The five percent, and the one percent

95% of all Champagne sold is produced by the largest houses and have the names we all know. 5% of all Champagne sold is Farmer Fizz, i.e. Recoultant Manipulant, stuff from the families and the little producers that ship tiny quantities their wines to the United States. For wine salespeople and marketers, the discussion usually 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…

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…

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…

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…

Passions vs. Skills

Two wine sales reps. Two different ways of doing business. Sales rep number one has a passion for what she does. She is so into wine! It’s her life. It’s all about the aromas, the flavors, the food, and the occasional travel. Wine is first and foremost the creator of her energy. A wine sales 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…