Orders are rolling in and people want to see you. You have alive accounts, enough wine to sell, and new wines coming into launch. Your run is busy. You feel confident and safe. Your accounts are a train gaining momentum…until…they aren’t.
When your group of accounts seems the most solid, like a battalion of ships that could never sink, do this as a practice:
OPEN MORE ACCOUNTS.
Not just the referrals, not just the ones that roll your way by chance, I mean actively seek out new accounts.
The stable run of accounts only exists in the land where DRC is always poured from magnum and restaurants are open forever…
Even though those around you may talk about your accounts like they are a sure thing, they actually never are. It takes a heroic amount of work to thoughtfully run a group of accounts successfully and consistently as a rep. Don’t ever sit back and think you have a gimme because it doesn’t actually exist.
Once your accounts reach a certain density and size, change is not only probable, it is inevitable. Buyers will move, restaurants will fail. What once was an account with a few glass pours will go away because of availability, or that new buyer will think the wines on the list that were working well work a little ‘too well’.
If you choose not to continually and actively develop your account base, you will reach a point where you will start to lose. This is the aging run phenomenon. The old-school salespeople will talk of days gone by when this wasn’t the case..but the market is much faster now. You have to be active.
“ Consistently opening new or underserved accounts is the only way to mitigate the volatility of the NYC market.
Like a wine list, a run of accounts has to be managed and developed. Keeping a fresh, diversified group coming up into your run of accounts is a necessity.
The opposite is also true: having too many accounts and running around paranoid opening new ones to replace others is an even more horrible road to take… the chicken with the head cut off approach isn’t pretty at all. The total accounts have to be viewed through the lens of the portfolio–there is no one size fits all approach. But go too far with opening accounts and you will know. This is why you have to not only open but develop.
When you start to relax into your sales run, think this:
Always. Be. Opening.