What are you selling? (Maybe it’s not wine)

A wine sales rep’s life, even with lunches, dinners, samples, winemakers, and travel all involved, can be isolating and lonely. When isolated feelings of “me against the competition” and “us vs. them” creep into the sales mindset, you may find yourself running from account to account to account, pulling bottles out of the bag, presenting everything to Read More…

Plans, planners, CRMs, and what is really needed

Tools, pens, calendars, graphs and check lists. Reminders, pings, pokes, and Things. CRM’s, Saleforce, Zoho, Pipedrive, and Hubspot. SevenFifty. Endless inspirational quotes. Internal meetings, sales meetings, performance review meetings. The value of the tools at the wine sales reps disposal can only be measured by the action taken to use them correctly. Thinking about tools and Read More…

Is the wine good? Or is it helpful?

Wine sales reps are hooked on the “good” of wine. “Isn’t that great?” “What do you think? Do you like it?” “Just delicious wine isn’t it?” This is the all too common conversation after pouring a taste for the buyer. It’s based on the quality of the juice, trying hard to make it sound more Read More…

Trust

Trust can’t be measured, so as a result it’s rarely discussed in a performance or account review. There are few numbers we can attach to these questions. Therefore, because these are unquantifiable, they have become some of the most unspoken points within our industry. When you really think about it, isn’t this what it’s all about? Read More…

Opening new accounts – the first touch

Opening new accounts is the lifeblood of the wine wholesale business. If you’re not opening new accounts on a regular basis you are beholden to the slicing up of the market by competitors. New business is the only way to stay ahead of that curve. A simple prospecting tool is, of course, email. Make a form Read More…

Sometimes, there is no answer

“How can we sell more expensive wine to more retailers?” “How do we break into the hot new restaurant?” “How can I make my sales reps more efficient and responsive?” “How can we get more market share in this increasingly tight and competitive wine scene?” There is no answer to these questions. If there were Read More…

The shotgun and the arrow

Two different wine sales reps, from two different companies, with two different ways of presenting wines and ideas to the same restaurant buyer looking for a new Cotes du Rhone by the glass. Sales rep 1: “Thanks for the time today. So I brought five Cotes du Rhone at a range of prices. All are Read More…

The simple way to do an annual review

With 99% certainty here is what every one of your retail and restaurant customers does NOT know. They don’t know how much wine they bought from you this past year (dollars and cases). They don’t know how much wine they bought from you the year before that (dollars and cases). They don’t know the percentage difference Read More…

What are you going to do next year?

This is an important question to ask, because next year is next week. Annual reviews of accounts, territories, personal strengths, personal weaknesses, planned development, goals, outlooks, and ideas are wonderful ways to take a longer view of your wine sales business. It’s also a great way to fall into the sticky mud of too many Read More…

Manage energy, not time

The month of December is a strange one for the wine sales rep. Sales are up. Customers are buying more than other months. But due to the efficiency of the sales and the busy-ness that everybody is experiencing, there is little room for the idle conversation and no room for the product pitch. More sales Read More…

Constant, consistent, and always evolving change

Nothing stays the same for long. Restaurants open and close. Often with little or no warning. Distributors merge and portfolios shift. Always with no hint that it’s coming. Retailers have ups and downs, successes and failures, great days and horrible weeks, sometimes for no apparent reason. Every wine on every wine list in the world changes Read More…