15 years ago Jonas Lindström joined Neste’s customer service ranks where he worked closely with Neste’s business and consumer customers. Little did he know that this experience would eventually lead to his career in sales at Neste.
In 2006, Jonas started as an hourly employee in customer service in Neste Retail, now known as Marketing & Services, studying marketing and finance at the same time. After graduating he knew that he wanted to continue working for Neste full-time.
“I had a great experience in customer service with fantastic co-workers. Fortunately, I got an opportunity to work as an Project Planner in an IT project where I learned a lot about the IT field, project management and sales. Even though it didn’t quite match what I had studied, I have always wanted to try out different things,” says Jonas.
In the project, Jonas was the link between IT and sales because the project focused on sales system renewal. He got to utilise his skills from customer service while learning new things.
“I got to know a lot of people during the project which helped me to consider my next steps in my career. I was curious to learn more about sales as I heard stories about sales negotiations and the infamous high after closing a sale,” smiles Jonas.
From curiosity to action
When the project ended, Jonas found it natural to pursue his interests and apply for a Regional Sales Manager position in Neste Retail (now Marketing & Services).
“During the years there I had the opportunity to visit a lot of our customers where they sold our products. It has always been interesting to hear how customers use our products and how to improve their experience,” tells Jonas.
After almost three and half years in Marketing & Services Jonas had a feeling it was time to find new challenges.
“My career shift to Oil Products was spurred by my interest to see the overall picture of how Neste operates. The new business area also gave me a chance to learn a new product portfolio and work more closely with our renewables business.”
Great teamwork and intensive negotiations
Now Jonas works in the Sales Nordics which is part of the Renewable Road Transportation business unit.
“The work days in sales can vary a lot, because we follow an annual cycle. Autumn is the busiest but the best time of the year as we negotiate term deals with our customers. The work days are longer and there is a lot of travelling involved because we visit our customers, in Finland or abroad.”
Negotiations are an important part of the sales process. Jonas explains that they can be very different from one another which makes them interesting.
“We always work in teams and everyone has an assigned role. Sometimes negotiations can last for months with several face-to-face meetings and other times they are done in a day. The negotiations can be quite intensive, which is why we usually focus on one customer per day,” Jonas describes.
He adds: “Working as a team has always been the best part of my work. We sales people might be naturally competitive but not the way that some might think. We don’t usually compete with each other but rather celebrate everyone’s wins. We always try to achieve even the highest goals that have been set.”
Future possibilities in other business units
“Especially in my current role, it has been meaningful to share our renewables business side to our customers. I like how everyone at Neste is united by a desire to move forward and develop new things, which makes a difference in the world,” tells Jonas.
When asked about his future career aspirations Jonas sees many opportunities within Neste.
“My team leads have always helped me develop by coaching and trusting me with more responsibilities. I could imagine that the sales of our Renewable Aviation and Renewable Polymers and Chemicals business units would be still interesting to explore,” Jonas laughs.