The Paralysis of Analysis

I know several spreadsheet masters. These people work Excel like David Copperfield working an illusion. They know every twist, component, angle, and formula. They can plug in data along with a single variable and come up with years of projections. They can take the smallest of downturns in sales in a territory and analyze it Read More…

Selling motivations

A critical question to ask at the start of your sales day is this: Why am I selling wine? Making money is one reason. This is your living. “Bad salespeople have hungry kids” is the old (old, old) saying. You have to convert sales to make dollars and keep your lights on. Pretty simple. For Read More…

Buying motivations

A critical question when selling wine to restaurants and retailers is this: who is really making the decisions? The wine buyer might be making 100% of the choices. But usually not. An invisible hand exists in all business, and the motivations of the owner is often a controlling force within an organization. Sometimes for better, sometimes Read More…

Knowledge, experience, and hustle

Some wine sales reps are newbies to the business, without much experience with wine or sales. Some wine sales reps have incredibly deep wine knowledge, but little sales experience. Some wine sales reps are pros in sales, but not so much in wine. And some wine reps are pros in sales, lots of experience, plus Read More…

Sometimes paper is better

Your customers, the wine buyers at both the restaurant and retail level, need one fundamental thing. Without this, it the sales relationship falls apart. With it, it grows stronger over time and builds in accountability on both sides. Communication. But here is a trap many fall into — thinking that email is communication. It can 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…

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…

What customer service is not

Customer service for a wine wholesaler takes many forms. Clear information. A heads up. A lead. Running the emergency will call (when it truly is an emergency, not a matter of convenience). Being on time. Making sure your customer knows your portfolio and what you can do to help grow their business. Customer service is Read More…

High end chocolate

The world of high end, exclusive, limited availability, hand-made chocolate is pretty neat. Where the beans came from, the roasting, the pressing, the sweat involved in every step makes each bar simply taste better. It’s a world where knowledge multiplies the taste experience. And the folks that buy the high-end chocolate have little hesitation to 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…

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…

Tell and Show

When we are young, we have Show and Tell in elementary school. Then we grow up and become wine sales reps. And we continue our version of Show and Tell. We pop the cork, we show the wine, then we tell. Flip it around. Tell and Show. It works better that way. Tell your customer Read More…