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Keep calm and be decisive – FCPC National Sales Symposium brings key insights to members
Created on 7/15/2015 12:09:10 PM

– Consumer Packaged Goods sales professionals are in the business of selling calmness, professionalism and decisiveness, attendees at FCPC’s National Sales Symposium were told.  

That’s not to say sales professionals are not operating in an insanely busy, information packed world. According to keynote speaker, Dr. Nick Bontis the average professional receives 84 emails in a day, of that, just 8 are critical.

How do you manage your time? How do you break through the clutter and how do you succeed - were all issues tackled by a packed roster of expert speakers, who informed, entertained and left members with valuable, news you can use tips.  

Dr. Bontis stressed that email is so pervasive in our life, but the negative is that we are trying to communicate with each other using a distributional tool that has a marginal cost of zero.

“Pick up the phone,” he screamed. 

Information and the need for immediacy is driving our industry, and as leaders, we need to take control.

Participants take pictures of Dr. Nick Bontis presentation

Dr. Nick Bontis at Sales




Eric Ashworth, President, SGK, Inc
. said one of the biggest things sales professionals can be guilty of is complacency. Brands must start looking at online not simply as another sales channel, but as a way to truly connect with consumers. He said there are many competitors in the marketplace, who are using information and a real drive to succeed.

Dave Mahr, Vice President, Consumer and Industrial Markets, KPMG LLP said it’s vital to be connected in today’s world. 

He also shared the latest trends in the grocery marketplace, for example 67% of eating occasions happen outside the 3 traditional meals with average Canadians having 6 snacks/day.

A leadership panel shared insights on what it takes to make it to the c-suite and the characteristics of a strong, influential leader.

Britta Lesaux, Executive Director, Consumer Business Group, 3M Canada Company said “decisiveness” is one of the key ingredients.  

She was joined on the panel by Rohit Grover, VP/General Manager, Canada, The Hershey Company; Chris Rodkin, President, BritOn Solutions Group and moderated by Tom Szostok, Vice President Sales, McCain Foods (Canada)

Leadership panel at National Sales SymposiumGraham Kauffman of HORN

 As a value add for the members in attendance, there were interactive seminars.

First, Michael Kamins, Practice Head, CPG, The Gap Partnership lead a session on negotiation. Offering insights in turning the table to go from seller to buyer, he highlighted pressures sales professionals deal with every day and how to get inside the head of the other party you’re negotiating with.

Following a networking lunch Graham Kaufmann, Senior Vice President, Coaching & Facilitation, HORN gave an interactive and engaging workshop on: What Is a World Class Key Account Manager in 2015.

The interactive presentation offered insights on:

  • Becoming more strategic – taking a critical view and applying more strategic rigour to develop more creative ideas
  • Selling ideas more effectively – articulating ideas in a compelling delivery and being an influential communicator with colleagues, customers and the c-suite
  • Incorporating better business and financial acumen into ongoing customer and internal interactions – understanding the key measures and KPI’s
Attendees also heard from Deanna Zenger, Industry Representative, Food Processing Human Resource Council, who spoke about the top 10 characteristics of a millennial. 

For more photos from the event, please click here.

For more information about upcoming FCPC insight events, please click here.