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…

Overwhelmed

Another sales call. More samples to pull. Who is the new buyer again? Oh yeah, that will call I have to run! The focus winery of the month. Do I have a sparkling wine stopper? OMG Thanksgiving and Christmas is around the corner! My phone is out of juice! Yet another sales call. I know 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…

The choice to complain

Private complaining and grumbling about accounts and your sales life, to friends or significant others, is part of a salesperson’s life. We all have to unpack a bit at the end of a tough day. It’s life. It’s normal. We all do it. Don’t worry too much about your daily or weekly grumbling about small Read More…

Looking backward …

… rarely helps. Yes, you can learn from the past. But you can also think too hard about it, too often. Try this: think about the past and the mistakes you or your company made (“We hired that lazy good for nothing that derailed the team and sucked down morale”). Make a full list. It’s Read More…

Seeing things with true clarity …

… is almost impossible. But doubly impossible when you’re starting from behind to begin with. How do you start from behind? Lack of sleep Lack of exercise Drinking too much wine and feeling the compounded impact on your brain and body Anxiety (fear of what might happen) Disorganization Poor diet Letting others usurp your time Being digitally 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…

You have permission …

… to take the simple path instead of the complicated path. … to take time off to rebalance and think big thoughts. … to find success while others struggle. … to put your own name and identity out there before your company. … to take a break after reaching goals. … to work smarter instead Read More…

Let’s talk email

Efficiency is talked about often, and email is definitely one of the most efficient ways to communicate (in many ways too efficient, which is why it gets overused). In the spirit of efficiency some people use email well. And others do not. And it’s painful to watch (and read). Rules: Learn what BCC: is all Read More…

The problem with being the first to say it

Sometimes the truth needs to be said. The problem is somebody has to say it first. “This brand really doesn’t fit our portfolio or our company style.” “That customer is not good for our business, even if they buy more and more wine.” “Your technique in selling is too abrasive and confrontational.” “The cigarettes you Read More…

Screwing up (gracefully)

You dropped the ball. Screwed up royally. There are no excuses. Somebody is going to be mad. The owner’s manual on screwing up gracefully reads pretty simply: Own it. Don’t make excuses. Don’t try to hide. Apologize. Hope for the best. Then apologize again. Too bad more people don’t have a copy of the owner’s Read More…

Overwhelmed

Too many commitments. Too many meetings. Too many things on the to do list. Too many emails in the inbox. Too many phone calls to make. Too many customers to see. Too many wines to sell. Too many things to organize. Too many, too many, too many! Many sales reps secretly (or subconsciously) see a Read More…