On selling


My twenty plus years of working for medical companies had influenced my outlook in life. I remembered being interviewed by Ms. Marian Guzman, Managing Director of Marsman Drysdale Medical division, sometime in 1998. I was offered a salary of less than what I was earning, explaining that salaries are for the ordinary worker. We received 10 percent of our monthly sales as commission. I had no option but to take it hook line and sinker.  

It was Edgar “Egay” Liu who gave me the opportunity to join this company, not only once, but twice. In 2004, I rejoined Marsman as product manager. In short, he destroyed my life not only twice, but thrice, since he also invited me to join Zafire before he left in 2015. Thanks EBL for always being my angel in disguise.

Lino S. Ramos, popularly called LSR, was our sales and marketing director. He was one of my early mentors in sales. Most of the negotiation techniques I have improvised were from him.

Those 20 years taught me how to face life’s challenges with certainty. My experiences and trainings in these past years taught me how to manage life in a less stressful manner. I adopted the rule of fight and flight. For those I can manage, I fight as if it is my end, but for those I have no control, I leave it to fate.

As a person, I am an introvert. My classmates could attest how I was a shy person in the past. I would only let myself out of the shell if with close friends. My experience in business started when I assisted my father in entertaining customers. At the age of 14, I was asked to run errands to our suppliers of batteries. I would even carry the batteries myself and attach the wires in the car.

As a child, I had early experiences in sales as a carwash boy for jeepneys plying Libertad Mansilingan route. During summers, I am doing this to while away time since our allowances are cut. When I was in high school, I worked part time in an auto parts store owned by our family friend, Tito Edgar Ang. He is the brother of Kapitan Auto Parts. The name of his store I forgot, and no means to ask him either, since decades he passed away.

I was able to accustom myself with warehousing and logistics since there were around a thousand SKU’s.  In my second year, I was tasked to talk to customers on their orders through the counters. In the afternoon, he would take me home since ours was en-route to theirs. He had two daughters, which probably made him close to me since he has no son. His two daughters were Emily and Pamela. They were beautiful but we are just like siblings together with my other family members.

As a teenager, I had an older friend who became my partner for the watermelon business. We travel to Iloilo by boat and purchase lots bid by the hectares. This early experience in selling became one of my foundations in dealing with suppliers. You must have ready cash on order to have the upper hand in negotiations. Also, I learned that logistics is not easy since we need to cross the seas from Iloilo to Bacolod. It could have been easier if done today with the existence of RORO’s.

In order to finalize sales orders, one has to go through the selling process. Skipping this process will lead to unsuccessful product launching. As a practitioner, you must be disciplined to follow the process from intro, gaining interest and finally move for action to purchase your product.

If interested in selling, try to read The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. You may later move on to Zig Ziglar’s book series on selling and eventually, read advance books on marketing like Blue Ocean Strategy and other related materials. Happy reading.||