“ClampOn feels like a family business, and we have been welcomed into the ClampOn family,” says Henry Bettle (35) from New Zealand.
Mr Bettle works in Operations for Accord, one of ClampOn’s 30 agents worldwide. 18 of these agents sent a total of 26 representatives to Bergen to visit the ClampOn headquarters for a week of product information and training, swapping experience, discussions, networking, and of course socialising.
“New Zealand is isolated, but oil and gas is international. Meeting other people is important, so it is invaluable to find other agents that also sell other product ranges. It is all about networking. It is unusual for an agent to be treated as one of the internal employees, but being here is fantastic,” says Mr Bettle.
CHALLENGING, BUT REWARDING
“ClampOn’s philosophy is to work globally, with local representatives all over the world. We chose to build a strong network of agents rather than opening up more branches. A good agent has the right contacts, and understands our product and the local industry so that they can translate our vision for local use. This is crucial in order to win contracts,” says Olav Brakstad, ClampOn’s Sales Manager.
Joshua Raj Rajagopal (34) is very familiar with ClampOn’s equipment. He is the General Manager of Services for Matco Malaysia, but started out as a service engineer back in 2006, handling ClampOn rentals.
“Hands on experience and sales is the best mix. Although I have been a service engineer, I have always done sales, and the products are very good. We rarely have issues with them,” says Mr Rajagopal.
He admits that being an agent can be a tough job. Stuck between the principal and the client, he has to adapt to both sides, which can be difficult in particular because of cultural differences between the Asian market and the western-based industry. “It is challenging, but when you pull off a tough job, you feel very satisfied,” he says.
BELIEVE IN THE PRODUCT
Being able to push the product to the market is important. For Tim Jones (39), Sales Manager for the Canadian company Vanko, this is particularly crucial, as sand detection is not yet common in the area. He approached ClampOn at the OTC as he wanted to get invested in the sand detector and the corrosion-erosion monitor in particular. “There is absolutely a large market for it. I like the product. It is easy to use. We are a service organisation with a large group of service technicians, and I would like them to get more hands-on training,” Mr Jones says.
In addition to the work aspect of the trip to Norway, Mr Jones brought his wife with him, and the two of them found time to do some hiking and enjoy the countryside. Several of the agent representatives joined ClampOn president Dag A. Aldal and other ClampOn employees on a trip to the top of mount Løvstakken.
Maeve Simon-Hart (38), Sales Manager for Aftrac in Nigeria, thinks that in order to be able to push a product, you need to be enthusiastic about it. She definitely believes in ClampOn’s product line. “The feedback we get is that this is an excellent product, and we have invested quite a bit in equipment. The technology is interesting and unique, people are friendly and helpful, and communication with ClampOn is easy.”
Furthermore, Ms Simon-Hart thinks the networking opportunity of the agent seminar is important. “Getting to exchange business cards, speak to others who have experienced the same things as we have, and open communication lines makes things easier. One of the representatives from China knew people in Nigeria that we had not met already, so we get to meet new people, which is a good experience. It is a lovely city as well!”