Blog

The trap of the in between

It’s easy for a wine shop or a restaurant to be average. Have average products for average people, give average service, and try to compete on price. It’s lazy, but

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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

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Your Wine Onboarding

When your organization hires a new employee, they have obviously been vetted a bit and know something about wine. But where they fall on that spectrum varies for each hire.

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What if? (50ml edition)

Time for another edition of What if? The pandemic is changing how we have to work, which means there is an opportunity to make things better. An opportunity, only once,

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What is your job?

Give me the one sentence answer to this questions: What is your job? “My job is to represent my brands to retailers and restaurants.” “My job is to grow my

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Four Months from Today

Welcome to SOND 2020. This is a final third of a year like no other. The global pandemic, the unrest in America, the upcoming election, and for those in our

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The Annual Review

Merry Christmas Eve, happy holidays, and Bestest Festivus to all! This is not the normal Vinethinking essay. It’s more important than that. This essay is about the Annual Review. The

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Payoff

It’s mid-November, and the sales call in this time of year changes in shape: the buyer has less time to meet with you, but orders more wine. Ironically, and seemingly

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What happens if …

… you present ten Pinot Noirs to an account, they don’t find joy in any of them, then a competitor presents just one and that makes it on the list?

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Your internal narrative

We tell ourselves stories. Stories of failure. Stories of hesitancy. Stories of contrast and scorekeeping. The tough part about our internal narrative is that it’s the driver of our actions.

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Six minutes

You just pulled into the parking lot of your next sales call. You’re about to bounce out of the car and rush right in. Hold on! Before going in, stop

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Customer management is not …

… telling your customers how it’s going to be. That’s not customer management. Customer management is done on the backside and in the shadows, not in front of your restaurant

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Choose carefully

Think about this: if you see an account for a good sales meeting 30 times a year, and you show them four wines at each meeting, you show them 120

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Calm waters and making waves

Swimming in the calm waters is easy. It’s fun. It’s what everyone wants to do. Swimming in the waves is harder, it’s challenging. It’s demanding. It’s not what everyone seeks

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Say thanks, now

We are on the cusp of the holiday seasons. Within the next ten weeks the stores will be packed with Halloween displays, followed closely by Christmas chaos. Our homes transform

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Free is never free

Freebies abound in the liquor industry. Look at the umbrellas on the patios, the credit card embossed checkout books, the logos on the beer mugs. And behind the scenes, free

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Speak three months ahead

This isn’t a sales trick, hack, or tool. It’s just a good habit for a wine sales rep to get into. Talk three months ahead. Not all the time, but

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A simple question to ask

“Is what I’m doing today improving my life?” Be it personal (physical health, mental health, personal finances, relationships), or work (solving problems, having control over your day, saying yes when

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Problems

Every organization, wholesaler, winery, and sales rep has problems. They may be small, they may be hidden, but there is a 100% chance they exist. How are the problems recognized?

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“What can I do to help?”

When delivered with honesty and empathy, is there a more powerful statement a person could possibly make? There are situations in life when simply offering help is not only the

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What do your wineries want?

What do wineries that you represent really want? “We want to be placed in the right accounts.” “We want to be a category leader.” “We want to grow our direct

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When it’s not working

When you know the uphill battle is not getting easier. When you know the problem account has no solutions and will never become better. When you know that stack of

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Tug of War

Watching a tug of war match is great fun. Two individuals or teams, if evenly matched, give it their all. Sweat, power, energy, and eventually a winner. But think about

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A challenge for today

I have a challenge for you. It has to be done by the end of the day. You’re responsible for it yourself, and only yourself. No bosses or managers to

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When things go wrong

In the relationship between a wholesaler and a retailer or restaurant, things will go wrong. It’s just a matter of time. A forgotten invoice. A screwed up delivery. A change

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Tools vs. Skills

The writer Neil Gaiman was on the Tim Ferris podcast. In the show, Tim asked Neil about his writing process and how he physically went about writing his wonderful books.

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Nothing is impossible

This was the great lesson of Apollo 11. Yes it may take 400,000 people. Yes it may take over $25 billion dollars. But the great lesson of late July 1969

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