An interview with Lothar Dahler, Senior Sales & Global Key Account Manager – Faces of Gigaset20. March 2023 Published by Jana Greyling
The enabler: As Senior Sales & Global Key Account Manager, Lothar Dahler is responsible for overall sales support and expanding our OEM and special customers. These include large companies such as Unify and Deutsche Telekom. Read here why nothing is routine in OEM business and why the top priority is to reconcile customers’ and the company’s interests with the aim of creating synergy potential.
You can share first-hand what it’s like to work at Gigaset and the exciting, challenging and diverse fields of work our company has to offer. Enjoy reading the second part of our “Faces of Gigaset” blog series. Maybe you’d like to be featured here soon, too? If so, visit our career portal, find the right job and apply!
In today’s interview, Raphael Dörr, SVP Corporate Communications & Investor Relations, spoke with Lothar Dahler, Senior Sales & Global Key Account Manager.
Mr. Dahler, tell us a bit about what you do at Gigaset.
Lothar Dahler: My main responsibility is to ensure overall sales support and expand our OEM and special customers, in particular Unify, which I’ve continuously helped to build and develop since joining Gigaset, especially in the DECT arena. However, looking after Deutsche Telekom is also one of my permanent task areas after we intensified our partnership at the end of 2021.
What are the biggest challenges you face in this function?
Lothar Dahler: Without a doubt the many special aspects of OEM business; virtually nothing is “routine,” starting with NDAs, to tailored offers, the contract negotiations, right to the customized product or solution and service. The special challenge is to reconcile the customer’s interests with those of the company in order to create synergy potentials for all parties.
Tell us about your role at Gigaset. What do colleagues in the industry find unique or cool about your job?
Lothar Dahler: In my function as an “enabler,” I see myself as a sort of mouthpiece of and for Gigaset and as an interface between customer requirements and translation of them into feasible solutions at Gigaset. In international projects, these requirements have to be coordinated across national borders. Of course, that means I have to do quite a bit of traveling. It’s also advantageous to know the cultural norms and factors in the individual countries.
What led you to taking up your current position?
Lothar Dahler: By nature, I had a strong desire to move from the commercial sales position I originally held at Siemens to a direct sales role with responsibility for sales and profits. When I moved to Gigaset in 2000, I took on direct sales responsibility – for Deutsche Telekom, Siemens’ largest telecommunications customer at the time.
What made you decide to work at Gigaset?
Lothar Dahler: Gigaset is well-known and popular. We stand for uncompromising quality and innovation. Gigaset’s market leadership in Europe in the DECT arena and its outstanding product quality with value added “Made in Germany” were clear values to which I felt and still feel committed.
What do you love most about your current job?
Lothar Dahler: My great personal responsibility and independent style of work. In addition, we enjoy great trust from management and work together as a team with colleagues from different departments with and for my key accounts.
How long have you been working at Gigaset – and what keeps you here?
Lothar Dahler: I’ve been with Gigaset since 2000. I’m particularly fascinated by the independence I enjoy in my work, the variety of tasks I do every day and the great cooperation with my colleagues.
When you look back on your career, can you name an important risk you took?
Lothar Dahler: A major challenge was moving from commercial sales manager to become a sales representative at Siemens whose goal was to generate profitable customer orders for the company.
What qualities do you believe are crucial for today’s managers, especially after a pandemic?
Lothar Dahler: I see three things. Empathy and sensitivity in relation to business and private issues, visibility, and regular interaction with employees, being a team player and being able to listen.
Can you let us into one of the biggest technical challenges you’ve had to solve or overcome?
Lothar Dahler: That was definitely the close cooperation with our Product Management and the Development department on the N870 PRO digital DECT base station. It was our biggest development effort to date and we were in particularly close dialog with our OEM partners.
How has the pandemic changed the way we work?
Lothar Dahler: Everything is getting faster and faster. You have to focus even more strongly.
What have you learned about crisis management during your time here?
Lothar Dahler: There’s a solution for everything.
What makes you optimistic about the future of this industry?
Lothar Dahler: Cost cuts by operators will make fixed-line telephony cheaper in the future than it is now. Mobile and enterprise business will keep on growing, while consolidation can be expected in private fixed-line business. Nevertheless, there’ll still be a need for attractive, high-quality fixed-line devices and solutions, because one thing’s certain: People will always make calls, whether at home or in the office.
What advice would you give your younger self – or a young person just starting out in the technology industry?
Lothar Dahler: Always remain open to change, go out into the world and try to expand your own horizons further and further. Learn to accept criticism and grow from it. Success doesn’t come by chance, but hard work pays off. Everything comes back on you at some point.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
Lothar Dahler: I’ve been doing yoga for years, I like to go running and I enjoy vigorous Nordic walking – in short, I need exercise to wind down from work.