You have permission …

… to take the simple path instead of the complicated path. … to take time off to rebalance and think big thoughts. … to find success while others struggle. … to put your own name and identity out there before your company. … to take a break after reaching goals. … to work smarter instead Read More…

The Bourdain Tragedy

Foodies, chefs, and lovers of all things food and wine got the terrible news on the morning of June 8th 2018: Anthony Bourdain was no longer with us. That it was suicide was particularly tough to hear and made it all the more frustrating and heartbreaking. Bourdain was one of those great characters on the Read More…

Let’s talk email

Efficiency is talked about often, and email is definitely one of the most efficient ways to communicate (in many ways too efficient, which is why it gets overused). In the spirit of efficiency some people use email well. And others do not. And it’s painful to watch (and read). Rules: Learn what BCC: is all Read More…

It’s not the age, it’s the attitude

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 Read More…

Tell and Show

When we are young, we have Show and Tell in elementary school. Then we grow up and become wine sales reps. And we continue our version of Show and Tell. We pop the cork, we show the wine, then we tell. Flip it around. Tell and Show. It works better that way. Tell your customer Read More…

The problem with being the first to say it

Sometimes the truth needs to be said. The problem is somebody has to say it first. “This brand really doesn’t fit our portfolio or our company style.” “That customer is not good for our business, even if they buy more and more wine.” “Your technique in selling is too abrasive and confrontational.” “The cigarettes you Read More…

Screwing up (gracefully)

You dropped the ball. Screwed up royally. There are no excuses. Somebody is going to be mad. The owner’s manual on screwing up gracefully reads pretty simply: Own it. Don’t make excuses. Don’t try to hide. Apologize. Hope for the best. Then apologize again. Too bad more people don’t have a copy of the owner’s Read More…

Overwhelmed

Too many commitments. Too many meetings. Too many things on the to do list. Too many emails in the inbox. Too many phone calls to make. Too many customers to see. Too many wines to sell. Too many things to organize. Too many, too many, too many! Many sales reps secretly (or subconsciously) see a Read More…

Proven and tested vs. taking a chance

When taking wine out to show to your accounts, take a moment to think about how you’ll present the wine in the context of the rest of the marketplace. A wine that has been proven and tested can be a big brand, stacked high at all other retailers, on the top ten hot brands list, Read More…

What work should you do today?

The answer is pretty simple, really. Do more of the work that proves to work well for you. Do less of the work that proves to not work well for you. More of what works, less of what doesn’t. Take the time to think about that as you make decisions on how to spend your Read More…

When problems happen

In the wholesale wine biz, life can seem like an ever-ending pattern of putting out fires. Wrong pricing. Wrong delivery. I need it NOW. I needed it yesterday. And on and on. The organizational structure of most wholesalers treats problems the same: “we will solve the problems as they come up because we believe in Read More…

Bird Brains: Proof that there are always haters

If you try to appease everybody all the time you eventually spend an inordinate amount of time appeasing the lowest of the low. In the wine business, there are legendary thugs and bullies that own liquor stores around the country or buy wine for such shops. They harass, they intimidate, they threaten, they position themselves for Read More…

Maybe you’re not selling wine today

You’re showing wine. You’re showing off bottles and labels. You’re pouring fermented juice in glasses for people that buy it for retailers and restaurants. But often the wine is just a prop. Often what you’re actually selling is yourself and the company you work for. The wine in the glass just happens to be something to talk about Read More…