“Why did you leave your job as an architect?” is probably the question I get asked most often nowadays. Ever since I switched careers, people seem to wonder why I gave up such a fascinating job. “I was looking for something new” is my typical reply, but the real answer is slightly more intriguing.
During my time as an architect, I was mainly involved in the design and construction of a building. In business terms that means R&D, marketing, and project management. How interesting and diverse this may sound, I missed out on the opportunity to be a part of the sales process as this was the role of the senior partners in the architecture firm. The salespeople are the ones bringing in the business and I wanted to develop these type skills, right now. I couldn’t wait for a senior position to have that same impact.
So, I went on the lookout for a new challenge. But before I did, I asked myself two big questions: What am I passionate about and what skills do I want to leverage? My passion for the construction industry and my interest in sales and marketing brought me rather quickly to HILTI’s ‘Sales & Marketing Graduate Program’.
Fast forward six months and I am now actively involved in building long-term relationships with partners like the Belgian railways, Suez and the city of Brussels. Already I take the lead in consultative selling to help my clients with HILTI’s latest tools, innovations, and services. Much like my days as an architect, I still find myself thinking together with the client and looking for a tailored and
well-designed solution. But it goes far beyond this point. I am now part of a team that brings in the business and I have both an impact on the business of my clients as well as within HILTI.
Along the way, I learned that HILTI has good reasons to kick-start my career in sales. As times passes by, I am not only improving my product knowledge but also my understanding of what drives clients in going for one solution and not another. I’m making expeditious progress in my communication and negotiating skills, learning the ups and downs of a sales job, and I’m pushing myself beyond my boundaries to get out of my comfort zone.
I already feel like I’m making a difference here at HILTI. Do you want to make a difference as well? Click here to find out more on the program!