What is missing?

Late August is a unique time in the wine sales and retail game. It’s a moment for a pause, a final vacation, a little breath before September rolls in.

It’s also a great time to ask what is missing and start to work to fix it before the busy season hits.

For a sales rep, you may be missing a system. A system that keeps you on track and organized, making sure not to forget items on a to-do list.

Solution: look into software such as Asana, using it just for yourself instead of with a team, to be able to organize reminders based on the date due.

For a retailer, you may be missing knowledge and enthusiasm in your staff for regions they have never been to. It can be hard to talk enthusiastically about Bordeaux or Portugal or even Washington without having had boots on the ground.

Solution: check out the incredible V is for Vino series on YouTube, and assign your staff to watch certain episodes. Take it one step further and have “Portugal month,” where the new knowledge combines with sale pricing for the customers, then compare last year to this year on sales in the category.

For a restaurant, you may be missing new ways for your staff to talk about the wines by the glass. Can they describe them? What words do they use? Are they confident about the beer and spirits but lacking when it comes to the wine?

Solution: have the entire staff revisit and taste one wine that is served by the glass, and have them fill out a card that describes the wine without using aromas or flavors. Push them out of their comfort zone. Think about music and songs, art, emotions, and more. Then post everyone’s card for everyone to see. This gets the brain moving in different ways when it comes to describing aromas and flavors, plus it’s just plain fun. Some wines are Elanor Rigby, and some are Helter Skelter. One of my favorite results of this exercise was a server (who wasn’t confident about wine) wrote, “it makes me think of butterflies and springtime, and flowers and oceans. I don’t know why.” Interestingly, after the exercise, she sold more of that Vinho Verde than anyone else on staff.

What are you missing?