Over the last decade, Debora has followed every customer at Stamplast, from the first contact, leading the company to develop the Italian market, but especially the foreign market made of European and non-European countries. In one country in particular Debora Del Monego feels at home: Switzerland. She was born and raised there. Thanks to Stamplast’s Swiss customer network, which accounts for over 30% of the foreign market, she returns to her home country several times a year. The pandemic has limited relations, but our sales manager has already started travelling again: the best solutions come from face-to-face dialogue, trust and professionalism. We talk about this in this interview with Debora Del Monego.
Knowledge of languages is fundamental for those who take care of sales and customer relations on an international level. How did you develop your language skills?
‘Language is a fundamental tool in customer management, although it is by no means the only one. It is well known that there are various forms of communication. The fact remains that language, even better if it is the customer’s native language, is important. It allows you to establish an immediate contact of trust, because you are sure to be understood correctly.
My German language knowledge stems from the fact that my parents, emigrants, met in Zurich, Switzerland. They fell in love and married, giving bith to my brother and I. I have always attended school in German, being in the German-speaking canton. This allowed me to confront myself from the very beginning with, on the one hand, the reality and the Italian language I breathed at home and, on the other, the Swiss mentality and approach.
At the age of 16, I then moved to Sedico, in the province of Belluno, where I attended the accountancy school. It was quite a jump, both in terms of way of life, culture and school, but also in terms of language. To catch up, to understand new ways of doing things and new habits, was not easy. Life experiences that make you grow’.
Your background therefore makes Switzerland a special market for Stamplast…
“This background of mine certainly makes the relationship with our Swiss customers a bit special. There is an understanding not only of language, but also of culture. A large part of our business abroad is precisely dedicated to Switzerland. As it is not far away geographically, it allows us to make several visits a year. Some simply give us the opportunity to get to know each other better, while others focus on concrete points to be addressed and solutions to be found together. This allows us to ensure presence, reliability and why not, also trust and professionalism.
What has been the impact of the pandemic on business relations?
“Thanks to the strong relationships built over time, the pandemic has not been able to limit relationships and business. The constant presence we provided and the information and reassurance offered to customers allowed us to continue our business. I gradually reassured customers, explaining what was initially happening in Italy. From a human point of view, perhaps we became even closer, because we supported each other, also morally. So it was not just business relations, but with a deep human side.
The fairs came to an end, because they were moved or cancelled more than once by the organisers. We did however participate at Fakuma in Friedrichshafen in 2021. You always have to start somewhere, but fortunately we also made new contacts through word of mouth and other research. We are satisfied with our success, in general, both for the foreign market and for Italy. We have never stopped and we are working on many new projects, stimulated also by the continuous requests of the customers themselves.
Video calls and emails make dialogue efficient even at a distance. What future do you see for trade fairs, company visits and face-to-face meetings?
“I tend to be optimistic in nature, but there is work to be done. The international scenario is complex. Now the war in Ukraine is restricting certain trade relations again.
However, I believe we will not have major difficulties. We are specialised in certain sectors, for example medical and electronics, which always give us room for action and new ideas.
Although in certain cases we have been limited and somewhat penalised by Covid-19, the video calls have allowed us to continue with our current projects. I see a brighter future. I sincerely hope that we will be able to return to a pre-Covid reality or at least get as close as possible, because direct contact with the customer was and remains fundamental.
Another important factor is certainly being able to invite customers and show them our reality. We explain the processes and what they entail, possible problems and solutions.
The company is constantly evolving. We have invested in new machines and technology, in ever more efficient planning, in special processes, see the new pad printing department. After 11 years at Stamplast, I wish us all continued hard work, with seriousness, quality and lots of new stimuli, despite the world situation we are experiencing at the moment.