Scaling the Peaks of Sales Success

Daniel Qiao – Regional Sales Manager – Wholesales, Jebsen Beverage

The first thing I noticed when I joined Jebsen in 2005 was the incredible spirit among its people. But it was not until I took part in the first Jebsen MoonTrekker race that I saw the true value of that bond.

That first rainy and starkly difficult race was a test of my physical and mental grit. We were almost unable to make it to the finish line. But even injuries and setbacks did not stop me from joining the race a second, third and fourth time. What gave me the courage? A supportive team cheering me on. On our fourth and final race, armed with experience, months of training and an unbreakable bond, our team pushed through and finally reached the top of Lantau Peak under a glorious dawn. It was a moment I had visualised in my mind many times before, but the actual thing was so much sweeter because that sunrise not only marked a successful race, it symbolised brighter days ahead for my career as well.

I joined the company knowing very little about wines. At Jebsen, I got to stretch my limits and learn every day, with ample training opportunities and managers who were generous with their guidance and support.  I obtained the WSET Award in Wines just three years later. I was then appointed to lead a team in managing on-premise channels, and today I am responsible for beverage wholesale in the East China region.

Career development is a lot like mountain racing: it starts out with unfamiliar terrain and a period of exploration. On the job, I “explored” through building rapport with colleagues and business clients. This meant frequent social gatherings beyond the call of duty. I particularly liked inviting clients to wine-tasting sessions and new product launches; these outings helped me understand our clients’ tastes and preferences better

As in a race, there can be stumbling blocks in the course of work. A few years ago, a reputed brand ceased its partnership with Jebsen. Though we still had a robust portfolio, this turn of events was still a huge challenge to our team, and caused us to lose some clients. With vivid memories of my hiking obstacles in mind, I knew just what it took to trudge through the difficult patch – staying level-headed and connected as a team. We did that, and were later rewarded with our “sunrise”: we successfully brought the US brand FIJI Water to China, which has since become highly popular.

That experience showed me that all the effort I put into cultivating client relationships had paid off. The trust I built with clients translated into their lasting confidence in Jebsen and the brands we distribute. With those relationships and that boost of confidence in my arsenal, I pushed myself to achieve more, branching out beyond my department to try handling work in logistics, finance, and marketing. One of those ventures turned out to be my most cherished memory at Jebsen.

In 2017, I helped promote our homegrown brand Kalamanda. With very little experience in wholesale, I was suddenly in charge of developing the product’s Eastern market. You can imagine the pressure! Again using a hiking analogy, I started with exploration: learning all about the Company’s strategy from my new manager, and visiting every distributor to scope out our marketing potential. I even helped identifying restaurant partners. Our team morale was supercharged through that project, and everyone played a part in helping Kalamanda spread its wings. This is what I love most about Jebsen: it effectively enables professional knowledge and skills development, while providing an environment that fosters team harmony and chemistry – the same kind I experienced during my MoonTrekker days. Working here really feels like being a part of a big supportive family.

To colleagues joining future MoonTrekker races, good luck and stay strong! Meanwhile, I am also eager to see Jebsen’s own brands continue to thrive in the market. As the saying goes, “where there’s a will, there’s a way” – I am confident that our sales will continue to climb one peak after another.