Bird Brains: Proof that there are always haters

If you try to appease everybody all the time you eventually spend an inordinate amount of time appeasing the lowest of the low. In the wine business, there are legendary thugs and bullies that own liquor stores around the country or buy wine for such shops. They harass, they intimidate, they threaten, they position themselves for Read More…

Simplifying networking

“Connection points” and “synergy” are terms often bantered about when it comes to networking. Heck, there are easily 12 other overused buzzwords I could list here. There are whole books, blogs, video series, and courses based on the Art of Networking. At its core networking sounds so easy: The idea that you can help them and they 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…

What’s your one great talent?

We all have one. The one talent that we can say with confidence “I’m better at that than most.” When I was selling wine for a local fine wine wholesaler, I learned over time what my great talent was: dealing with problem customers. If somebody was pissed of, if they kicked out their previous sales rep, Read More…

A simple formula

Here’s the simple formula for success: Exceed expectations. Again and again and again and again and again. There. Done. Simple as that. (Moral of the story: you don’t have to complicate things to achieve success in business.)

Spring Training

It’s March, and all the baseball teams are in sunny locations getting ready for opening day, happening in about a month. Spring Training is the time to loosen up the joints, play some casual games, let the coach get a feel for the team, let the team get a feel for each other, all the Read More…

It comes down to telling a story

What makes this wine different from others? What makes this wine similar to others? Why was this winery started? What struggles led to winery success? When did they face failure? Was there one hero in the winery that saved the day? When did all of this happen? How many acts are in this winery’s play? How Read More…

Sometimes, there is no answer

“How can we sell more expensive wine to more retailers?” “How do we break into the hot new restaurant?” “How can I make my sales reps more efficient and responsive?” “How can we get more market share in this increasingly tight and competitive wine scene?” There is no answer to these questions. If there were 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…