Hello, I am glad to see you!
I am also glad to see you again! It was nice to see you in England (editor’s note: on the ETO show)! I travel a lot, so I understand you. It is always nice to see familiar faces.
How did you come into this business?
That’s interesting. I had a spinal injury, in my previous career I was a professional in the financial industry. I sold the information, with Thomson Reuters. And when I injured my spine, it was more than a year before I could really work correctly, at all. That was great pain. So, I was retired, I thought I would never work again. But I am not very good at being retired. But I was old, I was fifty years old. And in my country (editor’s note: the USA), in this time, in 2008, the financial industry melted down. Trash… So, now when I am feeling like I can work again, there are no jobs! No jobs. Especially, for a guy with a back problem. The Human Resources person says: ‘Oh, no, not this one’. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter what you can do, I have skills as a salesman. What matters is what they allow you to do. And no one wanted me. No one. But my friend, very good friend, the owner of our company, Ralph Albrecht, he knows me for years, he knows I have skills and he thinks those skills can be used for Swiss Navy. So, he hires me. And I have been with Swiss Navy ever since. He probably saves my life.
A story with a good end! What is your position with Swiss Navy?
I am the international salesperson. Europe, the U.K. and Russia-these are my markets that I control. In future I might be looking into Asia as a possibility. Because in Europe it is probably time for a European salesman-someone with more languages (I have but one, I speak a little bit of a lot of languages but English is my fundamental language). In Europe they really need multiple languages to be most effective. But in Russia I will stay.
Good! We love you very much!
I enjoy the Russian people, I really value you. If you look in my Facebook, I have more Russian friends than American ones. I really enjoy the people.
I have never seen anyone showing the products the way you do. You are excellent at doing it!
It is fun. And the Russian people allow me to have fun. So, you are very open-minded. You are not easily surprised and very fun to work with.
How do your friends and relatives see your job?
When I first started, it was a big surprise for them. From the financial industry I got into the sex industry, it was a significant shift. I told them: ‘You can’t believe how warm the relationships are’. In the financial industry they are very cold. It is all about money. And they are very full of themselves. They think they are so good. In our industry, everybody is just friendly, helpful, these are real relationships and friendships. No one from the financial industry calls me anymore. But I get calls all the time from friends that I have all around the world. It has been very nice. I enjoy it. And as far as my family goes, it is just a way that I make my money.
How many times did you take part in Thaifest?
I have been since the beginning. This is the seventh Thaifest of mine. Each one was different and each one was very memorable.
Tell me about the way your trainings have been changing till present, please.
I started almost eight years ago in Thaifest. So, I grew up understanding the industry much better. Every year I try to improve how I train the people and I try to incorporate some entertainment. Because it is a long day, you have got many presentations, there is so much information. How do I make my standup so that they remember? I keep on trying to improve it, bring something different. Even if I do not have new product, I can have new tool. We have quick reference cards in Russian so that they can remember the selling points of our brand. It makes it easier for them to sell: they make more money, they like the brand more. I like to think that every year the presentation gets better and more effective.
Some words about ‘Astkol-Alfa’ and the people who work for this company, please.
We have very important relationship, Leo is a great man. And you can trust Leo. Leo is honest. When we started, when Swiss Navy began in Russia, he said: ‘Randy, don’t expect the sales to go straight up, it is going to take time, it is going to take a lot of hard work, but we will continue to grow together. We only ask you to help us when we need some help’. They have been true to their word. In Russia I have currently one distributor. I had others that asked and wanted but I stay with the one distributor and tell them that I think the market is strong enough because Leo has invested and worked very hard. Tanya is amazing, Marina is amazing, they have been my close friends for eight years now. It is amazing! We have grown greatly together. Our growth in sales has been phenomenal.
It sounds fine! Could you say some words to your Russian customers?
I would like to say ‘thank you’ to them. And tell them that I love them as they seem to love the Swiss Navy products. They are wonderful, robust, friendly, very warm people that the world should come and meet. The Russian people are amazing. Swiss Navy loves Russia!