Welcome to the last half of July

We are entering the deepest part of summer: the six week stretch ahead of SOND (September, October, November, and December … which is traditionally when half of the total wine sales happen in the United States).

That means two things:

  1. Time to start planning. Get out the calendar. Halloween, the presidential election, Thanksgiving, holiday shopping, Christmas and New Years. What are you plans? Topics for features and sales and promotions. Brainstorm. What is the schedule? Who is pouring in your shop? When are you doing staff trainings? How many commitments are you going to allow for yourself? Are you planning on working six days a week during the busiest time of the year? How about for the next six weeks?
  2. Time to take a breather. Beer season is upon us. Customers are taking long weekends off. Few big drops and spontaneous sales are happening during the peak of the warmer weather. Make sure your wines are in the cold box, make sure your grab-and-go Sauvignon Blanc is front and center, and you’ve done about as much as you can do.

Time spent planning now pays off in multiplied ways in two or three months.

Time spent trying to jam more sales down the throats of wine buyers this week takes away time for planning longer term.

Hint for wine wholesale reps: this two week span we are entering is the time to plan your in-store tastings and staff trainings (i.e. work outside of the normal 40 hour work week) for the rest of the year.  Start to fill your SOND calendar and do it based on growth year to date. “I’m up 16% with you and thank you! Let’s get me in on a Friday in November and a Friday in December for me to pour my wines in your store.” This achieves two things: proving to the customer that you’re looking out for them and making sure your time isn’t sucked into an account where the payback is less.

Now is the time to plan ahead.