The Situation

A Danish manufacturer of conveyor belts – Caljan A/S – was selling well in Scandinavia, but wanted to expand into Germany – a big market with loads of potential for many Danish companies.

The problem: how to develop a strategy for the German market and how to implement it. What was the sales potential for Germany? What segments would be particularly intersting? How to approach different segments? Who should take care of the German market? How to develop smooth communication between Denmark and Germany?

The Solution

I was hired for the search of German to take care of the German market leading a German sales subsidiary. Insertion of ads in Frankfurter Allgemeine, shortlisting of 80 German applicants down to a list of 5 who were involved in an intense selection process consisting of steps to get a clear picture of the professional and personal qualifications of the candidates. The steps included personality tests, in-depth interviews incl video recorded interviews to check for presentation skills and the “Lunch Test” having lunch with candidates to check for social intelligence and personal chemistry.

The company decided to hire a German engineer who set new standards for quality marketing and sales strategies for the Danish company. The foundation for a major German success with many hundred millions of turnover over some years was laid at intense workshops to define in detail state-of-the art sales and marketing strategies. Finding the best arguments were to be used vis-a-vis which target groups. This in turn became the backbone of all sales and marketing material to be developed.

Bottom line: a very successful opening of a new market based on selecting the right people and thorough preparation and attention to detail.