When you think about it, food should be pretty easy to sell because people constantly need it. In my years of working with Jebsen, however, I have come to realise that the opposite is nearly as true because the highest attention to quality is expected in any product that ultimately impacts the health and well-being of its consumers.
Selling the raw materials that go into finished food products or into the development of novel food products is not any easier. I deeply experience this because as a Key Account Manager at Jebsen & Jessen Ingredients, I have to study these raw materials, diligently explore the market, and carry out further research necessary to ensure that I am giving my clients accurate pieces of information while convincing them that we have the capacity to provide value-adding products according to their requirements.
While my work over the last five years has been challenging, it has also been most enlightening because it has opened my eyes to the rewarding power of persistence and patience.
By managing project timelines that span up to two years, I get the opportunity to not merely go after potential clients and close sales, but to establish truly enduring relationships with customers. I must understand and keep up with their changing needs throughout the engagement, follow up with our internal teams on their behalf, and constantly work as a credible partner in addressing their needs—including the more complex ones.
Last year, one of the market-driven demands we received from our customers was on cost reduction. Thanks to both Jebsen’s culture of service excellence and the persistent spirit I have practiced over the years, I was able to carry out thoughtful negotiations with customers, getting their buy-in to increase the volume of their single orders while we explored cost-saving measures across our supply chain.
It also helps that, when addressing customer demands, I am able to draw on the company’s rich and highly reliable product portfolio. If one product or brand misses the mark, I can readily recommend another that may be more closely aligned with the customer’s actual needs. This flexibility is greatly appreciated by our customers, as it puts their minds at ease knowing that our dedication to service and our diversified portfolio are there to help them succeed.
Working at Jebsen connects me to the success of our customers, with persistence as a key ingredient in the process. By being accountable to both the growth of our clients’ business and the welfare of their customers, I learned to value the journey needed to reach our goals together, even if that journey requires tremendous time and effort. I look forward to seizing more of these learning opportunities, and to keep aiming for win-win achievements.