Always taking on new challenges and achieving mastery of my domain Joined after college in 2011 - Sales Dept. #1 
Mr. Akutagawa My Growing Tenacity Level: 95%

Mr. Akutagawa is with Sales Department #1
and continues taking on new challenges in unfamiliar territory,
handling big projects for the company while proactively engaging new accounts.

This young salesman is part of a father-and-son team who both work at ITO Corporation.
We sat down with him to ask about his day-to-day approach to his work.

Enjoying change, rather than repeating the same thing

Simply copying what others do is obviously no good, so I searched for things only I could do. Since joining ITO Corporation, I have always had that foremost in my mind as I work. I actually like change and new challenges, so having to do the same thing over and over again would bore me to tears. Given my disposition, I'm always looking for the next step.

Currently, I am responsible for the ongoing delivery of a certain product to a customer that operates water treatment and waste processing plants. We have had a very long relationship with this customer, but the longer it becomes, the easier it is for them to perceive ITO Corporation as dedicated exclusively to the sale and delivery of only that one product.

It is not enough to simply continue providing that one product or service, so a key role for us in sales is to find new opportunities to offer something else to clients on top of what we already do. You have to watch for any changes in the customer's business and see if they have new needs or issues, then consider what we can offer them as ITO Corporation. I find this process to be the most fulfilling part of my job in sales.

A sense of satisfaction in carving out a new path

The first step in producing results in sales is having a deep knowledge of the customer's circumstances and building a strong relationship with them. To that end, you have to aim to regularly visit the customer and go there at least once a week to see them face-to-face.

I once took on an account from a colleague and paid the client a visit. They told me that their sales rep never showed up, so they had no idea what was going on. No matter how serious you are about a task, if you don't regularly meet with your client, you can create feelings of uncertainty.

I therefore aimed to build a relationship with the customer from square one. I started by making calls, where I would mention that I was in the vicinity and available to pay a visit, and I would always aim to spend time talking to the client, even if it was brief. Making these repeated visits began to reveal what issues the client faced and what their work style was like, so they began to discuss specific details with me. When they agreed to a new project with us, the sense of satisfaction at closing the deal was huge.

In this environment, you can create the work you want to do

Students often ask me if ITO Corporation offers opportunities to do certain types of work, whether there are chances to use English, etc., and I always reply that it's up to them to create the sort of work they want to do.

Rather than waiting for others to make preparations for you, it's important to plunge into the unknown and try your best. Even when a particular outcome seems certain, you may discover a new path after you dive into the work. ITO Corporation prizes this attitude in its employees, and you have the opportunity to take on these sorts of challenges, so it's perfect for people who like to try new things and work with others who like to improve themselves.

My future goal is working with clients overseas. As it happens, some of our major customers are placing orders for overseas projects, and ITO itself has plans to launch a new overseas website, so things are already moving in that direction. As ITO Corporation is making these changes, this is the perfect opportunity for me to find my niche.

Q&A with a Senior Employee!

What are your ongoing personal milestones?
My father also works at ITO, so my goal is to surpass that very father whom I respect. Since we work at the same company, it should be really easy to gauge if I've outranked him! (haha) There are lots of people around me who tell me that my Dad is really talented, so I think it'll take quite some time before I can possibly surpass him.
Tell us about the workplace culture and environment.
Over the last few years, the company has promoted both a culture of taking on new challenges as well as one of freedom, and these trends are slowly beginning to penetrate through. For example, the sales department uses a free seating system with no assigned seats, which has really has promoted the exchange of opinions among the department.
What do you do outside of work with your colleagues?
I played tennis in college, so I'm part of the company tennis club. We get together 1-2 times a month for matches. Sometimes we even travel somewhere fun to stay overnight and compete there. This puts me in touch with people from different departments and those I wouldn't normally meet, so it's fun.

A day in the life

  • 07:00
    Wake Up

    Check my horoscope on TV! Today is another day to shine!

  • 08:30
    Arrive at Work

    Check the daily schedule

  • 09:00

    Check & respond to e-mails and faxes

  • 10:00
    Leave the Office


  • 11:00

    Arrive at a supplier. Check the speed reducers we negotiated the other day for improvement. Contact our customer with the status of the reducer and lead time to completion. Seeing the actual product teaches you a lot!

  • 12:00

    Today we eat udon noodles per the request of a junior colleague!

  • 13:00
    Visit Client

    Meet about product specifications & deadlines, as well as collect data on future trajectory

  • 16:00
    Return to the Office

    Respond to messages from customers received during my absence
    Prepare order forms & estimates
    Prepare documents for my next client visit tomorrow

  • 17:30
    Work Ends

    The sales team often goes out for drinks.

  • 23:00

    Have dinner, take a bath, odds and ends before bed


  • Mr. Akutagawa
  • Mrs. Yosano


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In order to protect individual privacy, the names of people in the interviews and discussions on this recruitment website have been changed.