A "sports-mad" export salesman who cares about helping others

Konsta Katajisto

Konsta Katajisto grew up in Sastamala. Describing himself as "sports-mad", the export salesman's path led him back to his hometown via Tampere after his studies. "I ended up working for Kirami after finishing my studies in Turku and when I had to find a new job because of my move. As soon as I saw the job advertisement, I was excited about the possibility of finding a job in my hometown," Konsta says.

"I was very enthusiastic about the opportunity because I knew Kirami was booming, the position was just perfect for me and I already knew a few people in the company who had never spoken a bad word about their job," he continues. 

Konsta's main tasks currently include B2B export sales. This includes a lot of different customer service and also marketing support activities. "My own language skills are relatively limited. In addition to Finnish, I speak English fluently, and this is the main language I use in my daily work due to foreign customers," says Konsta. He is currently responsible for the non-European regions. The UK, North America and Japan are his main sales areas. Australia is also on the rise.

"What makes these regions interesting is definitely their high growth potential. With the exception of the UK, all regions are still very new to us," explains Konsta. "Another absolute plus for me is the diversity of the regions. The regions are very different from each other as market environments, so you get to challenge yourself and your skills in many different ways on a daily basis."

Konsta mentions good product knowledge as one of his special skills. "I have always wanted to learn as much as possible about the products I sell, so that I can help my customers in the best and most versatile way possible. This has quickly helped to build a relationship of trust with customers, which makes daily work much easier and more relaxed for both parties. To be on first-name terms with my customers is a very important part of my work. I want them to feel that I am almost a colleague and not just a faceless salesman," says Konsta, describing his approach.

During his approximately two-year career, Konsta's work has evolved quite a lot. He started on the domestic sales side in support roles, before moving quickly to international sales. Other tasks have included online store maintenance and marketing support.

Konsta's typical working day consists of a lot of communication with customers about orders, offers and also just general stuff. An important part of the job is also pushing forward common issues with colleagues. "My own goal is also to be able to help at least one colleague with a problem every day. Whether it's a work issue or just a personal problem. I believe that this is a good way to get things moving and that everyone feels more comfortable at work and work goes more smoothly," says Konsta. 

Konsta believes that the best part of the job is working with people and meeting them. "Helping people and making them happy helps you get through the day, even if you're the one who got up on the wrong side of the bed in the morning." The working community at Kirami is, in Konsta's opinion, "absolutely great! Everyone supports each other and the atmosphere is always happy and relaxed. You can't escape the encouragement and the very special humour, and that's a good thing!"

For a starting Kirami retailer, Konsta would advise that honest communication is the key. "When you have a genuine atmosphere of trust with your retailers, your work and everyday life go much more smoothly. I believe this also has a direct impact on the efficiency of the work and the result. To a salesperson starting out within the company, I would say much the same thing. Always communicate openly and honestly and be brave enough to ask questions when there is any doubt. We do not and should not have to try to survive on our own. There is strength in a team that goes much further than banging your head against the wall alone. Patience is also important in this job. Finding customers and getting the business up and running takes time - it's a marathon, not a sprint," Konsta explains. 

In his free time, Konsta loves sports - both doing it himself and watching from his couch. He has his own sauna both inside and outside. "Sauna and hot tub are both really important parts of my home. They both help you recover both mentally and physically from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Is there any better way to relax than with a combination of a hot tub, a sauna and good food? I don't think so," Konsta underlines.