As a Regional Sales Manager, Isbert Bermudez travels between the United States and Latin America. He works with the automotive industry for an integrated technology company. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, he now lives in Orange County, California.
Bermudez completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Carabobo in Valencia, Venezuela. He then decided to continue his education and moved to Spain where he earned his Master’s degree in International Business in 2009.
In his current position, Isbert Bermudez is responsible for every aspects of sales for his company in all of Latin America. He promotes sales alongside his partner channels and works with end users including fortune 500 companies such as General Motors, Chrysler, Walmart, and Volkswagen. His provides all necessary support to ensure his business partners are successful in their sales goals. Regardless of current economic circumstances or political climate of the day, Bermudez has been able to be successful in the Latin American market.
Tell us a bit about what you do.
My position is with an Integrated Technology company. I am the Regional Sales Manager for all of Latin America, from Mexico all the way down to Chile and Argentina. I have one or two partners in each country and provide solutions for them to be successful in promoting our products to end users. Some of the companies carrying our products are Chrysler, Volkswagen, Walmart, and GM. I provide them with any help or support that they require. I visit clients, I go to trade shows, I support our partners with distribution, I answer all product questions and do sales presentations. I work with government accounts which requires a lot of specific data and also help create marketing campaigns. The bottom line is that I provide all the tools and any assistance required to help our partners close a deal.
What gave you the idea to have a career in International Business? How did it start?
My inspiration to go into sales was the diverse experiences that I could have in international sales, working with a variety of different cultures and people. With my current company, I have the opportunity to travel to every Latin American country where we are doing business. I am living the life that I chose for myself and I feel very fortunate; I really enjoy what I do.
What is the best thing that you love about your job?
The best thing that I love about my job is the people. I am constantly talking to people. Sometimes it is a challenge because everyone is so different. You really have to be a “people person.” Not only are there differences in personalities, but I have to be adept and astute in understanding cultural differences as well. Everyone has their own way of doing business and it can be really challenging to maintain a good relationship. But the diversity is what I really enjoy about my position.
What keys to being productive can you share with us?
What makes me most productive is my time management skills and my ability to stay focused on my priorities each day. I am very organized. When I am in my office or traveling for work, I don’t waste time. When I do something, I make sure it is done right the first time so that it does not have to be repeated or corrected. I feel very responsible for the time that I spend during work hours.
Tell us one long-term goal in your career.
Right now, I am very content to do what I am doing. I hadn’t really thought about leaving the thing that makes me happy. Perhaps someday I would think of being an entrepreneur with my own products to sell on an international basis. That would be nice. Right now, I live well. In your own business, if you have a bad product, it could be a very bad experience. It is a process.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?
The most valuable lesson that I have learned throughout my career is to learn good communication skills. Beyond even that, you have to keep everyone that you are dealing with informed of whatever is happening during any given transaction or exchange. Even if it is just to reply or keep them informed. Communication is critical to doing good business and keeping good relationships. It is very important to communicate everything that is going on. Everyone I work with knows that I know how to react to any problem or any challenge that I might face. But communication is the most valuable lesson and skill to learn.
What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?
I would tell others who are aspiring to be in this field is to work hard and be organized. Create a plan. Ask yourself many questions, such as, what are you looking for? What would be the best way to promote your products? What niche market would serve you? These questions should be answered so that you don’t waste your time or money in places where you’re not going to be successful.
What are your favorite things to do outside of work?
I like to play sports outside of work. I play tennis, golf, and soccer, and I played baseball when I was growing up. I like being outdoors and recently started practicing yoga as well. When I am not traveling or in the office, I am usually doing some kind of physical activity.
Name a few influential books you’ve read and/or websites you keep up with that you’d recommend to readers.
I really don’t have the luxury of many reading books, but I am usually on the news websites from the US and Latin America. When you are an international company it is important to stay informed with what is going on with the political situation around the world. You must know what the political situation is in each country. The Economist is one of the English-speaking news sites I’m on frequently and the others are based in Latin American countries.
I travel to many different Latin American countries and had I learned different languages, I would have the ability to work in other countries as well. I would tell my younger self to learn as many different languages as possible. It can only enrich your life. Also, make sure to take time to enjoy the things that you love to do outside of work.