Alexander Volkmer, born in Karlsruhe, has been at Rutronik since April 1999. He started in Internal Sales and has worked in External Sales and as an Area Sales Manager (Office Manager) in the meantime. At his own request, he has been working as a Key Account Manager again since 2017 and is responsible for several of Rutronik’s major clients.
Before Rutronik, I worked at a company in Pforzheim in the office communication sector. Back then the company was bought out by an American firm. After the purchase, there were plans to close locations. As I didn’t want to be unemployed, I started looking for a new job and came across a newspaper ad by Rutronik. It was about selling electronic components. As I have a technical qualification in electronic components, I submitted an unsolicited application and was appointed. That was how I got into Internal Sales.
The job as Key Account Manager, or selling electronic components, is not that easy but very varied. I look after customers from major sectors: automotive, industry and white goods. We are accordingly talking about negotiating vast sums here.
My working day usually starts at eight o’clock. I’m either in the office or at customers’. Usually I am out and about for two days a week. I look after five key accounts for Rutronik myself. That doesn’t sound like that many but it is considerable as they are major customers. On the remaining days of the week I’m either in the office or on site at manufacturers, usually in Germany but sometimes somewhere in Europe too.
The most important rating point with customers, regardless of the relationship with the customers, is the work we do. If you do a good job, are dependable and punctual and make reliable statements and are there for customers in difficult situations, then you have a good standing.
As a Key Account Manager, you aren’t just selling a parts number, you’re selling a product. I always like quoting Helmut Rudel from when I started at the company: “Every sales rep has to have taken a look at production first before they sell a component.” It still see it in exactly the same way today. Once I’ve seen what goes into a component before it is finished and what this costs down to the last cent, I’m aware of what I’m selling. I might just be selling a small component but I have to remember time and time again how highly complex the production of components is.