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Retail & Sales careers

Sales: Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)

What are fast moving consumer goods (FMCG)?

When we talk about fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), we are talking about the things we all consume regularly, such as food, drinks and toiletries. These goods are fast moving because they have a short shelf life, either because they have expiry dates or because we gobble them up really quickly.

If these goods are so fast moving, then why do we need salespeople trying to flog them? Well, why don’t you read on and find out?

What is the objective of FMCG sales?

Consumer goods companies sometimes need their products to get some serious sales treatment. They need to make sure that the right stores are stocking their products and they need to ensure that consumers are actually consuming their goods. FMCG sales initiatives can be a great way to bolster a company’s ad campaigns and actively influence sales activity.

People who pursue careers in FMCG sales are required to showcase a company’s products to retail companies, or directly to consumers in shopping centres, supermarkets and other retail outlets. Their overall objective is to improve sales figures and boost revenue.

How do FMCG sales take place?

A large amount of this sales activity is in face-to-face situations. Consequently, these guys might be required to be travel around the country a lot.

The business to business (B2B) side of FMCG sales is probably the most important. People who focus on this area tend to arrange and attend meetings with the buying department of retail companies, showcase their products and try to convince clients to order their products in bulk.

The business to consumer (B2C) side of FMCG sales is focused on selling products directly to consumers in retail settings or in their own homes. These methods are discussed in greater detail in the Direct, Face-to-Face & Field Sales subsector, so head there now for more information!

What are the essential skills for a career in FMCG sales?

These guys might be required to travel around the country to meet existing and new clients on a daily basis. They will be constantly on the go and therefore they will have to be able to cope with the travelling aspect of the role. They will need to know their products inside out, have a detailed understanding of their sales data and be able to persuade buyers to place orders. It’s all about building relationships with clients, so that they will continue to place repeat orders. To be successful in this area of sales, you will need to be confident, friendly and have excellent communication and presentation skills.

As in all sales careers, hard work, determination and energy can be rewarded handsomely with worthwhile commission schemes. However, be aware that some careers in FMCG sales might only pay on a commission basis (i.e. with no basic salary). This can be particularly risky, especially for people coming in at entry level with no experience.

If you reckon you’ve got the knowhow to sell B2B, or the blinding-white, ingratiating smile to convince consumers to buy your products, a career in FMCG sales might be the perfect path for you!