I’ve had two interesting interactions in the last week.
The first was with a young and freshly minted Somm who works as a sales rep for a distributor. His sales style, his pitch, his attitude, his focus, and his energy were all about him. And talking with him got old really fast.
The second was with a forty year veteran of the wine business, who is not a Somm, who works as a sales rep for a distributor. Her sales style, her pitch, her attitude, her focus, and her energy were all about curiosity, help, questions, intrigue, new ideas, new angles, and fresh thoughts. I could have talked with her for five hours.
Age, Somm diplomas, and ‘time in the industry’ means nothing compared to curiosity, questions, new ideas, and genuine interest in helping the customer before helping yourself.
Yes there are grizzled vets stuck in the mud of their own creation, unwilling to grow and unwilling to be challenged. Yes there are new faces in the industry, full of fresh energy and doing the right thing.
And then there is the opposite.
It’s not the age, it’s the attitude.