Hey! My name is Gert-Jan van der Wel. I'm 41 years old, Dutch, married and have three little kids. I co-founded Floorplanner and I'm currently transitioning from running the technology dept to the sales dept. In between family and work, I like to ride my road bike whenever I can.
Here I share what I'm up to and working on at the moment. I aim to update it every few weeks. If you want me to send you an email whenever I wrote something new, you can sign up here.
work - 28 Aug 2019
A few months ago I started to get more involved with Floorplanner’s sales efforts. I was very exited about the new role, but also a bit hesitant. For an engineer to transition from technology to sales is like a Jedi joining the Dark Side. I also didn’t see myself as much of a salesman, but it was necessary, and the timing was right. I’m proud of the product we built and now we had to get it into the hands of new customers.
Since many of our potential customers are in the USA I’ve traveled there a few times this year. I found it very easy to talk with Americans. They are open, interested and friendly - very friendly - and enthusiastic. To be honest, I had to get used to that a little, especially as an introvert from Europe. There is a saying about Americans: “my friend” is someone you know, and “my best friend” is someone you know and also like. But I keep a list of superlatives handy, so I’m all good now.
When I’m in the Netherlands I feel Dutch and a little bit European, but in the US I’m only a European. Sometimes they don’t know the Netherlands as a country or they think Amsterdam is a country. This makes my job a bit challenging. I have to convince people that they should buy a product from a company in a country they hardly know, on the other side of the ocean, from a jet lagged guy with an accent like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
But I’m happy and excited to take on this challenge, and I’m not alone. I think there is a lot of room for growth and I’m building a team to help me make it a huge success.