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The Tale of Two Salesmen (Part 1)

Posted by on May 23, 2010 in Business | 102 comments

Here’s another insightful and true story from my wonderful life, especially in the field of Salesmanship.  I call this story the tale of two salesmen because there are generally 2 kinds of salesmen in this world.  The one you think is the true salesman, and the one that you think will never be able to sell water to a thirsty man.

Sales or learning how to sell is important in whatever you do. As I always say in my seminars ‘Sales is not a position, it is a way of life’ and so I hope this article will teach you what it takes to be a salesman.  Realize who between the 2 kinds of salesmen you identify with, who will outsell the other and what you should do about it now.

Let me start by painting a picture of the first salesman. Tell me if you can relate, he or she is someone you have already met; in fact, this person was probably the one who sold you that kitchen gadget that you have never used in your life. You bought it just because the person was so convincing, or so persistent (may have even been a bit annoying) that even if you were allergic to apples, you bought the “handy, dandy apple slicer” anyway. That kind of talent is apparent among many superstar salesmen that talent is called persuasiveness. Have you met that kind of person before? I’m sure you have.

So I’m going to just call those kinds of salesmen /saleswomen “Yangs”.  Yangs are very confident people.  Some are obnoxious but most are charming, funny, generous, extroverted, persistent and above all, persuasive.  Yangs are people who can sell ice to Eskimos. Give them a product, a reason, and a prospective buyer, and see the magic called selling happen right in front of your eyes. And if they don’t get to sell it the first time, rest assured they will not stop until they do—may it be the 100,000th buyer who comes along.

Can you picture the first salesman in your mind now? Good now let me describe the second type of salesperson. Well, this type of person is someone you have also encountered in your life.  In fact this might even apply to you, so tell me if you can relate.

This second salesman is absolutely scared of selling. Does not like it, does not possess the indestructible confidence that “Yangs” do, and they seem to not have the “X” factor to be successful in sales. They would rather have a job in accounting, engineering, research and development, etc. as long as they don’t need to interact with customers or even try to convince anyone to buy anything.  On the surface, they seem very soft and vulnerable, quiet, not noticeable, even a bit introverted most of the time. They are the exact opposite of “Yangs”, which is why I will call the second salesman a “Yin”.  If you are familiar with the symbol of Yin and Yang, these two types of salesmen are the exact opposite of each other, night versus day, extroverted versus introverted, the ultimate salesman versus the ultimate anti-salesman. Can you picture it?

Good. Now tell me which of the two kinds of salesmen will outsell the other in the long run?  Please post a comment by stating Yang or Yin below. I am quite sure that at this point you have your favourites and I do really look forward to seeing your comments and thoughts. So go ahead and post a comment now.

You see my dear readers, I am, as you may have guessed a “YANG”. I possess all of the characteristics of a “Yang” salesman (plus the fact that I’m incredibly handsome ha ha ha) and I can literally find a way to sell “Ice to Eskimos”.  Selling to me, is like breathing, I simply can’t live without it, I am deadly persuasive when I want to be, I can influence people with skills developed over decades of trial and error, and I don’t mind rejection (well not as much as I used to that is) as I sell with purpose and with experience.  In fact, in all the businesses that I have, I am always the number 1 salesman in all of them.

But. And this is a big BUT. There are people in my organizations that “outsell” even me, the number one salesman.  Would you like to know who they are? Could they be even more developed Yangs, you think ?  Or God forbid, could they be Yins? Want to find out? Click here now to read part 2!

Author box:

Mark So is a fervent businessman, forex trader and educator.  He is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy—a business, finance and corporate training center.  He is also the Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Manila.  A sought after speaker for business and forex, he conducts seminars on Business Skills, Sales and many more.  To know more about these seminars, you may visit or call (632)6874645.  You may email your comments and questions to:

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Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Jeff

    Will I also get a girlfriend if I become a Yang?

    Because currently I am a Yin. A very awkward Yin….

  2. naze

    im definitely a Yin. as much as I wanted to be one of the Yangs.. I know I cant. Im a shy type person eversince.. Although I interact with lots of clients in my work, it doesnt change the fact of who and what I really am.. So shy and introvert. I onced tried to enter in the business of selling and already invested certain amount but eventually I also made a decision… and that was to quit.. how do I improve myself.. Please advise.. thank you.

    • markso

      Hi Naze, glad you wrote in. I will hopefully be answering your question when the 2nd part of my article comes out very soon, so watch out for that. You may even want to subscribe to my blog so that you’ll get notified immediately after I post it in a weeks time.

  3. Ric

    bitin! i can’t wait for the next part. btw, i am a yin.

  4. james

    i bet one of those people who outsell you is your wife.. she might be a YIN..

  5. gleeko magpoc

    Way to go Mr. So! This article is inspiring. How do you call the people between Yangs and Yins? I think I still need to develop the sales skills to be able to sell ice to the Eskimos.

  6. Elmer

    I feel I’m a YANG but unfortunately I have not given this the needed attention.

  7. Ver

    I think therefore I am a YAN… kulang pa sa persuasiveness na tinatawag. But, I love selling so much that I think I have to resign immediately after I get hired. Kasi, selling yourself to a prospective employer is another way of selling, right? Kaya nga kahit me work na nagbebenta pa rin ako…hehehe. About my guess, I think it’s the Yin. Can’t wait for that second part.

  8. Eunice

    I think I am both. I am bot a yin and a yang but if you would like specifics…. I am 70% a yin and 30% a yang. I feel I need to become more of a 50%-50% person to be balanced.

    Very good and applicable to my field: health and wellness.

    Great read Mark!


    • markso

      Hey Eunice! Thanks for writing in. Who do you think will be the better salesman in the Long run though? Yin or Yang? Talk soon.

      • Eunice

        Hummm…..I guess, IMHO (in my humble opinion) the better salesman in the long run is someone who persists in becoming better whether that person is a yin or a yang – better in achieving more for their clients and adding more value to their prospects. Bear and bull markets go in cycles. Boom and bust go in cycles too. Always have. Always will. Only situations, locations, duration and amplitude of the swings vary. As the Princes and the Paupers who get caught up in global storms. Some sail through. Many don’t.

        Just my thoughts….


  9. ched

    Hi, I’m a yin, though I try hard to be a Yang and am ready to reinvent myself just to be a great salesman..

    • markso

      Hi Ched, thanks for writing in. The 2nd part of the article should further enlighten you on what to do to become a great salesman. Hope you are excited for the 2nd installment which should be posted in less than a week’s time.

  10. Melvz

    I’m a Yin and I would really like and want to be a Yang. I want to be a great salesman even though in the past I really don’t like that kind of idea.

  11. jib

    . . . i think the yins will outsell the yangs with a brilliant marketing methods that mark so has developed for us yin type of salesperson. or else the next article won’t come out 🙂 i hope the article would be easy to follow and easy to absorb for the dummies like me.

    i also want to learn how to win trade on forex 🙂

  12. Ralph

    I think, i belong to the yin kind of the Mr. So, the answer to you question of who will out sell who? I think the Yin ones will out sell the Yang, of course you wouldn’t be telling this story if it will end as the obvious right? I think your telling this story because you want us to know the real question, and that the HOW? so how did Yins outsell Yangs? that i think is want you’d be telling next? i cant wait… By the way, i find ur columns very interesting hope you’ll post more and more… Pls share everything you’ve got ty!

  13. rj

    i think i’m a yin though i somehow also sell. some of my dealers personally sells better than me to customers. which makes me wonder why are they not the distributor instead of the dealer? maybe because yins are “observant” since they are not too preoccupied selling to customers. and this trait may help them make better plans than yangs if they “use it”.

    however, i still admire and want to be a “yang”. lafs.

  14. joy

    Hiii, ssup folks… I fail to judge myself as a yin or yang for a simple reason coz I am a salesman who beilives in research and hunting my customers down one by one… srry to say but ur big BUT cannot put me into any of the above categories… still a catchy story, wld luv to hear ur thoughts on my point of view… awaiting ur reply Mr. Yangieeee!!! Gud day…

  15. Julius

    I Am a Yin but I know that I can beat the Yang…How? By hiring a Yang to sell for me. Hehehe. I am not the type of person willing to develop my weaknesses. Rather, a person who wants to look for a person who can compensate it. Regards!

    • markso

      Very good Julius but not quite. Yangs can also hire other yangs to double their sales. Close but not quite what I
      Will reveal in the next part ha ha ha the suspense is building 🙂

  16. Catherine C. Tañedo

    Can’t wait for the second part.

  17. azumi

    in our dept. (sales), we have diverse personalities, I believe we have yins and yangs in our group. To my surprise, a colleague of mine appears to be more of a yin coz he’s a silent-type, doesn’t talk much especially if not asked. The first time i met him, I could not believe that he’s in sales. He’s so introverted but nonetheless, he delivers and achieves his quota! Good thing about this Yin is that he doesn’t appear worried when the going gets tough. Unlike me, a Yin turned Yang, keeps on analyzing whether it was the company’s or the client’s or my own fault that I failed to reach a goal.

    I know many Yins who are successful in their own businesses, by the way.
    I am a Yang BUT if i know that a client doesn’t need my product, I don’t push it. I look for clients who really has a need for it. I used to just sell to anyone, until I learned about High Trust Selling.

    Can’t wait for your part2! reading comments here alone is inspiring.

    • markso

      Azumi, your post is the closest so far to what i will explain in part 2. I am very happy and incredibly excited to hear more from you (and the rest of the posters of course) when part 2 comes out. Have a super fun filled day!

  18. Dax

    I am working in the automotive customer service sector in north america & I always sell services to my customers everyday. I don’t sell in a frenzy though but rather cautiously—-I only sell what I honestly know will benefit my customers—with this attitude I think I am a Yin…

    My guess is Yin will outsell the Yang not because Yin sells better than Yang but Yin can build a feeling of trust with customers simply making them feel that their needs are sincerely being addressed by a real person who understands another person—-customer’s trust is paramount for a business to survive & succeed—-You might be able to sell ice to an eskimo today but rest assured he will not ask for you anymore in the future but rather for the person who sold him those warm affordable winter jackets—-That’s what I call Yin selling.

    Cheers to all my fellow Yins! All the best Mark & please don’t forget to include me in your list for the 2nd part…more power to you & your team!

    • markso

      Well said Dax. Close also to what I will explain in part 2. Thanks for writing in. Always happy to hear from fellow sales men. Stay tuned …

  19. sofia

    Hi Mark,
    Im a sales person for almost 20 yrs, not sure where i belong if yang or ying, but i excel in this kind of field. I dont talk so much when not in my job but i can use all my power in sales every time im performing my work. Running my own business is not that easy, traveling in different part of country and convincing engineers to buy those products that i have no exact technical idea, i do the sales but i learn from them all the technical aspects….and without knowing they were convinced that i know the item and i make huge sales….i believe that a sales person must be a true talent, with perseverance, direction, interest and positive perception that u can make ur goal come true….Its within you….



    • markso

      Hi Sophia thanks for writing in. I would describe your journey in sales as a success in passion and perseverance. You are where you are exactly out of hard work and the belief in yourself. All of what you say is very true and you are correct, everyone has what it takes to sell. But do stay tuned though for part 2 which will be out before you know it.

      All the best!

  20. cecille

    Inspiring, can’t wait for the continuation, im a generalist, but wanted to improve more don’t know how

  21. Dan

    i think yin will outsell the yang in the long run because he’s not forcing people to buy products/things that they don’t need. people will remember you as trustworthy and once trust is developed sales will flow continuously even without trying to sell because customer’s will be the one coming at you asking if you have more things that they need.

    i will wait for your part two… btw i have no idea how your newsletter got to my email still i’m glad i read this. but i’m puzzled how you got my email…

    • markso

      Hi Dan! Welcome to my blog! You got my email through the power of “brute force” marketing ha ha ha. Glad you stayed and wrote in. Just a heads up that I’ll definitely be sending you more of my emails, and like this one I’m sure you will find even more value in what I have to share. Part 2 is coming soon. He he he.

  22. Flor

    Just like Azumi I believe in High Trust Selling as far as my Sales Career is concern it’s working well and I have the respect of my clients. I have been in sales since 17 years old and I am now 50. I run my own business now and I can confidently say it’s “Successful”.

    I am for sure 100% Yang and I like the latest tea drink Yin Yang (a little humor is good to the heart, ha ha ha ah).

    Anyway keep it up, but what is the catch about this free article????

    • markso

      Ha ha ha, always weary of a possible catch eh? Thats the mark of a seasoned salesman. Here’s the truth
      i’m practicing what I preach. “do unto others what you want others to do for you.” if you have the time go ahead and search my blog at the upper right hand side of this page type in “business reciprocity” and get the full story there.

      All the best!

  23. Flor

    Ok I will look forward to the next article

  24. AR

    I just got in to the telemarketing world. I find your first article inspiring. Can’t wait for the second. I’ll be needing more of this for me to succeed.


  25. Alvin

    I think I could be a yin or a yang, depends on what product I’m selling.

    My guess is a good balance of yin and yang makes a successful sales person. Just like the yin yang symbol, there’s a balance of black and white.

  26. Charlie Paule

    I’m definitely a Yin because I don’t think I have the skills of face-to-face selling.

    But I’m trying to be a Yang by developing my skills in internet marketing and letting my content do all the selling for me.

    …with that said…I guess I’m a Yang afterall

  27. markso

    Wow demanding. Ha ha ha. So what’s your business? Talk soon

  28. Kris

    I’m pretty sure I’m YANG..I consider myself so persistent and makulit, at times people around me get annoyed..but they still do love me..

  29. Des

    I am a Yin based on how you have described it. Not that I do not want interaction with customers but I’d rather stay in the backstage. I have been a customer support for more than 10 years and being able to help to them is bliss to me.

    I do not intend to sell ice to Eskimos rathe I would want customers get the most of what they bought and best of all feel good for their decision to buy it.

    More power to you. 🙂

  30. Skiper

    I think, I am in between.
    I can sell something na hindi importante 🙂 As long as I can prove to them na ok yung product.

    I am now venturing in a franchising business hope all goes well.

  31. Gwapito

    The Yang will outdo the Yin in the above article.

    I’m a Yin. That’s why i write most of my thoughts in my blog. Although, when i talk in a group, the people around me listen. I get surprise with that though hehe…

  32. Joey

    I think self-aware Yins CAN outsell the Yangs. Yins are more focused because they simply have to. They have little to no network to work with and would have to settle with what they have. Further, Yins know that they cannot come up with the volume Yangs can make, so they have to make up with quality and work harder.

    Although, the charisma of a Yang is very difficult to offset.

    by the way, I am a Yin. My charm works with suppliers and vendors instead of revenue-generating clients.

  33. Joey

    Yangs can sell me anything but it would be difficult for them to collect. 🙂

  34. louie

    When it comes to salesmanship, I definitely am a Yin. But, relationships with people, I believe am a Yang. I easily get along with people.

    I always think that sales isn’t my thing. I have ideas of starting up a business on my own, but this line of thinking hinders me in pursuing it.

    I hope I can get a free seminar on business skills and boosting self confidence.

    • markso

      No such thing as Free Louie, there is always a price to pay. The trick is to learn how to make it all back and then some. And that trick is to learn how to sell regardless if you are a Yin or a Yang 😉 Talk soon.

      • louie

        I believe in the long run the yins will outsell the yangs. Yangs have the ability to sell, but mostly they only tell you the advantages of the product, the good side of it. What they are after is make money and profit.

        The yins however are capable of selling and telling the would be buyers what the flaws about the product and let them decide. These I believe is the difference between the two. The yins are more of into trust.

      • markso

        Very True Louie, very well said, but its missing a little something which I will be discussing in part 2 which will come out simultaneously with Manila Bulletin this June… Abangan! 🙂

  35. aillen

    i think i am a yin. working a lot to be a yang. but on the process, the question is how long do i wait for me to sell… i think it’s a matter of time…. can’t wait on your next article

  36. AT

    I’m just guessing here, but I think that the YING outsold the number one seller… I am getting excited to know who outsold the YANG.. Where is the PART2 of this article?

  37. Omar

    I think being yang is believing (in the product). Yin has it’s own skill that they posessed among themselves. For this Yang is would be a best seller.

  38. ferdzter

    Logic says….

    Yang should always outsell the Yin’s….then it is expected on your next article.

    But giving us a guess made me think Yin’s will outsell the Yang as there are only two possibility… Yang outsells or Yin outsells.

    But on how Yin will outsell Yang is the content I am waiting for.

    What yah think Mark?

  39. ferdzter

    When we say who outsells… has nothing to do with how great a salesman you are.
    Opportunity plays a major role here apart from skills.

    If that eskimo dont really like ice, your being great is nothing. Whereas a Yin selling to an eskimo looking for an ice…its an opportunity.

    Great Salesman are great as their last sale. Everyone is even on the next round.

    I’d say great sales skills and great skills in looking opportunities will outsell.

  40. ferdzter

    Yin has that opportunity to be creative in looking opportunities.
    Fresh minds is not preoccupied and is willing to take routes great salesman will think otherwise as they know it won’t work. In that process, Yin’s may stumble upon an opportunity that makes them outsell the great Yang.

  41. asskicker023

    “Yinang” – haha! i am a combination of a Yin and Yang personality… i would say, “being neutral is my way of selling….(i dreamed to manage a trading company.. hays,,,tsk..)…

    Nice blog, Sir Mark!

  42. Irwin

    it’s the yang

  43. Poloyzki

    Hi Mark!

    First and foremost, I would like to tell you that I have already read all of your articles from your blog ( and I would like to say that “I really love your write-ups”. It really inspired & helped me a lot in many ways.

    I, for one, believe in zero capital to start-up a business. And, I also believe the power of outsourcing and how it could really cut the expenses. I truly believe in those two systems since I’ve already done it myself before but I also failed in it a lot of times as well; not because of the system but because of myself.

    I’m a very good researcher & planner. I almost started few businesses before but ended up just printing my plans on a piece of paper. The closest thing I ever did was having a partners meeting at Bo’s Coffee Shop in Ayala but I backed out after that.

    My problem is that in the middle of “doing” my plans, since there are just too many concerns to resolve in the process, I start to “freak out” & think that I cannot handle it or I have no enough funds or my experiences are not yet enough or I just have no time; especially that I’m married & has 2 kids to feed. Therefore I conclude that, “I can never start a business until I can find a mentor (sad to say it can never be my wife)” – I’m I right? or I’m just lazy & selfish?

    Nevertheless, I still love my wife for who she is. I just really need your wisdom Mark. Thanks & More Power!


    • markso

      Hey Paul, thanks for writing in. I’m glad that my blog has helped you. but now it’s time to help yourself and your wife who I would think loves and adores you. Take small steps and go for it. If it is outsourcing you are into then learn from me how to do it with Zero Capital. Email me at so we can talk some more about it.

  44. vel

    Im a Yin.Im really curious about your second article.Thank you.

  45. Teresa

    When is the Part 2.

    • markso

      It will come out Tomorrow afternoon, Tuesday June 1, 2010 at 12PM. Subscribe to my blog now to get immediate notification. Talk soon! 😉

  46. raul

    I think , its the yang. I feel, however, that “yangs” are born. I doubt whether “yins” can be made as “yangs”.

  47. Bidobids

    I am also a Yin. I once dreamt of being in the business field but I am very shy and does not have enough confidence when it comes to doing business transactions as simply as selling a junk food in our office area.

  48. jay tablao

    i think the yang will become more successful because he has the determination to succeed.

  49. kath05

    nice blog very well explains i hope that i can do it also

  50. russelo celosia

    the yin will outsmart the yang in the long run…

  51. Aidan Hobbes

    Keep up the wonderful piece of work, I read few articles on this web site and I conceive that your web site is very interesting and has got bands of fantastic info .

  52. Hermina Mehlhaff

    I was studying some of your blog posts on this site and I believe this internet site is real instructive! Continue posting.


  1. The Tale of Two Salesmen (Part 2) « Business Advice by Mark So - [...] The Tale of Two Salesmen (Part 1) [...]

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