Henri Hellman (35) is one of the best salespeople in Elkjøp Nordic. To gain his impressive results he listens more than he talks, he sets targeted goals for himself and he has fun!
I am a big guy, and perhaps that makes people trust me.
- It is a joke, but who knows… perhaps there is some truth to it, Henri says, laughing.
Henri Hellmann is standing in the Home-section in Gigantti Tammisto, which is about half an hour outside of Helsinki city center. It’s the largest store of all Elkjøp Nordic stores, with 6000 square meters. Here, in this big store, amongst big home appliances such as fridges and washing machines, this “big guy” feels at home.
- I really enjoy the sales situation, says Henri who has worked as a Salesperson for eight years. During these years Henri has been ranked as one of the best salespeople in all of the Nordic countries. He’s been a Top Gun every year since 2014, an acknowledgment given to those who are amongst the best sellers. In Finland Henri has been Top Gun of the Year in 2015/2016, 2016/2017 and 2018/2019, meaning the person who sells the most in the whole country.
- I work hard. And if you don’t like to lose, you have to win, he smiles.
Listen. With Henri’s impressive results, one has to ask:
- What is the secret?
- Haha, big question!
- There isn’t one way that works on every customer. They are all different and want different things. I sell in a different way to elders than I do to younger people – I talk to them about different topics, use different language.
Build trust. Henri loves selling home appliances. Big items, such as washing machines, freezers, whole kitchens.
- You sell small things differently than big things. Bigger things require much more of a process. And I enjoy that process of planning with the customer, because it really feels as if I can help finding what’s best for them, says Henri. A key to being good at planning with the customer is knowing the products.
- You need to know what you sell, and know the pro’s and con’s about the different products. When you do, you build trust, says Henri, who has many returning customers, and who has built a circle of clientele over the years.
- Often the customer says that they need to think about it. I ask why, so I can figure out what’s holding them back. When I know, I can find solutions for them, like finding other products within their budget, or checking if they can for example choose the color on their kitchen fronts after they have put in the order. Often I see the sale come after that, because the customer see that I am there to fix their problems for them. I really enjoy that, he says, and adds:
Sometimes I talk to the customers about completely different things than the items they are after. It could be about cars or sports or whatever. It is nice to build relations with them, which again builds trust. Trust is a very important factor when it comes to selling.
Targeted goals. - How did you become so great at it?
- I am very goal oriented and driven. I analyze my performance every day and go through what worked and what didn’t work. I think about it a lot, because it is my passion - therefore it comes quite naturally to me. I also set targeted goals for myself and compete against my personal goals, and try to get better every year. I want to keep on improving and learning, Henri says. Every time he has success he gets energy from the situation.
In 2019 his boss Jani Koskinen chose him for a job as Team Leader for their team of 20 people in the Home-section. Earlier this year Henri got his second child and will spend a few months on parental leave later this year. This means that Henri has lowered his own selling-ambitions.
Adjust to life and have fun. - I am ambitious, but at the same time I adjust my goals, so they work with both my personal circumstances and the role as Team Leader. I can’t be best at selling while also wanting to be a great Team Leader. And be a great dad! Gigantti is really a great employer in that sense, with a lot of acceptance for where you are in your life, Henri says. He’s standing amongst some of the other sellers in his team, they are talking about cars, laughing and joking.
We are good friends. And that is also super important, to have fun at work, support each other and enjoy the workday.
After work, on this Wednesday, and every Wednesday, Henri and his boss Jani are off to Helsinki to play paddle.
- When we do we don’t talk about work at all. It’s a great way to have fun and to break away from work with a good friend, Henri says.
- And that is super important, too!
My ears are bigger than my mouth. I listen! Everything the customer tells you about their situation is useful information. From what they tell you, you can figure out how to offer the best solution to them.