Whether you are looking for a specific role in FMCG or you’re simply considering changing your career to this fast paced environment, it’s essential to understand whether or not it’s right for you. Not all will succeed in FMCG, however if you’re the right fit for the job, you’ll find that this is an industry where talent can take you a long way. We’ve compiled four key skills you will need in order to be successful in the fast moving consumer goods world.
A lot of people may think that FMCG roles require excellent selling skills. While this may be somewhat true, it’s a little more complicated than that. In FMCG you may not always be required to sell the product itself – usually, the buyer is already interested in the product you offer. Rather, the FMCG industry relies on persuasion; you are attempting to persuade the buyer that the products you offer are a better option than those of your competitor.
This applies to almost any role in the FMCG industry. Whether you are negotiating rates from the suppliers, selling goods to a retailer or creating packaging in the marketing department, the key skill lies in your ability to persuade in order to influence a decision. Another point to consider is that although you may be good at persuading, you may not be good at talking to someone for minutes on end – the real skill is in empathising with the needs of the person you are trying to sell to and being able to find a way to show them that your product is the right choice for their needs.
Cross functional skills
Clients are increasingly interested in multi-disciplined candidates. Nowadays, there is a much more collaborative way of working in the market – cross functional knowledge of a category, trade marketing, brand and shopper would all be beneficial. If you have the chance to get in amongst the key stakeholders in these areas – get in! Learn as much as you can about the other areas of FMCG to assist in making you invaluable.
Don’t assume that just because it doesn’t have a direct influence on your role that it can’t help you. Learning about broader roles in FMCG can be crucial. You may even find that the role that you eventually get will have elements of all of these disciplines.
Real commercial exposure
Companies are looking for employees who actually have some experience in commercial exposure. The more commercial exposure would mean more responsibility and of course, eventually, a bigger salary. Every business offers some commercial exposure. It’s essential to gain exposure and then target the FMCG of your choice.
Working under pressure
The truth is that if you are a person who finds themselves struggling to perform under pressure, then the FMCG industry may not be the right fit for you. By the very nature of the industry, things are very fast paced and require you to make decisions and think clearly while things move very quickly. In the FMCG industry, you need to have a wide range of traits including adaptability and organization.
In an industry that moves as quickly as FMCG, its essential that you have great time management skills as without them, it can be very easy to fall behind and start stressing about getting the work done.
In conclusion, the key skills needed to work in the FMCG industry is that you need to be able to think fast, work hard and be good at your job, and the sky is the limit for your success!