Selling is a skill that can be learned from scratch, as Maria Rosalynd Venus Coraza has proven on her way to becoming a financial consultant and estate planner of individuals with high net worth. But Coraza, a consistent top-performing agent of Philam Asset Management Inc. (PAMI), says that the road to sales success is not without its share of refusals and outright rejections.
She recalls that her situation when she joined Philamlife in 2007 was actually suntok sa buwan--the vernacular for "next to impossible." "I didn\\\'t know how to sell," she says, "I didn\\\'t know how to sell insurance--I would try selling to one person and if he refused, I would just go to the next. I just kept trying--it was a hit-and-miss strategy."
The 2003 broadcast communication graduate of the University of the Philippines in Diliman also admits that she used to belittle the selling profession in the past. She recalls thinking at the time: "I would be selling insurance? I graduated from UP magna cum laude, why should I sell insurance?"
But her outlook toward insurance dramatically changed when she trained under Philamlife\\\'s "super successful" agents and managers. By 2007, she had begun attending specialized training sessions in insurance selling. Coraza says her sales have been steadily improving since then. She describes her performance: "Last year, I got my MDRT [Million Dollar Round Table], which made me a member of the premier association of financial professionals worldwide."
How did she manage to reach that certification in so short a time? She says that the key to her performance was customer relations, not sales volume: "I am relationship-based. I don\\\'t want to have 500 clients when I can\\\'t service all of them properly anyway. Give me 50 or 30 VIPs [very important persons]. I\\\'m okay with that because their referrals will follow. It\\\'s quality of customer service that I\\\'m after. That\\\'s high-trust selling."
Coraza, who hails from Cotabato City, graduated at the young age of 20. Upon graduation, she took on every earning opportunity that came her way, particularly freelance jobs. Yet, after almost four years of being a writer, sports reporter, and events organizer, she realized that she wanted a more independent and flexible lifestyle that would compensate her well for her efforts.