Chemical Marketing Team Manager of the Hyosung Japan
General Manager Kim Yong-man
Winner of the ‘Proud Hyosung-er Awards’ for the First Quarter of 2019
Meeting a client over and over again
There is a common saying that states, “When one person meets another person frequently, they become very close to each other.” The same can be said about one’s clientele. There is no such thing as a ‘client who is easy and amicable’ from the beginning. Rather, we have to make ceaseless efforts to build up close relationships. According to General Manager Kim Yong-man, “The most important thing we can do to establish trust with our clients is to meet with them frequently.”
He went on to say, “When we meet a client over and over again, we have to find out exactly what that client wants. In general, clients want to know about market trends, price trends, and other information that can take some time to find out. We need to create opportunities to satisfy the client’s demands and become close to each other. Then, we can listen to the voice of the customer (VOC) and convey our message to the client, too.” General Manager Kim worked on introducing TAC film for coating TVs to Japan’s coating company Toppan DNP, leading to a significant improvement in revenues compared to the previous year, and also expanded the sales of PP products developed in the first quarter of 2017, which increased sales. In particular, for the TAC film to meet the quality standard required by the client, he prepared the certification procedure thoroughly, so it passed the quality test at once, earning the client’s confidence.
He said, “If we want to earn a client’s trust, we have to produce and deliver our products according to the quality standard required by the client. To that end, we need to thoroughly understand the voice of the customer (VOC) and feed this back to the headquarters and the factory. Social networking with the headquarters and the factory is as important as customer relations. It is the collective, harmonious work performed by the local office, the headquarters and the factory on the basis of mutual trust that has led to such good results.”
Making the impossible possible!
One of Kim’s secret keys to success in maintaining a close relationship with his clients is golf. He said that he started playing golf at the age of 36 after hearing a client’s tongue-in-cheek remark, ‘If you can’t play golf, I will break off my business relations with you!’ Now, it has become his hobby and helps to relieve his stress.
“I joined a golf practice range that’s 30 minutes’ drive from my house. For six months, I got up at two or three in the morning to go to the range two or three times a week, and after hitting 200 to 300 golf balls, I went to work. After those six months, my client asked me to play a round of golf. When people play golf, their personality is revealed. Thanks to golf, I now have a good eye for people (with laughter). So, I highly recommend my colleagues to learn or play not only golf but any kind of sport such as football or fishing.”
General Manager Kim, who doesn’t give up easily, shows tenacity in his work, too. For example, he published a plan to expand the Hyosung PP factory in Vietnam in a Japanese economics newspaper. He said, “At first, I sent the letter blindly to the newspaper, but there was no reaction, so I contacted the company persistently. The timing was critical because there was some anxiety about a product supply issue as a rival company’s factory had had a major incident. I thought that we shouldn’t miss the timing, so I persisted in publishing the article.”
Our clients and fields are the answer!
General Manager Kim Yong-man says that he acquired his ‘tenacity DNA’ from the time when his job involved collecting all the bad debts for about two years, after joining the Hyosung Tokyo in 1993. In addition, while the Hyosung Tokyo had a difficult time due to the IMF financial crisis in 1997 in Korea, he voluntarily negotiated with clients and reduced the loan period from 120 days to 30 days, and obtained a promise from the clients to maintain continuous business relations with the Hyosung Tokyo. He says that he cannot adequately describe his feelings of contentment at that time and also sincerely felt that his ‘clients protected him’.
“Although market research can be obtained through a research company, truly essential information comes to us from our clients. Our clients’ needs are the key to our success. In other words, ‘the answer is in the field.’”
His 26 years of working life haven’t always been smooth. The reason why he has been able to remain unshakable in all kinds of difficult circumstances is that he has been always the first person to meet clients in the field, and most frequently, and of course because he meets his clients in a spirit of sincerity and trust.
Written by Han Yul
Photo by Han Soo-jeong (Day40 Studio)