You can tell María Soledad Elizari has a passion for people. For her, that is what makes a good salesperson; an ability to connect with others. Humanist by trade, salesperson by birth, she is able to talk about new business opportunities and a company’s soul in the same sentence. She directs the commercial network of Sertego’s Northern Branch, from which she serves clients in Cantabria, the Basque Country, La Rioja, Navarre, and Aragon.

March 2018 web copy

María Soledad Elizari

How does a humanist end up in sales?

Well, they’re really not that different. The Humanities give you tools to be empathetic, and no process is more empathetic than a sale. You know what they say, you start studying what you like, and then you end up working in what is deep down inside you. So I guess I’m a salesperson on the inside. For me, selling is what I like to do, and I discovered that when I finished University.

Where did you develop your career before Sertego?

When I finished my degree, I moved to Barcelona to join the workforce and continue studying. I did a Master in Marketing, Sales, and Advertising, and I started my professional career with multinational companies in the pharmaceutical and energy sectors. Then, I returned to Pamplona, my native city, and moved into the Environmental sector by creating and directing sales departments in two local waste management companies. Two years ago, I made the move from there to Sertego, which was a major leap forward for my career.

And how do you value these two years?

For me, it has meant a return to big business, to professional management. A growing company positioned with quality service and good environmental practices, a modern company and a leader in innovation. It has helped me expand my knowledge and experience with new client profiles and lines of business. Opening up markets and supporting growth and expansion processes has always been my passion. I love a challenge, and I am lucky enough to work in a fast-growing sector with incredible potential.

What makes you feel proud about the company?

The people who work here; the ones that teach me to keep moving forward and grow personally and professionally each day. I really enjoy creating teams and managing individuals. People are what gives a company its soul. If we want companies to have a soul, we have to start with the people and I think Sertego is leading by example in that sense.

“I really enjoy creating teams and managing individuals. People are what gives a company its soul. If we want companies to have a soul, we have to start with its people. I think Sertego is leading by example in that sense.”

Could you describe your area’s functions in detail?

I belong to the Northern Branch, with two work centres. One is in Alfaro (La Rioja), from where we provide service to the communities of La Rioja, Navarre, and Aragon, and the other is in Araia (Álava), from where we cover the Basque Country and Cantabria. Both are transfer centres and have their treatment lines. Araia offers packaging recovery, while Alfaro provides used oil regeneration and hydrocarbon recovery. As a sales team, we maintain and grow the client portfolio in function of our annual goals. We also ensure the quality of service provided to our clients, make sure the standards of service attention and follow-up are maintained. Always attentive to the market and new business possibilities.

For example?

The important thing is to offer the client global waste management solutions, to be able to cover their needs and exceed their expectations. In this sense we are prepared, thanks to our proven, competent structure, to provide any service requested. This flexibility to offer adapted or innovative solutions is one of our strengths.

From your point of view, what is Sertego’s biggest challenge?

In addition to continuing our growth and leadership, I think that our challenge is to give even more value to our brand, to make it more and better known in our market. When we present everything that the group covers with its treatment centres and commercial areas, the client is surprised. We are the spearhead, we are in contact with clients and that lets us see every day how the Sertego brand is perceived and helping to consolidate that image is one of our challenges.

What is the best moment from these two years?

Without a doubt, the current one, because I feel so supported and I have the opportunity to put all my drive, excitement and experience in the begginnings of our new plant in Barcelona.

What are your goals for 2018?

Mainly, to lead and motivate the sales team. We have proposed expanding and strengthening Sertego’s commercial presence in various portfolios in my branch. We want to make full use of our competitive advantages, solidify the connections we have with our clients and make them feel like they are participants in a modern, sustainable project that guarantees their environmental objectives. We want to develop new sales and create a dynamic procedure, open to new incorporations and contributions, cohesive, that transmits excitement, professionalism, enthusiasm and seriousness. Also, I would like to promote collaborations with other market agents that strengthen our outlook.

Where do you see Sertego in 10 years?

Without doubt, I see it as the most important company in the sector, implanted at a national level, modern and a reference of service.

What do you think is Sertego’s contribution to sustainability?

Our activity directly affects people’s quality of life. We have to continue reducing waste produced at the source with more treatment and recovery plants. We have to continue implementing a culture of by-products.

We have to continue reducing waste produced at the source with more treatment and recovery plants. We have to continue implementing a culture of by-products.

Can you tell us what the following terms bring to mind? Smart Cities. Circular Economy. Climate Change.

The first two: harmony and modernisation. The last one, challenge.

Complete the following sentence: I would like…

… for this year to be my year, for it to be my team’s year, and for it to be my branch’s year in terms of results.

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