Maybe you’re not selling wine today

You’re showing wine. You’re showing off bottles and labels. You’re pouring fermented juice in glasses for people that buy it for retailers and restaurants. But often the wine is just a prop. Often what you’re actually selling is yourself and the company you work for. The wine in the glass just happens to be something to talk about Read More…

Simplifying networking

“Connection points” and “synergy” are terms often bantered about when it comes to networking. Heck, there are easily 12 other overused buzzwords I could list here. There are whole books, blogs, video series, and courses based on the Art of Networking. At its core networking sounds so easy: The idea that you can help them and they Read More…

The myth of the overnight wine success

What is this wine and where did it come from?? It’s suddenly everywhere! Who is that sales rep that is mopping up business all over town? Nobody knows anything about her! Overnight successes are found in all industries, including ours. Some brands, from previously unknown wineries and tiny weird distributors, shoot into a city like Read More…

The chemistry of learning something new

Let’s put brain chemistry to work for us in the wine sales industry. No, I’m not talking about even more sampling and drinking. I’m talking about learning. Turns out the release of dopamine in the brain — the trigger that happens when you have the first sip of a really great wine, or hear coins Read More…

The communication quandary

The single biggest problem wine wholesalers have is simple and universal: communication of important information. Nobody does it well. Nobody. What’s new in the portfolio? What’s leaving the portfolio? What is out of stock? What containers just arrived? Which sales rep left? What sales reps just got hired? When is the next portfolio tasting? Who is Read More…

What’s your one great talent?

We all have one. The one talent that we can say with confidence “I’m better at that than most.” When I was selling wine for a local fine wine wholesaler, I learned over time what my great talent was: dealing with problem customers. If somebody was pissed of, if they kicked out their previous sales rep, Read More…

What is focus?

The process of “focus” gets bantered about endlessly, especially at wine distributor sales meetings.  “You have to focus on this line of wines.” “We need focus on this important importer.” “You have to focus better on our number one account.” “We have to focus on getting that wine on that wine list.” In this light, Read More…

The stories you hear

Rarely does a customer tell you a story just for entertainment. In fact, it’s incredibly rare. Stories are told to tell you the reason or justification why an account is doing something. Or, if that’s not the case, they are asking for something without asking it directly. Stories about other sales reps screwing up? It’s an Read More…