The problem with committees

Committees work on averages and “most votes win.” Therefore, in a committee people (over time) are hesitant to speak their mind, outliers are outvoted, and passionate singular voices have no impact and thus are rarely heard. Committees can be great when it comes time for group discussions and decisions such as where to put the Read More…

It’s not the age, it’s the attitude

I’ve had two interesting interactions in the last week. The first was with a young and freshly minted Somm who works as a sales rep for a distributor. His sales style, his pitch, his attitude, his focus, and his energy were all about him. And talking with him got old really fast. The second was Read More…

Proven and tested vs. taking a chance

When taking wine out to show to your accounts, take a moment to think about how you’ll present the wine in the context of the rest of the marketplace. A wine that has been proven and tested can be a big brand, stacked high at all other retailers, on the top ten hot brands list, Read More…

Maybe you’re not selling wine today

You’re showing wine. You’re showing off bottles and labels. You’re pouring fermented juice in glasses for people that buy it for retailers and restaurants. But often the wine is just a prop. Often what you’re actually selling is yourself and the company you work for. The wine in the glass just happens to be something to talk about Read More…

The myth of the overnight wine success

What is this wine and where did it come from?? It’s suddenly everywhere! Who is that sales rep that is mopping up business all over town? Nobody knows anything about her! Overnight successes are found in all industries, including ours. Some brands, from previously unknown wineries and tiny weird distributors, shoot into a city like 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…

You can’t have it all

You know you can’t have it all. You can’t sell every single wine in your portfolio to every account in your territory. You can’t sell a retailer all of their wine selections, leaving out all competition. You can’t magically open all the doors at all the restaurants and have them buy only from you. So why Read More…

Selling Champagne

There are a few fundamental differences between selling Champagne (and I’m only talking about real deal Champagne here) and other wine categories. Consumers tend to buy it one bottle at a time. And thus, without another glass next to it for comparison and assuming it’s served quite cold, it’s hard to make a call on Read More…

If you don’t know what to say …

… then don’t say anything. Too many people love the sound of their own voice far too much. Learn to listen. Learn to not talk when necessary. Through careful and considered communication you will stand out, not through endless blather and babble. Know when to keep your trap shut and ears open and you’ll sell Read More…

What you can’t measure

  Loyalty. Smiles. Thank yous. Dedication. Focus. Positivity. Resilience. Creativity. Innovation. Attitude. Ideas. Friendships. Relationships. Partnerships. Be careful about trying to measure everything. Much of the most important stuff is impossible to quantify. If you ignore something simply because you can’t measure it, then you’ll lose it all.