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 out. It takes a special type of person to seek out the waves.

And then there are the wave creators. The ones that make the change happen. This is a very special individual, one that pushes creation and challenge in the marketplace.

Selling for the Industrial Wine Complex means trashing around in the calm waters. You need to be where everyone else is, and be the one with the loudest brand and lowest prices. It can be exhausting.

Selling wine in low-demand categories, with higher prices and obscure varieties, is swimming in the waves. Try selling Savagnin from Australia, or wines from the Jura. There is a market, but it is small. Selling these wines can be just as exhausting as selling big brands but without the payoff of large orders. (Without any data to back me up, I would guess YellowTail Chardonnay outsells obscure Savagnin from Australia by about a million to one.)

Selling wine by making waves is the most challenging model of them all, but ultimately one of the most rewarding. Instead of just trying to place the Savagnin from Australia, convince the retailer to make for a whole New Australia section, separate from the Industrial Aussie juice and big names. Instead of trying to get three retail placements of that Jura, combine a restaurant and retailer for a Jura tasting and dinner, giving you a chance to educate the end consumer. Doing this work can be exhausting, but the satisfaction of being THE changemaker pays back in big ways.

What waters are you swimming in? Are you making waves?

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