On November 21, UD Trucks Japan held its third annual Value Proposition Competition. Customer Advisors (CAs) competed to show their skills in communicating the value proposition of UD products and services. The competition was held online in response to the ongoing pandemic.
The competition simulated interactions with customers, and 12 finalists who won the preliminary round demonstrated their skills to a virtual audience. Hiromitsu Oshima of the Kanto Region Fleet Sales Team was crowned the winner among 350 customer advisors.
Shinichiro Nagata, Marketing & Sales promotion of Japan Sales commented, "Developing new leads is very difficult because the customers we approach who have no connections to UD. The key is whether we can differentiate ourselves and understand customer needs through dialogue. We would like to continue to develop new training methods and further improve the solution selling capability of our sales teams in Japan as a whole."
Interview with competition winner Hiromitsu Oshima
Q. What was your impression of the first online competition?
It was appropriate to hold it online, not only for health and safety reasons but the fact that we are forced to work more with customers virtually due to the pandemic. I learned quite a few new techniques and it was a great experience. It goes without saying that the customers of the major fleets strictly follow COVID-19 prevention measures too. I am actually scheduled to have an online meeting with several customers in the future, and we would like to make use of this experience. I am also very grateful to everyone in the Kanto branch for their support!
Q. How did you prepare for the competition?
In order to deepen the interaction online, I was conscious of my line of sight. Instead of looking down, I adjusted the height of the camera to my match my eye level. I also practiced speaking directly to the camera instead of looking down at the screen. Since the view on screen is limited, I admittedly exaggerated my note taking for example, so that the customer could see my movements. I was also mindful not too speak too long.
Q. What do you keep in mind when meeting a customer?
When I visit a customer for the first time, the most important thing is to introduce myself as the face of the company. While I try to be well prepared, I usually do not explain things that I already know in detail. Since it is important for customers to tell me their expectations and thoughts, I make certain to listen intently to what they have to say first. During the competition, I thought my materials were quite complete, but I was determined to minimize the time I used to show them. It’s a matter of hearing out the customer and responding accordingly.