Some wine buyers …

… are in it for the juice. It’s all about the wine. You have to leave them alone while they taste it, eyes closed and covering one ear, ala Miles in Sideways.

… are in it for the story. They want the history, the background, the links to other wineries, the hero’s journey.

… are in it for the spiffs. The trips, the lunches, the dinners, the free openers and t-shirts. Give them a hat and you can sell a case. Take them to lunch and you can sell a stack. Fly them to Oregon and you can sell a year’s worth of Pinot Noir.

… are in it for the price, and no price is good enough. In their eyes, the more they hammer on the price and get it as low as can be and the more they pound their reps and watch them squirm, the better the wine becomes.

… are in it for the glory. They want to proclaim to the world that they found this wine. They want to be first out of the gate, and will attach their name to that bottle forevermore. Ten years later, “You know, I was the first to find that in our state…”

… are in it for their boss, translating somebody else’s ideas and trying to effectively do what they need to, day after day without rocking the boat and without attaching their ego to any purchases.

And how do each of these examples measure their success? Very, very, very differently.