2022-02-01

【Interview with Employees】

INTERVIEW

【Interview with Employees】

Digital Marketing Sales Dept.
Fan
Joined in the mid 2020

 
Coordinator/interviewer:Zac (PR Dept.)

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― Background of joining STAR TO ASIA 
Zac:Please give us a brief introduction of yourself.
Fan:It has been a year and a half since I joined the company. I'm now engaged in the sales of web advertising for a Japanese skincare goods manufacturer that is doing mail-order business.
Before joining STAR TO ASIA, I got master's degree in Japan and worked for two years at a Japanese company for PR and promotional works. When I went back to Taiwan, I wanted to work in the PR and advertising industry using my experience and skills as well as my Japanese language skills. That's why I chose STAR TO ASIA.
 
Necessary skills for web advertising sales

Zac:Is Japanese necessary for your job?
Fan:As a sales representative of web advertising, business level Japanese skill is a must for me as I'm in charge of Japanese clients.
Zac:You have spent a year and a half here and have junior colleagues now. What kind of things can you share with other people?
Fan:I think web advertising sales is a special job. Communication skills are especially important. It's not just about being able to talk with clients smoothly, but also about communicating what needs to be said, even if it doesn't seem significant.
Zac:Are the clients satisfied with the plans proposed by the sales staff?
Fan:Of course, it doesn't go well since the beginning. However, a salesperson has to use every possible way to communicate with clients about how the proposal helps their business success in Taiwan and a better performance. It's necessary to tell them in a logical and straightforward manner that it'll be beneficial to their business.
When the client finally trusts me and my proposal and feels comfortable entrusting the project to me, I feel a great sense of accomplishment.
 
Logical thinking and awareness of numbers developed through web sales
 
Zac:Do you think that your clients make decisions quickly?
Fan:It depends on the client, but to be honest, it's similar to the general impression that people have of Japanese companies. The approval process of Japanese companies is complex as it requires multiple reports for a single issue. It seems to take a long time to get the final approval of the top management, which is the decision maker.
Zac:Did you already have this kind of communication skill when you joined us? Or was it that you developed in your work here?
Fan:This is one of my strengths. When I was working in Japan, I developed my communication skills by dealing with media companies. Since joining STA, I've been able to communicate more logically with fact-based data.
 
Zac:Besides communication skills, are there any other skills that are necessary for a salesperson?
Fan:Logical analysis is also necessary. In particular, numerical logic is necessary for many salespersons to see the effect of their creatives and how they affect the client's business. Just by looking at some numerical transitions, you can find out the client's business issues and what needs to be done next.
I think this sense and [s1] analytical skill are one of the abilities [s2] that every salesperson needs to develop.
Another important thing is to set "KPIs" for clients. This requires a keen sense of numbers as reasoning based on the current situation is important. It's like having a formula in your head all the time. Basic skills in Excel and Google Spreadsheet are also required to some extent.
 
Zac:What do you do if a client is going to promote a marketing strategy that is clearly different from your own?
Fan:First of all, I think that we, for our clients, are a contact center or a business partner who is entrusted with running advertisements. As a salesperson, I understand the client's current situation and what they need to do next. I believe that nothing is impossible in today's market, so I'm eager to try out various methods.
 
If the client really wants to try something or has an opinion that is different from what I think, I first analyze the current market situation as well as the past trends. Then, we ask ourselves how the client's choice differs from my thought. Rather than denying or giving up either one, I listen to both opinions and compare them in AB tests or adjust schedules to match the direction of the project. Broadly speaking, a salesperson can only propose the next course of action to clients when there's a clear logic based on the understanding and analysis of past numbers and current issues.
 
Zac:It sounds difficult, but interesting at the same time. Is there anything necessary other than logical thinking, analytical skills, and communication skills?
Fan:In addition to these skills, customer interaction and reporting, a salesperson needs to have project management skills and leadership to lead the entire team and work with the ad management and production teams to achieve the goals together.
As a project manager, I'm doing like steering a ship, sharing progress and next plans with the members involved. The most difficult for me is to stand on the same point of view as the production directors, designers, and advertising managers with different job descriptions and have a common goal of how to contribute to the client's performance improvement.
 
Conflicts are the proof of being serious
 
Zac:Do you need to have any ability such as mental toughness?
Fan:Salespersons are the bridge between clients and the company, so it's very important to maintain a relationship of trust. I feel a great sense of accomplishment when I have built a firm relationship or when the client entrusts me with their work with confidence. Sometimes I feel like it's worth the effort I made without sparing time for sleep... (laughs)
 
Zac:Contrary, what are the difficulties and challenges that you face when working as a salesperson?
Fan:We have to place ourselves in front of clients. When we could achieve a good result, the client is happy and praise us. However, we need to report to the client even when the result was not satisfactory, which is sometimes very sensitive.
 
Zac:Have you ever experienced the situation where the atmosphere was bad among the teams or team members?
Fan:No I haven't, but conflicts may occur sometimes as we have our own positions. I think it becomes less frequently if we have a clear understanding of the goals and objectives of the undergoing work and if we don't put our personal feelings into it. (Of course, we usually get along well!) (laughs)
 
Zac:Could you tell the three things you like about STA?
Fan:The first is that I have a lot of freedom in my work and I'm basically allowed to do whatever I want if I raise my hands. The second is that I can deal with Japanese clients directly without any other agency. The last is that we can build a good relationship, regardless of our age or titles. Maybe that's because the average age here is just 29 years old.
 
To future colleagues
 
Zac:Lastly, please give some advices for newcomers and those who are interested in joining STA in future.
Fan:Please make sure to know the basic operations of computers and Excel well. (laughs)
Zac:Is that all? Don't they need anything else?
Fan:In my opinion, web advertising sales requires those who can flexibly respond to change, rather than being obsessed with past successes and their own pride. The advertising industry and the market are constantly changing. Some ad materials were effective yesterday, but may lose their effectiveness today. Some products were sold well in the first half, but may not at all in the second half. This kind of thing happens all the time, so advertising sales have to always grasp the changes in the market and adjust what they are doing. I often get pointed out such a thing by clients. So, you don't need to let yourself down even if you're told off by your boss.
 
Zac:Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us today!
Fan:Thank you too. Your application to join our web advertising sales team is much appreciated!

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