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Sales staff must be customer-focused

Published on Friday, 23 Apr 2010
Selina Li says SGS wants people of varied backgrounds.
Photo: David Wong

From the quality of toys and textiles to food safety, sales staff at SGS Hong Kong ensure that the company's products meet standards and the merchandise is of the highest quality.

The company, which provides laboratory testing, product inspection and technical consultancy to manufacturers, importers, exporters and retailers, is looking for frontline sales staff. These include sales executives, account executives and managers, and customer service professionals.

Assistant recruitment manager Selina Li says sales executives are responsible for bringing in new clients, while account staff build and sustain relationships with mainly regional and international clients. Customer service employees handle inquiries, quotations and complaints from clients, among other duties.

Li says the company welcomes candidates from different educational backgrounds. Depending on the nature of work, they can be business, marketing, engineering or science graduates, holders of high diplomas or postgraduates.

"It's important for them to have good interpersonal and communications skills and be customer-focused," she says.

For account manager positions, Li says it will be a bonus for applicants to be fluent in a third language, such as German, French or Japanese, since they are likely to deal with overseas clients.

SGS provides training in customer service, client management and technical know-how to new staff. Coaching is also offered by senior managers.

"Our services often involve meeting the regulations of a range of industries in different countries. Whether they monitor the quality of toys, textiles or electronic products, we need to know what to offer our clients," she says, adding that some clients ask SGS to devise tailor-made standards in order to attain a higher quality than what is usually required.

Li says sales staff should also be equipped with knowledge about laboratory tests. "We find out whether the leather coating of a pair of shoes, the design of a chair or the external layer of toy cars meet the required quality and safety standards," she says.

SGS also carries out social accountability audits to help clients commit to social and environmental standards.

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