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…

Promises, promises

“I promise I’ll communicate better about out of stocks. Trust me.” “I promise I’ll visit that unsold account. I’m all over it.” “Have no fear boss, I promise I’ll get that invoice mess up cleaned by the end of the week.” “I promise I can run that will call on Monday.” “I promise you I 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…

A simple rule for wine sales reps

All wine sales reps should have one simple rule, a rule that cannot be broken, a rule that is priority above all other duties. A weekly email communication with their customers. Here’s the template, and it doesn’t have to be more complicated than this: “Hey __________ – I’m glad you enjoyed the __________ that we Read More…

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…