Career stories

Sales Director
at Stalatube B.V.

The Sales Director of Stalatube’s Dutch sales office, Gerard Stolk, is one of the most experienced, long-time members of the Stalatube family. Gerard has been with us since 1992, has held a variety of positions and he has seen how the business has changed through digitalization and global financial fluctuation. However, one thing that never changes is people. A good customer experience is what keeps the business going, decade after decade.

Gerard got started in the stainless steel business in 1983, when he needed to find a job after finishing his general education and spending time in the army. He didn’t feel like an office job would suit him, so he applied to be a salesperson with a steel stockholder instead. A one-year contract turned into five years as Gerard found his calling with sales and stainless steel. After working for another company for four years, Gerard joined Stala, Stalatube’s predecessor, by an invitation from his former colleague at his first job.

As an Export Manager for Stala, Gerard loved working with people and with stainless steel tubes. He had already realized how genius the tubes are – a simple product that have a huge variety of possibilities for applications. “Stainless steel tubes were my first love”, he jokes (and we can add that this is a sentiment that many of us at Stalatube totally understand). Nowadays as a Sales Director for Stalatube B.V., Gerard is responsible for handling the biggest stockholder customers and their project inquiries. With Stalatube’s product range and Gerard’s knowledge the customers will always get the right product for their need and the tube with the right properties.

After closing the Dutch factory in 1999, changes had to be made. Stalatube B.V. began focusing on what they were really good in: sales. For the last 20 years Gerard and his team have put their effort into continuing a profitable business that relies on the expertise of Stalatube’s people and the high-quality products Stalatube keeps developing.

Working in sales, you have to love the work, the products and the customers, and to be passionate about the industry. That is what Gerard does every day, handling numerous business calls with his customer-base, collecting information about the market and making sure his customers get the best deal possible. Gerard’s longest customer relationships have lasted 25 years and still continue, so he knows a thing or two about the business and about the customers’ expectations.

Thinking of the current and future state of the stainless steel solution business, Gerard sees three challenges we must acknowledge: providing more added value for our products, differentiating ourselves from our competitors and nurturing even better relationships with our stockholders and their customers. “The engineers hold all the relevant information, and in order to make better business, the marketing and sales department needs to know and understand everything to communicate it onwards to our audiences”, Gerard says.

But this is not enough. Since Gerard knows all about working with people, he also knows that the best way to reach mutual understanding is to form a dialogue with the customer, and, even more importantly, the end-customer. This is often the only way to fully understand their needs and expectations. This will also improve the sales process, because it will be easier to offer the right products.

It is all a matter of moving from product-oriented business into a solution-driven business. For Stalatube as a stainless steel solution provider, this is essential. Asked where he sees Stalatube in 5 years, Gerard is hopeful. 

We will still be going, changing, shaping and transforming the industry. The new factory in Poland is also an investment for the future, and we have great potential for growth. The main thing is that we will be brave enough to change with the times.

Describe Stalatube in three words:
Open. Innovative. Loyal.

Describe yourself in three words:
Loyal. Driven. Relaxed.

If Stalatube was an animal, which would it be?
A dog. Because dogs can be as relaxed as the company is, but if necessary, they can also bark and bite.

Ask for more information