The communication quandary

The single biggest problem wine wholesalers have is simple and universal: communication of important information. Nobody does it well. Nobody. What’s new in the portfolio? What’s leaving the portfolio? What is out of stock? What containers just arrived? Which sales rep left? What sales reps just got hired? When is the next portfolio tasting? Who is Read More…

What’s your one great talent?

We all have one. The one talent that we can say with confidence “I’m better at that than most.” When I was selling wine for a local fine wine wholesaler, I learned over time what my great talent was: dealing with problem customers. If somebody was pissed of, if they kicked out their previous sales rep, 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…

A simple formula

Here’s the simple formula for success: Exceed expectations. Again and again and again and again and again. There. Done. Simple as that. (Moral of the story: you don’t have to complicate things to achieve success in business.)

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…

Trust

Trust can’t be measured, so as a result it’s rarely discussed in a performance or account review. There are few numbers we can attach to these questions. Therefore, because these are unquantifiable, they have become some of the most unspoken points within our industry. When you really think about it, isn’t this what it’s all about? Read More…

Opening new accounts – the first touch

Opening new accounts is the lifeblood of the wine wholesale business. If you’re not opening new accounts on a regular basis you are beholden to the slicing up of the market by competitors. New business is the only way to stay ahead of that curve. A simple prospecting tool is, of course, email. Make a form Read More…

The shotgun and the arrow

Two different wine sales reps, from two different companies, with two different ways of presenting wines and ideas to the same restaurant buyer looking for a new Cotes du Rhone by the glass. Sales rep 1: “Thanks for the time today. So I brought five Cotes du Rhone at a range of prices. All are 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…