‘SELLebrate’: Celebrating the success of Filipino entrepreneur Melody Avecilla

By Amrylois Ferido

THE American Dream is something that many in the Filipino community aspire towards. Through her hard work and dedication, business entrepreneur, CEO, and now author, Melody Avecilla is currently living that dream. With her recently released book, “SELLebrate: A Sales Guide for Those Who Hate to Lose,” she now hopes to inspire and guide others towards achieving that dream as well.

Asian Journal had the chance to talk with Avecilla about her book as well as her other inspiring endeavors. As a Forbes LA business contributor, her word is truly one that is credible and knowledgeable. On top of being a successful entrepreneur, Avecilla is also the holder of a design and utility patent for the world’s first retractable high heels, Runway Heels.

Her business expertise can also be seen in how she leads her team at Costwise Insurance, where her franchising program has been training quality salespeople for around 20 years. In the midst of all the busyness and business, Avecilla, however, enjoys what she does. “That’s why I think I am the perfect author for Sellebrate,” she expressed, detailing how her book represents her enthusiastic and determined nature.

Avecilla describes how her book primarily details the operation process systems meant to help salespeople, whether individuals or companies, who are looking to train their sales force and investors. Additionally, she details how the book goes over scripting and the systems that she uses to produce salespeople in a timely and cost-effective manner. However, within the talks of systems and the sales process, Avecilla emphasizes how she tries to be an advocate for celebrating the ‘small wins,’ even things that you may not consider a good result.

She believes that everyone is a salesperson. While Avecilla’s book can be for realtors, insurance agents, car salespeople, or any salespeople, she wants to emphasize that selling is a part of our everyday lives. “Everyone truly, in one shape or form, is selling,” Avecilla emphasizes.

“It was in 2012 that I wrote the first draft of the book. Every time we have a team meeting, I always am very mindful for my team to really absorb what I’m saying. So, I simplify it, to the point where everything is abbreviated and has its label or way to sink in easily,” Avecilla described where the inspiration for the book started. “There are staple concepts that I teach my team,” she added, detailing how she did not want to forget any of these key concepts, therefore inspiring her to compile them in her book.

At the beginning of her writing process, Avecilla expressed how she only had four lines written and had even forgotten about the draft. It was not until 2021 while cleaning her inbox when moving to a new chapter of her life that she stumbled upon this draft again. Now, two years later, she gives the gift of “SELLebrate” to the world.

Avecilla details how she wanted to codify what has helped her own agency. “In sales, every year you have to prove yourself. Just because you did well the previous year, it doesn’t mean you’ll keep your crown,” she described, emphasizing how every year is a fresh beginning. “I want the system to speak for itself. Hopefully, it is a plug and play for any business owners,” Avecilla added, emphasizing how her book provides businesses a way to be consistent and accomplish the same results regardless of whether or not they have the same team every year.

“It’s all about knowing when to be able to repeat it year after year,” she highlighted, emphasizing her own team’s consistency in production, quality, and quantity. “As they say, you want to bring the elevator down. That’s another reason why I wanted to write the book. It’s worked for me, and I want it to also work for others who want to better themselves,” Avecilla added, relaying how mentoring is a key part of what she does.

When asked about how her approach is different from already existing approaches, Avecilla asserted the significance of being customer centric. Being customer centric, to Avecilla, truly shows the heart of the business. “We’re very mindful of understanding the problem and being able to find a solution for the client. It’s not about my agenda, it’s always about the agenda of the client,” she added.

As a Filipino, Avecilla spoke about how you have to work double to “get a seat at the table,” emphasizing the struggles the community often faces. She spoke about how she hopes “SELLebrate” will highlight her expertise as an entrepreneur. “If you invest in our franchise or you work with us, we have the knowledge and expertise to deliver,” Avecilla expressed. “The book also talks a lot about doing the right thing, or #DTRT. If you want to do the right thing for your client, you can’t go wrong,” she highlighted, detailing how in establishing credibility, integrity is just as important as having the skill set.

While there are many things in the realm of sales that Avecilla enjoys, she highlighted how meeting people and being able to help and know them is one of the best parts. “There’s a lot of people that I consider family and good friends because of what I do,” she said, emphasizing how she genuinely cares for her clients.

Furthermore, Avecilla’s book is a representation of what her team puts into practice within their own franchise. “It’s hand in hand,” she described, relating how her book directly addresses what her franchise is and tries to accomplish on a daily basis. “The book is something you share with your team,” Avecilla added, detailing how someone who had attended her book launch in early March bought a book for each person on her team with the intention of tackling one chapter a week. Avecilla sees her book as a way not only to learn but also improve, where if they take even just one thing from her, it makes everything worth it.

Avecilla additionally encourages others in the Filipino community to see franchising as an opportunity in fulfilling their own American Dreams. “One out of four Filipinos desire to live abroad. And when we say abroad, what better place to be than the United States,” Avecilla described enthusiastically, describing how franchising is a pathway to an Investors Visa. She explained how not a lot of people know about the Philippines’ connection with the U.S. through this specific visa, where many additionally believe that it is an expensive route to take. “As long as you have the right legal team, the right business, that has been approved for the state filing and licenses that need to be in place, then you have a good path to legally stay in the United States and earn a living and leave a legacy through your family,” she added, detailing how the process not as complicated as it may seem.

While Avecilla’s book is a treasure in itself, she enthusiastically shared her favorite part of “SELLebrate,” which is “Chapter 12: Dissecting IT WORKS!”. “That’s where I have the steps for any salesperson to then have that structure in their mind. It’s the acronym: IT WORKS. If you know what IT WORKS means and what each letter stands for, then it’s easy for any salesperson to know the steps,” she described.

Avecilla detailed how ‘I’ stands for ‘Introduce Yourself’ while ‘T’ describes how a salesperson needs to establish trust. “If you’re a salesperson you want to put your clients at ease. That all the information you’ll be getting is not going to be shared elsewhere,” she emphasized. “There are all these steps that are bullet points for the team members to know that they touch on it,” Avecilla added, signifying the importance of the IT WORKS acronym. To find out more about the acronym as well as the abundant knowledge Avecilla has to offer in her book, you can currently purchase it via Amazon.

For her next book she is hoping to do a coffee table book about the Philippines as a “Foodie Capital of the world.” She was so impressed with the unique flavors and fusion of the modern-day Filipino cuisine that she felt she had to write this book. Additionally, Avecilla hopes to write on the topic of innovation. This is another area in which she is well-versed due to her innovative experience with her product Runway Heels as well as the work she does at Costwise Insurance. If you’d like to hear more from Avecilla alongside her book, she also hosts a podcast called Dreamers to Leaders, further solidifying her entrepreneurial success and expertise. n

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