Ask, don’t tell

What’s your buying program and schedule?

How far out do you plan you wine list changes?

How many distributors do you buy from? What percentage from each?

What is your markup formula? What margin do you need to hit?

How many wines do you taste through before picking one?

Do you buy based on quality and flavor, or mainly relationships?

Can you describe a perfect vendor relationship to me?

What was the last big problem you ran into with your current suppliers? What really gets you mad?

What reps do you have that you love working with? What do they do different from others?

Is there any support from our wineries that may help in getting a new placement?

Do you train your staff yourself, or do you have your reps in to do that?

Can I build an incentive program for your bartenders and servers?

Do you buy one case at a time or could we talk about a quantity buy?

Are you looking for any exclusive labels?

Is the presence of the wine in the market a factor to you? Are you looking for exclusivity?

What are some of your personal favorite wineries/varieties/regions? Does that impact your buying?

What type of charity events do you hold?

and of course the number one question:

How can I help build your business in the ways that you desire?

Ask questions, don’t just tell and sell stuff. Asking is only way to find out what you really need to find out from your buyers.