RSA Spotlight: Roger Marcelo

A picture of Roger Marcelo, Regional Sales Director, Western Canada, RSA

Passion and persistence are the keys to winning both personally and professionally

We are putting a spotlight on our broker-facing sales team in 2020, highlighting team members’ individual backgrounds, experience and learnings in their respective roles. In the tough environment our industry is facing, our regional sales teams are leading the charge with preparing brokers to weather the current storm and come out on top. 

This month’s spotlight is on Roger Marcelo, Regional Sales Director, Western Canada.

When speaking to Roger Marcelo, it doesn’t take long to understand that passion is at the core of everything he does. Over his 15-year career at RSA, Roger has consistently led his team towards success in his unique style of leadership. Never afraid of wearing his heart on his sleeve, Roger’s electric personality and warm disposition inject vibrancy into his daily interactions with other insurance professionals, challenging the notion that the industry is ‘dull.’ 

Staying Positive during Unprecedented Times

While the industry is facing a challenging time during the evolving COVID-19 situation, Roger has remained steadfast in his positive outlook and encouraging attitude towards his team. He assured that the actions RSA Canada and the Government have taken are necessary to ensure we are making all necessary efforts to slow this pandemic down. 

Roger has a love for quotes and shared one that has been trending on social media to help put things in perspective: “Your grandparents were called to war. You’re being asked to sit on your couch… YOU can do this.”

Inspired by his heroes

While some might try to keep their personal and professional lives separate, Roger has never shied away from blurring the lines. Known for his spontaneous Michael Jackson impressions, Roger has found that being open about his interests outside work drives higher engagement when teaching his CIP classes for the Insurance Institute of southern Alberta – especially as a way to entice participants to pay attention. “I’ll play my Michael Jackson dance video, from when my team won the Calgary Corporate Challenge for RSA. If my students want to watch me dance, they need to do well – and it works!” He doesn’t dance at all his meetings, but he believes there is a deserved place for the lightheartedness in any workplace. Roger believes in keeping his team and everyone around him as positive as possible, something that becomes especially crucial in the current hard market. In a sales role, a tough market can mean results becoming increasingly more difficult to achieve. Drawing on another personal favourite of his, Roger looks to Rocky (yes, that Rocky) to motivate himself and his sales team to keep moving forward: “It’s not about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can take a hit, get back up and keeping moving forward, because that’s how winning is done,” he recites. When the hits just seem to keep coming in tough industry moments, Roger leans on this mentality to get the job done. 

Staying competitive as a key to success

Before beginning his career in insurance, Roger had his eye on sports media, working at CTV News in Calgary. Realizing there wasn’t as much money or opportunity for advancement for him in sports media, Roger followed up on a role in insurance that was shared with him, and he hasn’t looked back since. Regardless of the differences between these two roles, Roger has carried over his competitive spirit from his days in front of the camera to his everyday in insurance sales, often competing against other industry sales directors for the top spot. 

“You have to be competitive in sales; you have to want to win. I have a ton of respect for my competitors out there – I learn from them and I love the competition between us,” Roger says. “That’s why targets are important to me; it allows me to say, ‘this is what I’m shooting for and I’m going to get there.’”

Building relationships remains most important

Roger has always believed in building relationships as being the most important part of the job – and what truly fuels his love for the industry. Being able to connect with people, inside and outside the organization, is what makes all the difference. 

“I love meeting new people and hearing all about them, and then being able to leverage their strengths to help my team and RSA as a whole stand out as being different. I always tell my team that this is a relationship-driven business and you need to genuinely build them with people to be successful. The minute you start making a deal with someone is the day you start building a relationship with them, and in a few years, you never know where that could lead. I’m not a numbers guy, necessarily, but I love that I’m able to rely on my relationships to get me to those targets, all while being able to engage with people along the way.”

It’s this ability to weave his passions and skill sets together, personally and professionally, that has allowed Roger to have the dynamic and successful career that he has with RSA, even when the market is testing the industry’s mettle. But in Roger’s own observation - that’s how winning is done.