Free is never free

Freebies abound in the liquor industry. Look at the umbrellas on the patios, the credit card embossed checkout books, the logos on the beer mugs. And behind the scenes, free cases are delivered to retailers. Free menu printing, or covering the costs for someone else to do it, is a regular offer for restaurants. And Read More…

Speak three months ahead

This isn’t a sales trick, hack, or tool. It’s just a good habit for a wine sales rep to get into. Talk three months ahead. Not all the time, but at least once during every sales call with a customer. In September: “Let’s start mapping out December’s features for the holiday season.” In November: “I’m Read More…

A simple question to ask

“Is what I’m doing today improving my life?” Be it personal (physical health, mental health, personal finances, relationships), or work (solving problems, having control over your day, saying yes when you need to and saying no when necessary), this is the simple question to ask. Have you written down what you plan to do today? Read More…

Wine Inventory as Wine Marketing

Inventory is one of the most mis-understood aspects of the wine world. A wholesaler that commits ten percent of their annual revenue to a single purchase of five thousand cases of Hungarian Viognier is going to run into an inventory problem. A restaurant owner who has a wine buyer that overbuys on Barolo and ties Read More…

Problems

Every organization, wholesaler, winery, and sales rep has problems. They may be small, they may be hidden, but there is a 100% chance they exist. How are the problems recognized? By you? By others? Through analysis of data? By a gut instinct? And if problems abound, how does the company approach them, identify them, and Read More…

A challenge: more questions

I’ve run into a few wine sales reps lately that only tell, they never ask. They tell me about the winemaker. They tell me about the steel tanks. They tell me about the vineyard. They tell me about the barrels. They tell me the scores. At no point do they ask anything. “What’s the best Read More…

“What can I do to help?”

When delivered with honesty and empathy, is there a more powerful statement a person could possibly make? There are situations in life when simply offering help is not only the right thing to do but the only thing you can do. When you see someone who is injured. When you happen upon a person in Read More…

What do your wineries want?

What do wineries that you represent really want? “We want to be placed in the right accounts.” “We want to be a category leader.” “We want to grow our direct to consumer business.” “We want less competition in your book.” “We want your sales reps to take more samples out.” “We want your sales reps Read More…

When it’s not working

When you know the uphill battle is not getting easier. When you know the problem account has no solutions and will never become better. When you know that stack of Hungarian Pinot Noir was a bad sell or a bad buy. When you know the organization you are working with or for is getting more Read More…

Tug of War

Watching a tug of war match is great fun. Two individuals or teams, if evenly matched, give it their all. Sweat, power, energy, and eventually a winner. But think about this: tug of war only works if both sides are trying hard. If one side didn’t pull, then what’s the point? If the other didn’t Read More…

A challenge for today

I have a challenge for you. It has to be done by the end of the day. You’re responsible for it yourself, and only yourself. No bosses or managers to report to. No spouse or significant other to check in with when complete. Ready? Here you go: today’s challenge is to develop a challenge for Read More…

When things go wrong

In the relationship between a wholesaler and a retailer or restaurant, things will go wrong. It’s just a matter of time. A forgotten invoice. A screwed up delivery. A change of vintage from the 95 point wine everyone wants to the new vintage, which is only 85 points. Or something bigger. A shift in the Read More…