Career Path

Sales & Marketing
Business sense more important than academic degree

by Anita Cheng

Sales & Marketing
Henry Yim
General Manager,
Sales & Marketing
The Garden Company Ltd.

Although sales and marketing involve different things, they are nevertheless closely related. Hence, marketers and salespeople need to acquire the skills of both trades in order to rise to senior positions in their respective professions, according to Henry Yim, General Manager, Sales & Marketing (HK) of the Garden Company Ltd.

The job...

Mr Yim says marketing involves more planning and strategy while sales entails dealing with people. "Marketing includes the four Ps - product, price, place and promotion. Sales is only one of the functions of marketing."

" Business sense is more important, as are personal traits."

As society advances, sales and marketing also experience changes. Mr Yim says in the past, sales was based on relationship with customers, but nowadays, different tools and methods of analysis have emerged to help sell goods and generate profit.

The people...

Mr Yim entered the sales and marketing field in 1984, starting as a management trainee. He says that to be successful in this industry, one has to be dynamic, willing to learn new things, outgoing, creative, and responsive to market changes.

He points out that a degree in business or marketing is not so important although it may be helpful when attending job interviews. "Business sense is more important, as are personal traits." For sales and marketing personnel, they have to be hardworking, and to work within time frames. They need to be alert to market trends and to be fast in launching new products. In addition, they have to be sensitive to figures as they need to analyze data.

The road ahead...

As one moves up the career ladder in sales and marketing, one has to equip oneself with both skills in sales and in marketing, as well as knowledge in logistics. For Mr Yim, who has risen to a management position, he has two options for moving further ahead in his career. "Either extending my function to handle manufacturing management as well, or focusing on sales and marketing but extend the market coverage to China, or even Asia."

Mr Yim says that sales and marketing offer promising prospects and a stable career. "Products may change, but sales and marketing skills don't."

China Opportunities

According to Mr Yim, China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) helps the development of sales and marketing in Hong Kong. "China is a great market, and sales & marketing depend on population, hence consumption power. When China's consumption power increases in future, more foreign corporations will be attracted to invest there. Since Hong Kong has more sales and marketing professionals and wider market exposure, and has always been a testing ground for products to be introduced in China, sales and marketing in Hong Kong will definitely enjoy strong development in future."

Figures for reference only   K='000

Taken from Career Times 15 March 2002, p. 28
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