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Takefumi Hori


In Field Sales / Service since: 2013

Region: Japan, Kyūshū

Km driven per year: approx. 50,000

Customers visited per year: approx. 700

At first, I felt like I was in enemy territory. As the only TRUMPF salesman on Japan’s southern main island of Kyūshū, I sometimes drove an insane 1,000 kilometers a day to visit ten customers. That was pretty easy, because my visits were very short. Hardly anyone wanted to let me into their factory, they were all happy with their machines, which they had always bought from our biggest competitor in the region. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I can understand that.

But one day I was sitting at the table of a new customer, with the company boss and his production manager opposite me. They wanted to invest in a new system and I outlined the advantages of our machines. But the production manager wasn’t really listening to me. As I learned later, the two of them had actually already decided in favor of our competitor. I calculated the productivity gain from our system and suddenly had the attention of the company boss. He asked me intelligent questions, and didn’t make things easy for me. I was eventually able to gain his trust, against the resistance of his production manager, who was vehemently opposed to TRUMPF.

Since then, I have tried to get talking to the head of the company as quickly as possible when dealing with new customers. It’s my only shot at gaining a share of the market. I now have many customers in what used to be “enemy territory” and feel welcome everywhere. And my customer visits are now lasting longer and longer.

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