How does one become a good sales executive in the FMCG field?
Many sales executives feel that the type of selling in their industry (and even in their particular company) is somehow completely special and unique. This is true to an extent. There is no question that a data-processing equipment salesman needs somewhat different training and background than does an automobile salesman. Differences in requirements are obvious, and whether or not the applicant meets the special qualifications for a particular job can easily be seen in the applicant’s biography or readily measured.
Success: everyone wants it, but not everyone gets it.
What distinguishes successful people from everyone else?
Maybe they’re better, richer, or braver. Or maybe they know something others don’t.
How your day ends up depends on how it starts out.
Here are some tips on starting a successful day that sales teams can start using right now.
Take time to make time
Importance of routine and preparation. Routines help with efficiency and lessen the need to make decisions. Successful, productive people like routines.
“I like routines,” explained one rep, “[because] I do not like to rush. A rushed, hectic morning to get out of the house usually leads to disorganized day. Routines and preparation will help you do and give your best.” Another rep echoed this sentiment, saying routines streamline the morning process to keep him on track and on time.
Your morning sets the tone for your day. When you start the day behind, you never truly catch up (even if you technically do) because the tone of the day is already set at harried, frenzied, and off-kilter. Set a routine to help you maintain efficiency, timeliness, and sanity – all keys to success.
Successful FMCG Salesmen Start Early Morning
It turns out you don’t have to be a morning person to have a good morning. Successful sales reps set themselves up for a good morning the night before.
Prepare for your morning routine with a nighttime routine. Use your nighttime routine to both close out the current day and set up your next one. For instance, cleaning out your inbox every night before going to bed makes it easy to peruse new email in the morning. The clean slate also provides a sense of accomplishment and finality that helps calm your mind and welcome sleep after a hectic day.
Gather any materials needed for the next day – papers, brochures, directions, contact information. Lay out clothes appropriate for the day’s meetings. Set up the coffee maker and put it on a timer so it’s already made when you want it. Have your lunch packed and ready to go. A good day starts with a good morning; a good morning starts with a good night.
FMCG Salesmen Make the first move
A good sales rep knows the importance of preparing for and anticipating their clients’ needs. A great sales rep takes that one step (or more) further by proactively anticipating their own needs.
From morning alarms to closing bells, be proactive in all things. Don’t wait for someone or something else to determine your day. Set time aside each morning to evaluate and anticipate your day’s needs before you set foot outside your home. This will be a lot easier if you’ve gathered your important documents and made note of pertinent meetings the night before. Try adding these to your routine:
Somewhere between hitting the floor and hitting the door, check your email for a quick refresher and any last minute items
Skim Google Alerts for your company, your competitors, your role, and your industry, as well as any other industry-specific boards you monitor
Reconcile your personal and work calendars so you can physically and mentally map out your day
FMCG salesman’s morning mindset
Energetic & Fresh
Follow 10 – 20 – 30 Rule
Wait for Retailer’s attention
Address the Retailer by Name
Introduce Self and Company
Gain Retailer’s Interest
Make positive statements
Seek permission to do stock check
Outlet Merchandising Outlet, Housekeeping & Objective Setting
Check stock for all categories
Clean the products
Ensure Proper Facing
Determine the right range and quantity for sale
Follow maps, don’t let lane closures, wrecks and bottlenecks slow you down. A bad morning commute can completely derail your schedule and your success, if you let it. Tune in to morning traffic reports or use apps like Google Maps and Waze to check traffic patterns and determine your best route before you get behind the wheel. Making time to plan your day keeps you in the driver’s seat.
Keep an open mind
Now that you have your schedule neatly laid out, crumple it up and throw it away. Okay, not really, but do leave yourself plenty of time and flexibility to be able to navigate any detours along your day. Successful sales reps keep an open mind and are ready to roll with the punches.
One way to stay ahead of any stray one-two combos is to check the rearview:
Recap and assess the previous day both on your own and with others
Use general and industry-specific software to monitor personal, company and competitor progress
Go over sales numbers, lead generation, meetings, closures, and other pertinent information before meeting with your team
After completing your own review, open up dialogue with others
Two-way communication with colleagues and customers is vital in any interpersonal market, and sales is highly interpersonal.
Start your morning with a quick huddle in person or virtually around a project management software to keep everyone on the same page. Short, regular check-ins help your team share and receive valuable insight that will help everyone stay on their toes. You never know, what happened yesterday might completely alter today’s priorities.
Salesmen are self driven
FMCG reps have their own particular routines and rituals, but one commonality stood out: no one needed prompting to remember how they start their day. They all knew instantly what they do each morning.
Don’t try to fit into someone else’s niche. You have your own needs; you just have create a routine to accommodate them. Get to know yourself and the routine that’s right for you. Success will be just around the corner.
“Six Miracle Steps to Success”
Elrod is one of the highest-rated keynote speakers in America. Attributes success to something learned when at his lowest back in 2008 – something he writes about in his bestselling book, The Miracle Morning.
Combination of six very small things — a series of six steps to a “miracle” morning which he calls SAVERS, and which he committed to performing every single morning.
In the LinkedIn Learning course, “The Six Morning Habits of High Performers,” Elrod walked Pete Mockaitis through how professionals can apply SAVERS to their morning routines. For those in a relentlessly performance-driven field like sales, the tips can be especially valuable.
Here’s how you can apply each step of the “Miracle Morning” to your pre-work routine to improve your outlook, focus on your goals, and achieve more every day.
Silence: Meditate in silence to establish your daily mindset.
Elrod puts a slightly different spin on the power of silence and meditation compared to traditional approaches. He explained:
“Use meditation as a way to set the mindset for the day. I’ll look at my schedule and say ‘OK, what do I need to accomplish today?’”
At the very beginning of your morning, take 10 minutes to just sit with your thoughts. You don’t have to try “not thinking.” If you want, you can even focus on your daily checklist.
Elrod only has one rule for this meditation practice: no self-judgment. “The only way you can fail is if you judge yourself for any part of your experience,” he said. Instead, just take the time to let your thoughts come and go naturally.
Affirmations: Focus on the concrete — what do you want and how will you get it.
Affirmations get a bad rap, but according to Elrod, that’s because they’ve been misappropriated. Affirmations are NOT:
Statements you can use to trick yourself into believing something that isn’t true
Flowery, passive statements that don’t prompt any real action
Properly understood, affirmations are statements for prompting focused action. Answer these questions in order to create yours:
What is the goal FMCG Salesmen committed to?
Why are FMCG Salesmen committed to it?
What are FMCG Salesmen committed to doing to accomplish it?
When are you going to start doing what you need to do to accomplish it?
Answering these questions will define what you want to do and how you’re going to do it all day.
Visualization: Visualize the activity AND the result.
If people get something “wrong” about visualization, it’s often because they only visualize the success itself, instead of visualizing the actual steps that will get them there, Elrod said.
Imagine yourself making that big phone call. How are you going to open? How will they respond? What kinds of questions will they ask, and how will you answer them?
Success is what you want, but the process is how you’re going to get it. So practice the process through visualization every morning before work. Then go make it happen for real.
Exercise: Every morning, even if only for 60 seconds.
Don’t have any energy? Stand up and do 60 seconds of jumping jacks. It will get your blood flowing, oxygenate your cells, and make you feel 10 times more awake afterward.
Exercise when you wake up, right before work, and whenever you’re feeling run down. Your body and brain will thank you all day long.
Read: Even if only a few pages every day.
Reading does for your mind what exercising does for your body, and with an added benefit: if you read every morning, you’ll have read a book in no time.
Even if you only read five pages a day, that’s 150 pages per month. That could be one self-help book a month, or one book on learning a new skill. In a year, you could be a different person. All for 20 minutes at the top of your morning.
(Looking for some good reading material to get you going? We have suggestions!)
Scribing: Clarify your priorities in writing.
You’ve already defined your mindset for what you want to accomplish today and defined your affirmation. Now you can focus even more specifically.
What are the THREE most important goals you want to work on today, and why?
Define them and physically write them down, Elrod said. Remind yourself why these are the ones you’re going to focus on and commit to them with your affirmation.
Keep track of the goals you write down day over day to chart and monitor your progress. Not only will this help you feel accomplished, but it will also make it easier to keep coming up with the next step.
You must know the faces in the market; know your customers like the palm your hand. You must have a broad based idea regarding all of your outlets, their types, their locality and customers, off-take patterns, intake and pocket capacity, access of your competition and every other damn things. For the distributors/Stockiest the most important aspect you should be aware of is the financial strength, the stock liquidation capacity and also their long term vision with your company. Always try to spend the maximum of the time in the market and amass market facts as much as possible, This will not only help you to plan and steer the market according to your objectives but also to surmise the market trend well in advance.
The market must know your face, I mean you must have an excellent rapport in your territory, people must know you by your name. Don’t just be a sales executive, be a friend to them and win the conviction in you. Remember, little drops of water make the mighty ocean, so even the tiny Category- C outlets are also important, mind them.
Spread the reach, It is the most important success mantra in this trade! Ever wondered whats is so special about Coca Cola? its their reach. It is always better to place 2 pieces in 3 outlets than 3 pieces in 2 outlets because it leaves a room for the market contingencies and keep the pipeline moving.
Career mistakes FMCG Salesman must avoid 30s and 40s
Here we have listed a few mistakes that you can add to your “never-to-make-errors” list.
Not pushing yourself to move up the ranks – After serving several years in a company, a lot of individuals become comfortable in their position. While that is commendable, it could also result in career stagnation. Analyzing the market trends and upskilling yourself with the in-demand skills and knowledge can help to break out of the rut.
Tip – Keep challenging and investing in yourself to seek consistent growth.
Fearing career change – You shouldn’t divide your desires, ambitions and goals into multiple age brackets. If you no longer feel passionate about your current job position and wish to try your hand at any other role or explore a completely different area of work in your early 40s, don’t let the fear of failure deter you from exploring your own potential. Today, professional growth no longer has to be linear; it can take any form as long as you are experiencing progress.
Tip – Don’t restrict yourself and remain open to new opportunities.
Placing money above everything else – Earning a decent income is extremely necessary for every individual, but that should not be the sole reason to say yes to a job or to continue to stay in an organization. An equal amount of value could be given to interests, passions, work-life balance or any factor that can make your job highly rewarding. For instance, for some people, a flexible work environment is imperative to stay productive, whereas others derive satisfaction from a job that aligns perfectly with their interests.
Tip – Assess what really keeps you motivated at work and leverage it to grow as a professional.
Not maintaining your network – Maintaining your network is just as crucial as establishing it. You have to stay in touch with your connections and continue to expand your network. Besides, networking not only helps you to land great jobs, but also makes it easier to connect with industry veterans, gain knowledge about industry trends, and learn from the experience of the experts around you. Today, you have a wide range of social media platforms and networking websites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter that have been designed to allow you to stay connected to people who were once an essential part of your career journey.
Tip – Consider networking as a lifelong process to thrive in your career.
Underestimating your value – At some point in your career, you might feel undervalued at work. Your employer, manager or colleague may not acknowledge or recognize your contribution towards the success of a project or the holistic growth of the company. However, you cannot let it affect the way you view yourself. Otherwise, you may start underestimating your own value or selling yourself short. So, focus on strengthening your own confidence in your abilities, and don’t let others decide your worth.