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FCPC’s 2016 National Sales Symposium: Influencing for Success
Created on 5/31/2016 10:36:08 AM

Mississauga, ONInfluencing for Success was the theme of FCPC’s 2016 National Sales Symposium. Held on May 18, 2016, the event was attended by over 150 individuals from a wide range of companies representing Canada’s consumer packaged goods and retail sectors.  

This year’s Sales Symposium featured an impressive and diverse lineup of speakers, including CFL legend Michael “Pinball” Clemons, Carman Allison, VP of Consumer Insights at Nielsen, and Erica Ehm, Creator and Publisher of 

ClemonsThe day kicked off with an inspired talk by Pinball Clemons, who enthused the crowd by detailing the obstacles he overcame to achieve success in his life, including becoming the all-time leader in all-purpose yards in professional football. He spoke about the important role consumer packaged goods companies play in the Canadian economy as well as his philanthropic work. He discussed the importance of charitable donations making a real difference, making a specific note of annual contributions to Food Banks Canada by FCPC and member companies.

"You directly and indirectly touch every family in the country,” said Clemons. “What you do is amazing. Know your significance and understand your influence.” He also noted, “As a sales team, you work hard. Long hours. I can relate. Don’t be guilty about working hard, being passionate and being great at what you do but you have to prioritize what is important to you. You influence our country, you influence our economy and if you get it right you influence your family.”


AlisonAllison spoke about today’s economic and consumer trends in Canada. Consumer confidence in Canada and the U.S. is trending down, he told the audience, noting that there is growing uncertainty about jobs and the economy. Health and food prices rank high among concerns of Canadians, he added. In Canada grocery prices are growing faster than overall inflation, he said. Sticker shock is affecting consumer behaviour and consumption – 67% of categories are seeing volume declines, he pointed out, adding that value is becoming more of a motivator for consumers. Allison also said that companies should look for ways to “trade the consumer up” for a more profitable strategy, adding that online and bulk retail formats are leading channel growth.



Ehm told the crowd about strategies that can influence success. Her key messages were: don’t be afraid to ask and start conversations, don’t take short cuts, be consistent and persistent, and that “it’s about how you ask” as that will determine how people perform. Social media is about starting conversations and an opportunity to get to know the audience. This is key, she said, because success is all about building relationships.

For more information on upcoming FCPC insight events, click here