Meet Hans: "Nothing will replace the personal meeting"
"It has been a varied and dynamic journey, a fun journey."
Hans Fredriksson has worked for Hydro / Sapa since 1993 when he finished high school and completed his military service. During his time at Hydro, Hans has worked primarily with sales in automotive, and in other roles and services within the company, before landing the job as account manager in 2017.
Hans studied electronics for two years in high school, then supplemented that with an education in automation technology. He followed that with a year of military service prior to beginning his career at Sapa, in 1993, working at one of the company plants. In 1997, he started a new position in the newly started department of automotive. Hans remained on the automotive side and worked with mostly sales for nearly 20 years.
"There has been so much change within the company that it feels as if I have not been here that long. I lived in the automotive industry for many years but also got to see the other side of Swedish industry and the companies there. It has been very exciting and instead of working with only one industry, you move across many industries and work with both small and large companies. There is a curiosity that makes it still very fun."
Nearly 30 years later, he says his start in working life at Hydro was actually by chance. And even though he has worked in similar areas the entire time, he does not think it has become boring, because the work is constantly changing and developing.
"There have been a few different roles, but there has always been some form of development, so I have not felt that it has become boring or that I'm stuck. It has always changed. I have an exciting and fun job."
Create relationships over time
Hans gets to make contacts and meet people in different industries, and this also helps drive him forward in his work. He sees that many people he meets have a genuine interest in the product Hydro provides and that there is often a mutual interest. He is a salesperson, but a salesperson who wants to run a business based on trust over a long period of time.
"You hope that you are perceived as calm and sane with order around you. It is in this way you build trust over time. You have to earn that trust and then come across some kind of hump to establish contacts and do business. You have to be honest, of course, and you can not just throw out things you do not stand for. It is important to create a relationship over a period of time and find solutions so that it becomes a win-win."
The past year has, as everyone knows, been marked by Covid-19. This is something that has changed Hans' work as an account manager, which revolves around personal meetings with customers. At the same time, he feels that the development from personal to digital has been fast and relatively smooth, even though it involves many changes in how one approaches their work.
"I think everyone has managed to switch to the digital meetings and that it has been a very quick change. Of course, we have all been limited in terms of physical encounters, but everyone accepts this new way of meeting. Granted, it is easier having digital meetings with the customers you have known for a long time, but it is also possible to make new contacts in this way. It may be that in the future you will question the journey, which has traditionally been part of the identity of a salesperson, even if nothing will replace the personal meeting."
Three quick benefits with aluminium, according to Hans
- "Its recyclability is extremely good. Important, even more so in the future, given that we must manage our resources."
- "Aluminium's service life, in most environments and areas. The product lasts a very long time."
- "Its versatility. Aluminium fits in so many incredible solutions and industries. It's not niche. Works for the big and small company. A huge variety that is extremely exciting."
Get in touch with Hans
Account Manager Sweden South