Spotlight Reporting’s newest Business Sales recruit Malina Kounrabouth has always been an avid traveller. From her first years in her home country of Laos, to working in sales in Australia, she’s never sure of where she’ll go next—but has always loved the ride.
“I love to explore,” she says. “There’s just so much to do!"
Malina is determined to make a name for herself in the sales world, on her own terms. She’s the first to admit that she finds the typical charisma of salespeople difficult to emulate, which is why she focuses on the unique traits she brings to the table: an ability to listen, and an endless supply of empathy.
“More often than not, it’s not about selling the product,” says Malina. “It’s about saying ‘hey, I’m listening. Let’s see if we can help you.’ It’s important to be understanding, and most of all, human.”
The Humanity of Sales
Malina started working at Spotlight Reporting in May 2021, but is not your typical salesperson. Unlike her counterparts in the profession, she is a self-confessed introvert and often needs to take time out to recharge after long stretches of socialisation. What she brings to the role, however, are two singular and powerful qualities.
“I realised I was good at sales, and that there are so many sales opportunities out there. I really enjoy the challenge.”
Firstly, the ability to listen deeply, and a desire to empathise. Sales for her isn’t about pushing a product—it’s about solving a problem. Malina sees the sales relationship as being about human connection, and she enjoys putting in the effort to make sure her clients feel heard and understood.
“I let people talk,” she says, “and I think that helps them find the solution they need themselves. But I’m always there to answer any questions along the way.”
Secondly, Malina takes every opportunity to learn something new. Throughout her career, she’s had to learn the ins and outs of different communities, different industries, and different software packages. In the month that she’s been at Spotlight Reporting, she's enjoyed being mentored by industry veterans like Vanessa Bosnich, as a stepping stone to her own personal growth.
“There’s so much to learn,” says Malina. “I appreciate that the Spotlight team is so supportive. Being mentored by Vanessa has been awesome. The whole team in Sydney is always there for each other too.”
International From Day One
Prior to starting her sales career, Malina was born in the small country of Laos, situated in South East Asia.
“I was really young, so I had a lot of free time, playing outside on the rice fields, and in the mud,” she remembers. “We made joy of the little things for sure.”
When she was six, her family moved to Auckland, New Zealand, where she spent the next few decades of her life. She completed a Bachelor’s degree at the Auckland University of Technology, after which she tried a few different jobs, before landing in sales. This was the turning point for her career.
“It wasn’t what I expected,” she said. “I realised I was good at it, and that there are so many sales opportunities out there. I really enjoy the challenge.”
After a few years working as a Sales Development Representative EIMS, Malina decided it was time for a new challenge. She decided to move countries for the second time, and start from scratch yet again—this time completely on her own. In early 2020, she took a job offer in Sydney, and began her new life in Australia.
Into the Unknown
Malina’s all about the next challenge. In her personal life, that involved moving to a new place away from family and friends, to see what she could build for herself. Professionally, she always has her eye on the next level. As a Sales Development Representative, her goal was to break into Business Sales—which is now her role at Spotlight Reporting. The next step: becoming an Account Manager.
“I let people talk, and I think that helps them find the solution they need themselves. But I’m always there to answer any questions along the way.”
But like many people right now, Malina isn’t sure what the future holds. She’s decided to stay in Sydney for the next few years— “I’ve invested in my apartment! Everything in there, I’ve bought!”—but beyond that, she can’t say. In the meantime, she’ll continue supporting her clients, growing her network, and spending weekends exploring the new country she now calls home.