Problems

Every organization, wholesaler, winery, and sales rep has problems. They may be small, they may be hidden, but there is a 100% chance they exist. How are the problems recognized? By you? By others? Through analysis of data? By a gut instinct? And if problems abound, how does the company approach them, identify them, and Read More…

When things go wrong

In the relationship between a wholesaler and a retailer or restaurant, things will go wrong. It’s just a matter of time. A forgotten invoice. A screwed up delivery. A change of vintage from the 95 point wine everyone wants to the new vintage, which is only 85 points. Or something bigger. A shift in the Read More…

Tools vs. Skills

The writer Neil Gaiman was on the Tim Ferris podcast. In the show, Tim asked Neil about his writing process and how he physically went about writing his wonderful books. It’s a common question for authors, photographers, painters, and musicians. Why kind of guitar does she use? What type of camera does Annie Leibovitz prefer? Read More…

Is it really that bad?

Rejection is tough. Hearing NO is difficult for everyone, across all industries and cultures. And too many times hearing NO can wear down the best of us. But why did they say no? If they said no for a specific reason, that is okay. “We have twenty Malbecs right now, we really don’t need another Read More…

Faults vs. Problems

I used to say, rather sarcastically, that there is no such thing as a wine emergency. The idea being that far too many sales reps run around like chickens without heads solving emergencies that don’t qualify as emergencies. And in the big scope of world problems and social issues, a restaurant running out of a Read More…

Dangerous multipliers

Say you have 25 accounts in your territory, and you’re pulling in $50,000 a year. Makes sense to think, therefore, that if you doubled it to 50 accounts you’d make $100,000 a year. So why not ramp up to 100 accounts and make $200,000 a year? Using the easy multiplying math, you only need 500 Read More…

Little nudges vs. big changes

A baseball manager walking to the pitcher’s mound for a little conversation is looking for a little nudge. Don’t try so hard, try harder, focus more, stop focusing so much, you can do this, don’t forget what the plan is. A baseball manager walking to the mound to substitute out a pitcher is making a Read More…

You’ve made the choice

If you’re a wine retailer, you’ve made the choice to not have Memorial Day or Labor Day off. You made the choice to work weekends. You’ve made the choice to be in one spot, waiting for customers to come to you. You made the choice to know that every New Year’s Eve, the day before Read More…

The Velocity Question

As a wine sales rep, having a retailer say “I’ll take 31 cases of that wine” is rare. 31 cases, at 12 bottles per case, is 372 bottles. That means the retailer has to sell a bottle every day, seven days a week, for a bit over a year in order to move through the Read More…

You can’t, in good conscience

As a wine wholesaler, you can’t, in good conscience, be a supporter of both the boutique hand-selling wine shop and the mega national retailer. You can’t, in good conscience, sell a wine that goes against the core of all of your personal values and the needs of your accounts simply to make a quota or Read More…

A Sales Rep’s Choices

A wine sales rep is in a marvelous and privileged position. You get to choose. Today, are you building a brand or building the market? Tomorrow, are you finding the unknown (wine or customer), or are you learning the known even better? Next week, are you showcasing the new or reinforcing the established? What are Read More…

The irreplaceable placement

Many restaurants have one or two. Every retailer has six to twelve. They are the wines they cannot swap out, cannot consider getting rid of, and cannot possibly imagine life without. They are the wines that customers would riot over losing access to. The wines that sell as regularly as a heartbeat. They are the Read More…