Selling Wine vs. Taking An Order

You sell wine when you guide the process, when you frame choices for the customer, and when you present options (paths) that lead to the company’s (and your) ultimate goals. You are an order taker when the customer is the guide, when the customer frames the choices, and when the customer presents the paths that Read More…

Selling wine is not rocket science

A wine sales job doesn’t involve rocket science. Nobody is going to die if you screw up. There really aren’t that many moving pieces. Keep it simple. Be consistent in doing what you say you’ll do. Be consistent in who you meet with, and how you run your meetings. Be consistent about your goals, both Read More…

Six Habits of the Best Wine Sales Reps

The best wine sales reps have routines and habits that set them apart from others. Let’s dive into six of the most essential. The best wine sales reps know the power of a positive attitude It’s sales 101 to leave your emotions and opinions at the door, but I’m constantly amazed at how often this Read More…

More is not better (focus on focus)

A wine by the glass list that is 90 items long is confounding for the customer (and impossible to train a service staff on, much less preserve the quality in the bottle). A Chardonnay section in a wine shop that has three times as many wines as the other sections is obviously trying to appeal Read More…

What if? (50ml edition)

Time for another edition of What if? The pandemic is changing how we have to work, which means there is an opportunity to make things better. An opportunity, only once, here and now, to rewrite the rules of ‘normal work’ in the wine business. So here’s an idea … What if it became the norm Read More…

The Post-Pandemic Wine List

What is your restaurant wine list going to look like on the other side of the pandemic? Will it be the same size? Will you work with the same vendors? Or the same number? Will you allow big brands to wiggle, seduce, push, shove, or buy their way onto the by the glass program (yet Read More…

What is your job?

Give me the one sentence answer to this questions: What is your job? “My job is to represent my brands to retailers and restaurants.” “My job is to grow my account base and increase company revenue.” “My job is to provide the ultimate in customer service.” “My job is to show what truly great hospitality Read More…

Four Months from Today

Welcome to SOND 2020. This is a final third of a year like no other. The global pandemic, the unrest in America, the upcoming election, and for those in our industry the continued upheaval of the business in general. Taxes, tariffs, the crash of restaurants, the boom of retail business. Wildfires, overproduction, competition … the Read More…

The Annual Review

Merry Christmas Eve, happy holidays, and Bestest Festivus to all! This is not the normal Vinethinking essay. It’s more important than that. This essay is about the Annual Review. The Annual Review is a process that I’ve been going through since 2009, during which I take the time to get secluded, get reflective, get analytical, Read More…

Payoff

It’s mid-November, and the sales call in this time of year changes in shape: the buyer has less time to meet with you, but orders more wine. Ironically, and seemingly counter-intuitively, you make more money for less work. But this is the moment to realize the payoff from ten months of building, planning, relationship massaging, Read More…

Measuring a sales job by dollars, or not

Sales reps usually measure by dollars. It’s an easy yardstick to use, it contributes to the quality of your life, and it’s a measurement that allows instant comparison to others in the industry. An “Annual industry salary survey” can be useful to a small degree. But it can also be clickbait. When you measure by Read More…