Crawl into the machine? No, she didn’t mean literally, of course, although I used to do just that when I was a service engineer. What Annie actually meant was that, if you want to sell machines, you have to know them inside out. Superficial knowledge won’t cut it; you have to know them through and through, like an engineer – a sales engineer – should.

Every line counts

“Every single line in a quotation is important,” Annie taught me. “When you go to see a client, you need to know not only what each individual component of the machine does, but also why you're suggesting that particular component and not something else.” At first, I was surprised at how easily Annie could always think of alternatives if a client suddenly came up with a totally new argument or popped a new question. “That’s because I’m always well prepared and have already carefully considered all the alternatives myself, talking things over with experts in the plant if necessary,” Annie explained.

Delving deep

Ludo Tuyaerts and Annie Beets

Annie lives and breathes PowerPak, has worked in the niche thermoformer sector since 1983 and therefore insists on putting together her own quotations. That just wouldn’t work for me because I also sell other types of applications. In any case, GEA doesn’t expect its sales engineers to do it and the organisation simply isn’t set up that way. External sales engineers are supported by a team of internal specialists, both at head office and in the plants, in Belgium and Germany. But the advantage of Annie’s approach is that you can really delve into every aspect and have a deep understanding of the nitty-gritty. And that’s also why new GEA sales engineers always have to undergo in-house training to ensure they are well prepared and fully aware of the importance of each line in a quotation.

If you want to sell machines, you have to know them inside out – Ludo Tuyaerts, Senior Sales Engineer GEA Belgium.

‘Tiromatitis’

The world of thermoformers is an exciting and diverse one. We visit a wide range of clients, from potato farmers and cheese makers to manufacturers of ready meals or pre-baked bread. Thanks to Annie, it’s safe to say that I’ve also been bitten by the Tiromatitis bug.

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