Zhi Cheng Chen
Manager at Sumitomo Electric Hardmetal Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
Joined the company in 2009
My company is a wholly-owned sales company of the Sumitomo Electric Group, and we specialize in the sales of cutting tools to customers in China. I’m currently the Sales Director for the northeast region of the country, where we work with local agents to increase sales and expand market share. I also manage a team of three sales branches.
Before joining SHMS, I knew a few things about Sumitomo Electric. The fact that the organization had a more than 100-year history and hundreds of group companies around the world was very attractive.
Then, when I joined the company, I found an atmosphere that was different from other workplaces. My biggest impression can be summed up in one word: warmth. The care from the leaders, the mentoring by senior staff, and the helpfulness of my colleagues were all very motivating for a young employee like me at the time. The warmth of the company is something I have felt since my first day here and that has not changed. It is a distinctive feature of SHMS.
There are many aspects of Sumitomo Electric that I admire. One in particular is respect for human resources, which is a management principle of the Sumitomo Electric Group. Why do I think this is of utmost importance? Because ultimately it is people who create the advanced technology and realize our ambitious plans. In my own experience, I have been given tremendous support in many aspects of my professional development since joining the company. Through basic training for newcomers to more focused training on business skills, the company has given me the tools and encouragement to face new challenges. I am extremely grateful for this.
In terms of my personality, I have a real affinity for other people. I’m outgoing and I like to communicate. I might sometimes give the impression of being too talkative, but this is the real me. One principle I’ve always adhered to is to keep conversation light. It's important to put yourself in the other person's shoes and build up the conversation and atmosphere.
During my 13 years so far with Sumitomo Electric, one of the most valuable experiences I’ve had is learning how to communicate effectively with different people. Every day, in the course of my work, I come into contact with various agents and customers, which means I need to communicate with men and women of all ages, positions, regions, and nationalities. To be able to adapt yourself to the requirements of any situation, you must have strong communication skills. That is an indispensable tool in the sales profession.
Of course, back at the office, good communication is also essential. I believe that an environment of active communication and respect for the opinions of each and every employee is the basis for the stable development of the company.