Today we'll introduce one of our sales team members, Yannik.
Hey Yannik, please start with introducing yourself:
Hey, I'm Yannik, 27 years old, born and raised in and around Hamburg. I joined the Logward team in May this year. I started my career at CMA CGM Hamburg with a three year apprenticeship as a shipping merchant. After finishing the apprenticeship, I directly switched to Reefer (refrigerated container) sales. At the same time I decided to do an extra-occupational Bachelor’s of Science degree in Shipping, Trade, and Transport. The studies meant seminars on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings for a bit more than a year. I completed my studies and ended up wanting to take the next step for personal development and face new challenges. Exactly at this time Logward contacted me and I decided to join the team. So far, I haven't regretted my decision a single second. Based on your studies and experience I assume you're quite familiar with the logistics sector?
I would hope so! Shipping, or logistics in general, has always attracted my attention. After school I knew I would start with an apprenticeship in the industry. Ever since then, I work in the logistics sector, with a special focus on sea freight. How did you end up in sales?
During the early stages of my apprenticeship I recognized that sales offers interesting insights into the customer's world. You are also responsible for the success of the company, in the sense that if you don't sell the product (and bring in money), everything else doesn’t really matter. This is why I think Sales represents one of the critical areas of a company and I’m glad to be a part of it and to be able to push the company forward by getting the product out there and gathering feedback from clients and prospects. Are you sad that you can’t talk to potential customers in person due to the Covid-19 crisis? Well, it’s definitely a change. I guess if someone had told me one year ago that we have to operate via Zoom or Teams, I would have declared this person as silly. However, for my taste, it’s working quite well, and it brings several benefits you would have never expected. It's true though that something it's missing, and you simply can't fully replace the face-to-face interaction.
Don’t you have more free-time since not having to spend your time in the car or train? There is definitely more time to organize oneself. However, even my previous job the majority of my interactions were on the phone or through emails. Even though traveling to a customer is part of the job, you don’t visit every single one personally.
Moreover, the software as a service Logward provides is not comparable to selling a single product. It is less "traditional" sales and more wholistic supply chain consulting with numerous follow-up conversations. Compared with a single container or household product, the scale and the decision making process is different, which makes the sales cycle longer.
Spending his time at a restaurant instead of in traffic
So would you say it’s more complicated to sell Logward?
I would not say it’s more complicated. I would say that you have more possibilities of having an impact on the customer and therefore many use cases to consider. I try to respond to each customer's concrete needs and opportunities, which creates a need for a deeper dive and clarification in sales conversations. It's a more dynamic process than selling other products, and this is a great challenge for me.
The logistics sector is considered to be highly conservative and old-fashioned. Logward provides a digital solution for supply chain management. Do you feel that this aspect makes it harder to sell?
I would see it the other way around. I think that particularly this circumstance offers a higher chance of adding a value and a higher need to snap at the chance of digitization and working with Logward.
Is there something elementary you have learned since becoming a salesperson? Patience, endurance, and always reflecting on what a customer says and their reasons behind it. Also, I've learned to not be too excited after a good conversations. Sometimes they become a new customer and sometimes it's just...talk.
Working in sales means a lot of personal interaction. What social advice would you give a person not used to that? I can simply recommend meeting new people in your day to day life, because it is always an inspiration. I enjoy it of course, but being open-minded can be good for everyone involved. It not only connects you with a new person, but also gives you new perspectives, a look beyond your own nose, and can change your attitude to certain things.
Have you always been so open-minded, and did that make it easy for you to step into sales?
Generally, yes. I’ve always been open for something different, meeting new people and especially love active listening. I didn't go into sales because I like to hear myself talk. Let’s take a step back. Why did you decide to join Logward? Because Logward represents an energetic business, and I have the opportunity to help in shaping the Logward environment. I don’t start my day with a list of tasks on my desk saying do this or that by tomorrow. Instead, I can proactively define my own environment or tasks. I don’t see this as added pressure, but as something I enjoy. This sounds quite positive, but if you could change one thing at Logward, what would it be? Asking for a friend... Even though we have a very transparent atmosphere, good communication tools, and overall a communicative team, we could always improve our communication. Unfortunately, I cannot give a specific solution, but I think there is always room for advancement. How did you experience your changeover from CMA CGM to a startup? The change was not too big. In my old job I also worked in a small team with direct communication, and we actually acted independently from the company and knew what anyone else in our team was doing.
Working remotely from home probably also meant a big change. Did you have the opportunity to do it before?
Working remotely means a new experience, but at the same time a great one. What I like is, again, the drive and flexibility at Logward. I know I don’t have to justify when I remain out of office for a day. For example, when I know I have two meetings tomorrow morning, I can do them from home and come to office afterwards. I really appreciate that.
Yannik actually in the office and not at home...
Talking about home is a great segue to getting slightly more personal. Why do you get up every day? I guess I get up every day because I am curios as to what the new day will bring.
What’s the biggest challenge in life you have solved so far? It started with successfully finishing school and surviving mathematics (Editor’s note: Everyone feels that one). Just joking, I guess there is no such thing as one great challenge. It is more that I continuously give myself new challenges like working and studying simultaneously or going for a new job. For which three things are you most grateful for? Health, family, and friends.
Classic interview question: What are your strengths? Funny that you ask, because when I had my real interview with Jonas, he said that he doesn’t attach importance to interview phrases. (Editor’s note: Yeah because we ask in these interviews!) Anyway, I guess my strength fits to one of my previous answers. I ambitiously set myself a goal, go for it, and achieve it. I'm also reliable!
Random question: Would you rather fight against a horse-sized duck or against one hundred duck-sized horses? I would rather fight against a giant duck so I can focus on one thing at a time. David won against Goliath, so I can also believe in myself. (Editor’s note: Guess I am talking to a real intellectual here...)
If you were a kitchen utensil, which one would it be and why? I would be a corkscrew. Because with a corkscrew I open something new. And this is a great metaphor for starting something new and getting to know new people which (almost) is my daily business. And I like wine! Rapid Fire: City or country? City Cook or Order? Cook
Netflix or Amazon Prime? Netflix Apple or Microsoft? Apple Carpet or tile? Carpet on the floor, tile on the countertops (Editor’s note: Awesome)
Logward is a Hamburg & Bangalore based logistics company.
We build software, move containers, and change mindsets.
If you have any questions or just want to say hi, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can visit us at www.logward.com.