Our bigger customers know that Aasted is the best. They know that we deliver the best quality; we make the machines that just run hour after hour, day after day, even though they are many years old. That is also why we must communicate this properly so that they understand that our machines are worth every penny.
Think big and see the greater picture
As Area Sales Manager, I cover the entire sales cycle. From the customer not knowing about us to the customer buying something, requesting our service, and everything in between. If a customer calls me and says, "Hi Lasse, I have a query. I have to rebuild something, or I have to buy a new machine", or "I am a startup building a new factory". Then I go and visit the customer. We sit down and start talking about what exactly he needs and what would make them happy. What do they need now, what do they need in five and ten years. I always try to think big and see the greater picture.
To me, it's about finding the best solution for the customer, and at the same time, positioning Aasted towards the competitor – because there is plenty of those. We have a customer in Finland that came to me for a new purchase. I took a look at their strategy, which included a section on sustainability, reducing water, electricity and energy. I said to them - "Well, you guys are out there saying this, so why not just buy a machine that can actually do this for you? When you have the opportunity, even at the chocolate level, to help your management meet that goal, why not just do it?". Sustainability in production is still not something all customers are asking for. But we help plant that seed and show them that they can save a lot of money if they choose sustainably.
We depend on each other's success
Being a salesperson in Aasted is rarely a single person's job. I would never ever be able to do my job if it was just me, never. You could say that my work is dependant on the entire team here in Aasted. Just today, I talked to over twenty different people whose answers I depended on. My success relies 100% on others. That, I think, goes for everyone here in the company. We all depend on each other's success, and you can feel that here. If one falls, then everyone falls. And we are also good at helping each other - and people always really want to help. A lot of knowledge also surrounds us, all sorts of deep-rooted company experience that I continuously learn about. Without my colleagues and their knowledge, I would not be able to do my job at all.
Piet (CEO) came and said that if you show us that you can do well, you will also be allowed to do so. Aasted is a good example that if you can prove that you can carry the tasks you are given and succeed in them, you will be given more, meaning you are continuously challenged. This is really important to me. For example, I just joined our Key Account Team and have been given a lot more responsibility. And that's where my interest lies. I think it has been super valuable to gain this insight into how a sales organization is being run – and how to drive better customer relationships, both on an operational and tactical level. To me, it has been immeasurable to get close to our CEO and CTO and be involved in debating, analyzing, and discussing. As an employee, you are given free rein - at least, that has been the case for me. This has been one of the biggest reasons why I'm still in Aasted.