Everything starts with trust
Despite the changes, Ilpo thinks the pillars of what makes a good salesperson have still remained the same as when he was only starting his career.
"Reliability and honesty, everything starts with these two things. Customer relationships must be nurtured and built with long term thinking, instead of chasing quick profits at the expense of customer relationships," he says.
When mutual trust is formed with a customer, it is very rewarding.
"I've realized it especially now that I'm leaving. When I’ve been visiting customers to say goodbye to them, I've only now realized just how great and mutually valuable the co-operation has been", Ilpo says.
For him, good long-term customer relationships have been one of the most motivating things in his job as a Sales Manager. One of the oldest customer relationships is with E.T.Listat Oy, with whom UPM Timber has been a partner for over 30 years.
"Joint successes with customers have been very energizing during my career. Situations where I have been able to help customers make good choices due to my long sales experience have also been very motivating."
Ilpo Yrjölä receives his 10-year cake server in 1996 for working at UPM for 10 years, from Matti Ketola who was the Korkeakoski Mill Director at the time.
Ilpo at the Korkeakoski sawmill ice fishing contest, in the 1990's.
It is good to build on a strong foundation
The employee community at UPM Timber and especially the great team spirit in the sales team have been meaningful for Ilpo.
"Our sales team has made my work enjoyable, and I will miss my colleagues and the customers now that I am retiring. In this job, no day has been the same as the previous, and the constant variation has kept things exciting.”
Ilpo plans to spend his retirement days fishing and hunting, among other things. His two small grandchildren will surely keep him busy as well, even if customer visits and timber sales will no longer do so.
What greetings does he have for his colleagues at UPM Timber?
"We have a strong foundation: a solid market position and the trust of customers. Let's stick to what has been built so far and take the good work forward in the future."
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