"Out of the Comfort Zone, Into the Deep"
The next day, the deal was closed. It took three hours. "We just kept talking. The atmosphere was very familiar." After that, he lost track of Kik. Until Elinex was in talks with IBM a few years later to supply emergency power supplies to the IT giant's dealer channel. "We were looking for a good salesperson. Then I immediately had to think back to that car salesman," says Van Raamsdonk. There was a practical problem. LinkedIn and Facebook did not exist yet. All Van Raamsdonk knew was that Kik lived in Dordrecht. So he sent his secretary home in the evening with a phone book with the request to call all the Kiks in Dordrecht. Eventually, it turned out he was now working for a BMW dealer in Roosendaal.
"I was shocked when Huub called," says Kik. "Those Jeeps were known for their weak axles. I thought: if someone goes to such lengths to find me, it's bad news." When he had recovered from the shock, he was open to a conversation, although the market for emergency power supplies was far from his boyhood dream: the car world. "I followed the automotive training at the IVA in Driebergen with full conviction and was doing well at BMW. But the challenge was a bit gone. BMW customers are very brand loyal. After driving a black car for four years, they come to exchange it for a dark blue one. At Elinex, I found that challenge." It came at a price. "I arrived for the interview in a BMW 530 and was assigned a Ford Focus," says Kik. "I also took a hit in terms of salary. That was a bit tough. But I wanted to step out of my comfort zone, into the deep."
Read the full article from Het Financieele Dagblad, 20-05-2017