The time comes that you choose the side of your true passion. That you going to do where your heart lies. That moment came over twelve years ago for Sahar Fadhl when she jumped into her career in sales. Because to her, sales is not about selling at all. It is all about emotional intelligence, friendship, and finding true happiness in the eyes of the client. At DHF Capital S.A. she tries new challenges, discovers new clients and markets, and explores their future goals like a seasoned professional. Sahar is everyday-occupied by the one client question: "Why should I trust you?"
Joining the DHF Capital S.A. business development team last year, the time so far feels for Sahar like it has been as forever. And that's a good thing. "It's like I work here for years," she laughs. "The open culture, everyone helping each other, and no high hierarchic levels. For example, Bas Kooijman, the CEO, is at the same level as everyone else. A colleague instead of a manager. I love that."
About twelve years ago, Sahar worked as a technical consultant in the field of IT business for a software company, before becoming a sales professional. Her manager then saw that her passion lies with people, not computers. And so it has been ever since. She worked for many companies, making clients familiar with many types of products. From Europe to Central Africa, from India, Turkey, and Japan, Sahar has met a lot of people and therefore a lot of cultural habits. "Don't limit yourself, that is what my manager then said before separating," Sahar says slightly beaming. "And so it happened."
Emotional connection wins trust
Let's start with an eye-opener. What people call sales, is not sales. Therefore sales is way too shallow and focused on selling. As a business development manager, Sahar needs a deeper connection with the client. "You can easily teach people about the edges of finance or IT. You need a few months. But sales is something that remains a process of patience, feeling, finding, struggling, and exploring. Every time with every person it's different. No pressure, just people. No schools to learn it, just reality."
Gaining someone's trust is a hard-working process of putting yourself into someone's perspective. Sahar has a way of doing that, approachable and with patience. "For example, I met someone in the past with whom we were exploring business possibilities. Shortly after, he came in financially bad weather and lost a lot of money due to health issues. I said that he could always give me a call in the future, these things happen and his health was more important. We became friends and sometimes had dinner somewhere. After a time, he did make that call and we did business after all. When I call him, he always picks up and so do I. Securing assets for his children became his goal, the sincerity and lack of pressure did the rest."
Knowing the culture is knowing your boundaries
Sahar's biggest strength is not her financial knowledge, but her understanding of the culture DHF Capital S.A. operates in. Born in Tunisia, she has an Arabic background, speaking the language and understanding its people. According to Sahar, the Arabic culture remains very difficult to enter as one of them. How the target group thinks and acts with the protocol.
"Arabic people want to do business with friends, not with strangers. So, if we go have a cup of coffee to explore the possibilities, then we do that. If am invited to join dinner with the family, I will join. It's a people's job asking a lot of effort but gives a lot of rewards. I know what I can or can't say, armed with humor, discretion, and trust. I know the rules. For example, in Europe, if I had a meeting starting at three, I'd better be there at three. When your meeting starts at three in Dubai, it happens that people log in or come in at five, whereas others are very on point."
The process from finding to working with a client
Happy clients will soon inform others. Sahar's phone continuously rings. And when it does, she follows four to five steps before DHF Capital S.A. welcomes a new client. First, she explores the clients' wishes in detail. As a woman with confidence and a strong mind, clients give their all to Sahar in the blink of an eye. Because she is sincerely interested in their story and the world they live in. "People who have their assets in real estate, a bank, equities, or somewhere else, need to be convinced of the unique DHF Capital S.A. product. For that, you need the right skills and gut feeling. It's not about us, it's about them. What do they want and can we offer that? What do they need? At which moment they are comfortable doing business with us? What are their fears and can we solve them?"
A follow-up meeting is what comes next, where Sahar explores the questions a client might have after the last meeting, about doing business with DHF Capital S.A. A third in-depth meeting takes place between the client and financial experts Rowan Rozemond and Bas Kooijman. They explain the benefits of investing, clear out the path, but also provide customized advice about the financial needs of the client regarding his or her goals. Hereby all the questions a client might have about finance, are properly secured. "After that, a fourth meeting is arranged to discuss the contractual paperwork. But that is where I jump out. For me sales is everything. It's the game of winning trust that gives me the highest energy." Sahar smiles. "And I don't like to lose it."