A day of planning, a day of pause

Welcome to Black Friday.

The day after Thanksgiving is always a strange one. Shoppers pack the stores, movie theaters are busy, many restaurants open early to catch the breakfast and brunch crowd, quite a few people simply stay at home and eat leftovers and watch TV. Wine shops are busy but not overrun (nothing compared to Wednesday). Wholesale reps, for the most part, are off.

It’s a day to stop for a second, step back, and look at the very important five weeks ahead.

Wholesale Reps: The placements that are made, for the most part, are going to stick for the next five weeks. Emphasis should not be on new placements but rather increased sales velocity for what is already in place. With that in mind, do you know exactly where you’ll be every afternoon-early evening-evening between now and December 31st? Pick your restaurant staff trainings carefully (focus on the big movers, the restaurants that can kick some volume into high gear). Pick your in store retail tastings carefully (same theory as restaurants — focus on those that can move some product). Build escape and relaxation into your schedule and during those times turn off the phone. Have a plan, have a schedule, have weekly goals.

Retailers and Restaurants: What is your marketing plan for wine for the next five weeks? Do you have your reps lined up to do staff trainings and in-store events? Do you have the list of wines you’ll photograph and feature on your social media feeds? If all of this is outlined not only to the day but to the hour for the next five weeks, it will happen. If you’re leaving it to chance and whim and “we’ll get it done as the month goes on” then guess what … it won’t happen (or won’t happen as well as it could).

Plan! Planning ahead, dedicating yourself to a schedule and a goal, especially if you take the time to outline any hurdles in your way and how you’re going to deal with them, is the key to achieving success between now and December 31st. 

Which brings up a different question: How will you know if you succeeded? By what measurement can you say “I did it!”?