For more than 20 years, Ulrik Damgaard has worked within the heating and plumbing area with management and sales as the focal point. His career in Solar started when he joined the company almost seven years ago. He has worked in different manager positions in Sales and Market, and had no doubt when offered the Regional Manager position, as it combines his passions for management and customer focus. “Being a manager and having contact with our customers is where I find my energy. It motivates me on several levels, as I enjoy closing big deals and being part of new strategies and, at the same time, I find it inspiring to visit installers and help them with the challenges they’re facing”, Ulrik explains.
We listen more than we speak
Ulrik understands the importance of building relationships and earning our customers’ trust. Therefore, one of the most essential things to him is that we listen to our customers and gain some insight into their company. When doing so, we get to know them better and understand their challenges. “When we know our customers, we can challenge them with specific initiatives to improve their revenue. This way we make winners of our customers”, Ulrik states with passion.
In order to make winners of our customers, it is important that we keep the simple things simple. “We can help our customers simplify some of their processes, so let’s avoid making it more difficult. As Albert Einstein once said ‘Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler’”, Ulrik says, explaining that we have to speak a language that our customers understand, so we don’t talk at cross-purposes. We don’t have to unfold the entire Solar tool box all at once. It’s just as important that we execute and follow up.
Digital first movers with people in mind
As Regional Manager Ulrik has taken part in developing a new strategy for the heating and plumbing area. Not only did he contribute with great ideas for the strategy, he now gets to carry it out as well. “Now, I get to be responsible for the strategy and take ownership of bringing it to life. Being allowed to try different things is one of the things that make Solar a great place to work”, Ulrik emphasises.
Another thing that Ulrik appreciates about Solar is that it’s an innovative company in constant development. “I have tried to take a step back and look at the digital transformation that has taken place in the company since I started, and it wowed me. We have to keep up with the digitalisation but to me it’s important to also bear in mind that we are humans selling products and services to other humans”, Ulrik underlines, adding that Solar follows the digitalisation trends when it makes sense. As an example, Solar has been able to move installers within heating and plumbing towards more digital channels.
A humble member of the Board of Directors
Regional Manager isn’t Ulrik’s only role in Solar. In 2014, he was elected one of the three employee-elected members on Solar’s Board of Directors. When asked why he ran for the election, Ulrik explains: “The short answer is that it felt right. I ran because of the potential for personal development, and because I felt I could contribute with both my own and my colleagues’ opinions as the employees’ liaison. I’m humble towards my role as an employee-elected board member and proud of the trust I’ve been given”.
The last four years as a member has developed Ulrik’s competences and he has gained unique knowledge and insight into the organisation. “On the one hand it gives me something to be a part of the Board of Directors, and on the other hand it gives a lot to the employees as well, as I really feel we have a voice in the game”, he emphasises.