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…

What work should you do today?

The answer is pretty simple, really. Do more of the work that proves to work well for you. Do less of the work that proves to not work well for you. More of what works, less of what doesn’t. Take the time to think about that as you make decisions on how to spend your Read More…

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 chemistry of learning something new

Let’s put brain chemistry to work for us in the wine sales industry. No, I’m not talking about even more sampling and drinking. I’m talking about learning. Turns out the release of dopamine in the brain — the trigger that happens when you have the first sip of a really great wine, or hear coins Read More…

What is focus?

The process of “focus” gets bantered about endlessly, especially at wine distributor sales meetings.  “You have to focus on this line of wines.” “We need focus on this important importer.” “You have to focus better on our number one account.” “We have to focus on getting that wine on that wine list.” In this light, Read More…

When do you ask for help?

Most experienced wine sales reps live an independent life during the day. See the right accounts, keep selling wine, keep the bosses happy (i.e. not being too involved in your sales business), then head home. That naturally leads to an assumption on both sides (management and sales): if the boss isn’t hearing of any problems from Read More…

Plus five percent

Teachers in West Virginia are back to work this week after a torturous nine day strike that grabbed media attention nationally. Traditionally one of the lowest pay states for teachers, they saw no option other than to walk out on the job to get the attention they deserved. Fighting tooth and nail, they got what Read More…

What are you selling? (Maybe it’s not wine)

A wine sales rep’s life, even with lunches, dinners, samples, winemakers, and travel all involved, can be isolating and lonely. When isolated feelings of “me against the competition” and “us vs. them” creep into the sales mindset, you may find yourself running from account to account to account, pulling bottles out of the bag, presenting everything to 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…

The simple way to do an annual review

With 99% certainty here is what every one of your retail and restaurant customers does NOT know. They don’t know how much wine they bought from you this past year (dollars and cases). They don’t know how much wine they bought from you the year before that (dollars and cases). They don’t know the percentage difference Read More…

What are you going to do next year?

This is an important question to ask, because next year is next week. Annual reviews of accounts, territories, personal strengths, personal weaknesses, planned development, goals, outlooks, and ideas are wonderful ways to take a longer view of your wine sales business. It’s also a great way to fall into the sticky mud of too many Read More…