Updated: Sep 6
Hello everyone! In today's episode of "The Mentor Talk", we are excited to share an enlightening conversation we had with Tommy Cullander. For those who may not know, Tommy has 50 years of sales and marketing experience, and he shared some invaluable insights from his professional background and journey.
1. Starting the Journey Back in Sweden
Tommy started his career in Sweden, working for Stille Werner, one of the world's oldest manufacturers of surgical instruments. In his role as the Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Tommy was responsible for setting up distributor networks across the Far East, including countries like Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, and Indonesia.
During this time, Tommy also introduced surgical gloves from the company Ansell Pacific Dunlop to the Swedish market. The introduction was a massive success, with Ansell gaining an impressive 65% market share in just 6 years.
2. Professional Evolution across Countries and Companies
After successful years in Sweden, Tommy moved to Munich, Germany in 1992. Here he worked as a regional director for Pacific Dunlop and its daughter company, Ansell. The most remarkable part of Tommy's tenure in Munich was his transformative work to shift the operation focus from distribution to the end users.
Tommy also emphasized the importance of understanding the mentality and language of the country you are serving. He argued, "You can't put a Swede into direct sales in England," highlighting the advantage brought by employing directors from their home country. This deep localization helped Ansell double its sales and revenue over a 6 year period in Munich.
3. Continuous Learning and Adaptability
When asked about his advice for keeping up with the latest industry trends and the importance of continuous learning, Tommy stressed the significance of staying curious and engaged. For him, maintaining connections with customers, continuously reading newspapers, sector-specific journals, and staying invested in different companies are ways through which he keeps himself updated.
4. Business and Personal Time: Striking a Balance
Striking a balance between free time and business can be challenging for many but Tommy believes otherwise. According to him, business time can add great value to your free time. It's all about molding personal and professional time into a meaningful and fulfilling combination.
5. Advice for Start-ups
For start-ups, Tommy recommends entrepreneurs to understand the 'why' of their venture. He suggested understanding the product or services, the market, and the profitability aspects well before starting on their journey. Tommy also introduced a fundamental guide he uses to making sound business decisions; the WWW- Who you're doing it for, What you're doing, and Why you're doing it.
6. Parting Words
In conclusion, Tommy emphasized that "success is a journey and having the guidance and the wisdom of an experienced professional can make all the difference". So, whether you're just starting out or are looking to start anew, Tommy's life-long professional wisdom can guide you to the path of success.
Do you need support from an expert like Tommy Cullander? Or, are you looking to join the mentor community at SalesPro4U? Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can listen to the full episode of The Mentor Talk with Tommy Cullander.
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Until then, take care!