The beverage sales world is similar to other sales jobs in many ways. You represent a product or products, connect with buyers, prospect endlessly, suffer rejection, and pick yourself back up and do it again and again.
Yet, in the beverage sales industry, there has been a slide away from two key aspects of Sales 101 that, when combined, make for a superpower.
CONSISTENCY is vital for a sales rep in any industry. It shows you are reliable and trustworthy. If Tuesday at 10 am is your window with a client every week, you’re there at 9:45. (If you’re not early, you’re late.) If a buyer sends you an order before 4 pm, it will be there the next day. You return missed calls and emails. A sales rep that is not consistent will ultimately fail.
PROFESSIONALISM is becoming a lost art. Walking into every sales call with confidence, standing straight, smiling, and looking people in the eye. Not talking smack about your compeition or employer. Leaving the personal stuff behind rather than unpacking your emotions and personal problems to the buyer. Dressing sharp, not sloppy. Not drinking on the job. Paying attention to personal appearance and hygiene. Arriving with an agenda and goal, rather than making it up on the fly. Taking notes and referring back to them. Seeking to solve problems rather than just make a sale. In other words, being a beverage sales professional.
The magic happens when you combine them. A CONSISTENT PROFESSIONAL is suddenly like a Marvel superhero, ready to take on the world.
A consistent beverage sales professional will quickly rise in the ranks. She will become the one others either want to be or are intimidated by (both being positive). She will become the sales rep that buyers request and refer to others. She will see job options open up. She will make more money.
It’s a decision that a sales rep has to make, and it’s a decision that has to be made every single morning of every single workday.
“Today, I’m going to be a consistent professional.”
PS: my mention of “there has been a slide away from …” is not just from my observations. In an informal poll of beverage buyers over the last two months, when asked, “What is the biggest problem you’re having with your sales reps today,” the number one answer was “inconsistency/unreliability.” The number two answer was “lack of professionalism/putting their needs ahead of mine.” Hat tip to the buyer who added in the survey: “All I want is for all my reps to be consistently professional instead of a bunch of order takers.”