Taking a stand

All that really matters is the experience of the end consumer. Simple as that. If she pops a bottle of wine with friends, pours the glasses, and loves the experience of drinking that bottle then it really doesn’t matter who the wholesaler was or even who the retailer was. The only two connection points in Read More…

The five percent, and the one percent

95% of all Champagne sold is produced by the largest houses and have the names we all know. 5% of all Champagne sold is Farmer Fizz, i.e. Recoultant Manipulant, stuff from the families and the little producers that ship tiny quantities their wines to the United States. For wine salespeople and marketers, the discussion usually Read More…

Thanksgiving week empathy

This is a tricky week for the wine sales rep. Retailers are busy. Too busy for sales calls. But they may need the emergency will call. Displays have to be stocked and looking good. It’s the classic situation of “you can’t sell it if you don’t got it.” Restaurants are historically a bit slow (but Read More…

Why can’t you?

Why can’t you be the most successful wine sales rep in the state? The region? Why can’t you become the most successful wine retailer in your city, or your state, or even the country? The common answer, the default answer, is competition. “Too many other wholesalers / sales reps / retailers  … that’s why.” But Read More…

The extra hour

This morning, many of us woke up earlier than we normally do. We woke up with energy at a time that we normally slog. We went to bed a bit earlier last night than we normally would. Daylight savings time is one of the best magic tricks out there. And like any good magic trick, Read More…

The list of quick improvements

This is a good exercise. Grab a piece of paper. Turn off the inputs and interruptions. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Namaste. Now answer the question: “What can I change, improve upon, upgrade, do, or fix in just one or two minutes, that will have a lasting impact on my work?” A Read More…

A seven year (payment) plan

How far forward do you plan? Some very smart people insist that five year and ten-year goal setting is not realistic. That there is no way to project that far and know what will happen with the economy, your industry, or even the state of the world. I see their point, but they are wrong. Read More…

Passions vs. Skills

Two wine sales reps. Two different ways of doing business. Sales rep number one has a passion for what she does. She is so into wine! It’s her life. It’s all about the aromas, the flavors, the food, and the occasional travel. Wine is first and foremost the creator of her energy. A wine sales Read More…

Info power (and wine wholesalers)

I type this post while sitting at a coffee shop. No surprise there. But this coffee shop (Caribou) is trying to compete with Starbucks. Part of their strategy is the new “perks club” (cute name). If I join the club I can slooooooowly build points for a free cookie or a coffee. But in exchange Read More…

The irony of competition

There is a grand irony in the wine business. First, the more wholesalers there are, the better it is for retailers and restaurants. It makes for competition, it makes for more choice, it makes for opportunity to buy wines that nobody else has, it allows for a retailer or restaurant to stand out easier. Second, Read More…

On luxury wine

A luxury wine (as opposed to a great but expensive wine) exists based on scarcity and social proof. It has to be scarce, because the rules of supply and demand not only keep the proposed value sky high, but actually increases the eventual cost of holding a bottle of your own. A luxury wine cannot Read More…

Being relevant

To be relevant in an industry is the simple goal for most workers and most businesses. To be a restaurant that gets mentioned in the “top 10” lists. To be a wine that retailers are asking for, not being loaded upon. To be an employee asked for an opinion on an internal matter. To be somebody Read More…

Recognizing sunk costs

It’s one of the most important lessons you can learn: All that matters is the future. That is the clearest way to describe sunk costs. What happened in the past, what occurred between you and your customers, the efforts and investments you put into your job, the brand building and analysis and yearly reviews, the Read More…

Broken locks

Embarrassing story, but a good lesson to be learned. I was recently at a restaurant. Not just any restaurant, but a well reviewed chef-driven hard to get into place of the moment kinda restaurant. I went to the restroom. Had to go. Happens to everybody. It was a small one room restroom with a crappy lock Read More…

Falling into a hole

You’re cruising. You’re doing great. Your work is firing on all cylinders. Then BAM, you find yourself tripped up. You fell into a hole and now you have to work your way out. First, are you injured? Can you stand back up? Can you shake your head and make a little goofy cartoon noise (with Read More…