clear audio. If you are hosting a larger meeting, why not include Chat? Chat allows a level of participation often not seen in face-to-face meetings.   

Embrace Change

The sale is the same, only the tools are new. Now you can meet with more people in less time and do it from almost anywhere. In the long run, virtual technology will gain you access to more stakeholders. It is time for account sales representatives to be THE experts in virtual sales calls.

New Manufacturer: Panasonic Industrial Device Sales Company of America

October 27th, 2020

Control Sales, Inc. is proud to announce it now represents Panasonic Industrial Device Sales Company of America. The company provides cutting-edge components for a diverse range of wireless and electro-mechanical devices. Standard and custom components range from industrial automation devices to passive components, relays, connectors, sensors, wireless connectivity, and more.

“We are thrilled to represent the engineering and manufacturing power that is at the core of Panasonic,” said Kingsland Coombs, President of Control Sales. “They are a global consumer electronics powerhouse, but equally important, they bring strategic innovations to our customers’ development process.”

“Panasonic is already embedded in many of our customers’ products, often supplied through our closest distribution partners. Adding these new products to Control Sales’ existing electro-mechanical offering allows us to further penetrate sub-system component functionality of complex designs. We look forward to expanding the Panasonic brand into the newest applications we see in transportation, healthcare, building and home automation, and IoT. The challenge is vast and extremely exciting.”

About Panasonic Industrial Device Sales Company of America

Panasonic Industrial Devices Sales Company of America is the advanced industrial components and electronic devices sales division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation. Panasonic Industrial Devices Sales Company of America provides key components that power the home appliances, consumer electronics, computers, communications, and commercial and healthcare products used by millions of people each day. Control Sales represents the Panasonic Industrial Products Division and Panasonic Electronic Components Division in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Diana Nawrocki Featured in ERA Representor Spring 2020

June 3rd, 2020

Control Sales’ Executive Vice President Diana Nawrocki is featured as a Rising Star in the Spring 2020 issue of the ERA Representor magazine. Diana shares insights for young industry professionals on challenges, training tools, networking tips and more. Congratulations Diana on empowering the next generation!

Control Sales Merges with ESA Technical Marketing

April 20th, 2020

On April 1st, Control Sales merged with ESA Technical Marketing, adding key lines and the talents of Diana Nawrocki as Executive Vice President and Account Manager.  

Control Sales and ESA are highly compatible, having competed on many projects over the years, and holding similar business philosophies and practices. By joining forces and combining our experience and expertise, we increase our ability to provide value for our customers and business partners. 

Diana has been with ESA for 20 years, working in outside sales and transitioned to ownership.  She is recognized in the rep industry as a rising star for her exceptional sales skills.  She is high energy and engaging, and we are thrilled to have her on our team.   

The merger creates a more comprehensive line card for Control Sales. We can now offer our customers expanded solutions for lighting, thermal interface, magnetics, transformers, and mil/aero power. More information will be coming soon as we roll out our new lines. 

The combined company is operating under the legal name Controls Sales, Inc. headquartered in Schaumburg. Our manufacturing and distributor partners can rely on the same personal working relationships they have had in the past.  

Please join us as we look forward to an exciting future for our customers, business partners and employees. 

PDT Gives Design Center Tour to Barrington High School Robotics Team

December 14th, 2018

Barrington High School students were provided with a unique opportunity to see consumer and industrial product design and development processes thanks to the generosity of PDT, an Astronics Company, located in Lake Zurich, IL.  David Fay and John Morici personally guided the tour of PDT’s state of the art design center, highlighting on-going projects in stages ranging from white board design flows to functional prototyping. In addition, the students were able to ask questions, tour the tooling shop and handle 3D printed prototypes.

PDT and Control Sales are proud to sponsor the students’ robotics team “BHS Bronco Bots”.

Kingsland Coombs, President of Control Sales, Inc., commented, “David Fay, John Morici and the people at PDT provided the students with an example of the highly creative, collaborative processes used by PDT in the design of new technology. The design center’s atmosphere was particularly inspiring to the students who are looking for work environments that support and enhance innovation. On behalf of the students, thank you to David, John and PDT for taking time to mentor the next generation of engineers. The tour was an example of PDT’s commitment to learning and Control Sales is extremely proud to work with PDT.”

The BHS Bronco Bots Robotics Team participates in the FIRST Tech Challenge where more than 5,000 teams from around the world compete head to head on a special playing field with robots they have designed, built, and programmed. They must also raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and perform community outreach. In addition to learning valuable STEM and life skills, participants are eligible to apply for $80 million in college scholarships.

PDT’s unique development approach has propelled it into a firm spanning the globe with over 120 dedicated experts. Twice named to Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing American Companies, their design and engineering teams are frequently recognized by distinguished industry awards including IDEA, ADEX, and the ID Forty.

Arrow Chicago Tech Expo 2018

October 31st, 2018

Last week Control Sales, Mill-Max, Sharp Displays and TDK Lambda were proud exhibitors and sponsors at the Arrow Chicago Tech Expo 2018 held in Hoffman Estates, IL.  The Arrow Tech Expo hosted over 25 technical supplier seminars and multiple supplier booths showcasing select product offerings. Event organizers were pleased with customer attendance and valuable supplier seminars and exhibitions.

According to Susan Leager, Director of Distribution at Control Sales, “the 2018 Arrow Technology Expo was an opportunity for us to meet with customers and discuss design challenges.  Product offerings from TDK Lambda, Sharp Displays and Mill-Max were met with great enthusiasm by our booth visitors.  A big thank you to the Arrow Electronics staff for all their hard work to make this year’s Expo a great success.”


Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas (SMA) is a premier manufacturer of industrial and memory LCDs with a legacy of leading-edge, performance-based products.

Mill-Max manufactures high reliability precision-machined interconnect components.

TDK Lambda is a leader in the design and manufacture of a wide range of AC-DC power supplies and DC-DC converters.

Chicagoland-Wisconsin ERA Hosts Educational Program

August 24th, 2018


The Chicagoland-Wisconsin Chapter of the Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) held an educational presentation and lunch on June 1, 2018, at Avnet Inc., in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

The event featured guest speaker Richard Greaves, senior partner at Empowering Systems. Greaves’ presentation, “Leverage the Latest Collaboration Tools,” discussed the latest collaboration tools and why Office 365 is a great platform for rep firms and all salespeople.

Chapter President Rick LaPiana of Cain-Forlaw Company said, “I am a strong believer that collaboration is key to efficiency and success in component sales, but I was not aware of all the tools, tips and tricks that Office 365 provides. Rich Greaves did a nice job illustrating the benefits at our June 1 chapter event. In fact, this meeting convinced me to move the entire company over to Microsoft 365. Everyone who attended, was pleased with the interaction and discussion at the event.”

Chapter Vice President, Fiscal & Legal, Kingsland Coombs, CPMR, CSP, of Control Sales Inc., who helped organize the event, added: “Rich was tasked with explaining and demonstrating for us the latest in collaboration software tools. He did a very fine job showing us the benefits of the Office 365 suite of products including the Microsoft Teams application. Since the presentation, our company has started to use Teams for file sharing, chatting and screen sharing. We are pleased with the results so far and thank Rich for the nudge we needed to get started!”

The chapter is planning more networking and educational events for the remainder of 2018. For more information, visit

About Chicagoland-Wisconsin ERA
Chicagoland – Wisconsin ERA is a local resource for continuing education programs, networking opportunities, peer discussion groups and an array of services designed to help improve professionalism and profitability. For more information, visit

About ERA
The 83-year-old Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) is the international trade organization for professional field sales companies in the global electronics industries, manufacturers who go to market through representative firms and global distributors. It is the mission of ERA to support the professional field sales function through programs and activities that educate, inform and advocate for manufacturers’ representatives, the principals they represent and the distributors who are reps’ partners in local territories. For more information about ERA, visit

New Manufacturer: Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas

March 15th, 2018



Control Sales, Inc. announces a partnership with Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas (SMA), a premier manufacturer of Industrial and Memory LCDs with a legacy of leading-edge, performance-based products.

“Sharp’s global leadership in LCD technology cannot be overstated,” said Kingsland Coombs, President of Control Sales. “We can now offer our customers an LCD brain trust with deep knowledge on virtually every vertical industry and solution set. Sharp’s products include Industrial TFT LCDs covering a vast array of specifications and Memory LCDs for wearables and battery-operated industrial products. Both product lines are in immediate demand in our territory. We are proud to represent a manufacturer with world class products, deep engineering resources, and US-based technical support.”


About Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas (SMA)

Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas, a division of Sharp Electronics Corp., (a N.Y. Corporation), is headquartered in Camas, WA and has field offices across North America. Sharp’s components are designed for top performance and ease of integration, and are continually re-envisioned to meet emerging market demand and to take advantage of the latest Sharp technology innovations.

The Industrial Application LCD product line-up includes sunlight readable LCDs, industrial-grade Full-HD displays, and a vast array of other specifications aimed at performance in the most extreme environments. The Memory LCD products are the perfect solution for compact handheld, battery-operated, wearable, and other small-screen applications.