«The word "international" is composed of two parts: 'inter' and 'national'.».
Ignacio Fernández, founding partner of Onura, and Aritz Santiago, partner and project manager of the Donostiarra company, emphasise that "companies call us to sell more". The questions we ask them are clear: Why? y, What for? Often, the answers are that "you don't have to go to distant countries to open new markets, sometimes it is easier to start in nearby areas"..
– Should all companies open new markets?
– Ignacio Fernández: They all need to have a continuous commercial activity to acquire new customers that may or may not be located in new markets. The objective should not be to cover new markets, but to acquire new clients. Afterwards, we will analyse whether these clients are in new markets or in sectors with a different activity. We have to go where there is an opportunity.
– How can we find new customers?
– Aritz Santiago: We have to start from the knowledge of our market and value proposition. We have to ask ourselves two questions: 'How do we improve our customers? and 'Why do they buy from us? Once these questions have been answered, we need to know what our customer's perﬁl is and this will allow us to know where they are.
– What are the main problems that companies encounter in acquiring new customers?
– I.F.: I could highlight two important ones. Firstly, organisations need to know what resources they have available. They need to act accordingly, and not set goals they cannot afford. On the other hand, there is competition. When looking for new markets, we try to approach customers who already buy a similar product or service from other companies. This would be the best option because if we come with a novelty, we would have to do more work to make ourselves known, but, generally, there is already competition.
– How can we make a place for ourselves among the competition?
– AS: The challenge is to transmit confidence in order to achieve a first sale. We have to go to our potential customers and make them see that we have something they are interested in and that it is better than what they currently have.
We have to be convincing to get a chance and show them that we are going to do well.
– How do you manage to transmit this conﬁdence in Onura?
– AS; Our first task is with our client. We have to quickly understand the value proposition of what they want to sell. Our intention is always to touch the market early and look for the right contacts. The next step is to get an appointment or interview to transmit in person that confidence and the values of the product or service we want to sell. You have to be tenacious until you find the right person and get in front of them.
– Y Can't this be done directly by your own customers?
– I.F.: Yes, we bring commercial muscle, experience, systemic approach and speed. We have a very professional team that offers ease and know-how to test and prove value propositions. We customise all projects to generate new opportunities where there were none before. We are a group that transmits confidence and we are fantastic sales people.
«Honesty is a quality that works in the short, medium and long term.».
– What qualities would you highlight in your team?
– A.S.: At Onura we have a multidisciplinary team that is hard to find, with ten different roles within a single proposal, which allows us to cover many sectors and countries. We have people from five different nationalities. We consider ourselves parachutists, because with few but good tools we are able to reach customers quickly.
– What are the challenges ahead for Onura?
– l.F.: To 'grow' as a team, maintain our existing clients and continue to acquire new ones. We also want to strengthen our presence in strategic markets where we are already particularly strong: Spain, France, England, Germany and Morocco.
– Ignacio, Why did you decide to found this company?
— I.F.: After studying Business Studies, I worked in a multinational company in Irún, thanks to which I went to live in Brazil and Mexico. Afterwards, I decided to quit my job and went backpacking around the world for 18 months. When I came back, I created this company, because it allows me to combine the two things I like most: travelling and generating business.
– Aritz, What has led you to join Onura's team?
– A.S.: I also studied business studies. Then I started in the hospitality industry, and here I started to manage teams. Then I made the leap to industry and joined the international purchasing department of a foundry company. Then I met Ignacio and he encouraged me to come to Onura' I liked the project and I've been here since 2011.
– What is the satisfaction of working in this company?
– I.F.: We are customer hunters. We like to sell to increase our turnover by generating business for our customers.
– What have you learned all these years at Onura?
– I.F.: Nothing is simple. Almost always everything costs more than we think. Every job is difficult, you don't have to be confident and you have to do a lot of things right to be successful.
– A.S.: The importance of being honest is a quality that works in the short, medium and long term. I would also include that it is necessary to always offer the right value proposition.
– Throughout your careers, what experiences have marked you?
– I.F.: I love to travel and go to countries where people don't go to open up new markets. I have fond memories of a trip I made to Ukraine to try to buy a mine or another trip I made to Brazil where I ended up hugging potential clients, only to end up not selling anything.
– A.S.: I am passionate about everything related to the additive industry or 3D printing. I like to see how it is transforming other sectors and creating new opportunities in terms of products and customers. We are at the heart of this movement and I am enjoying it.