These are my pillars of sales in the NYC beverage market. The concepts I keep going back to.
I most definitely don’t think I have this figured out – my views evolve every day.
But here is what comes to mind right now. I hope it helps.
Decide what you are trying to do – And it can’t be moving boxes. Get to the core so you have a reason and the belief to back it up. This is invaluable when the work we do lacks the luxury of constant products or customers. We work in the top market in the world in NYC and it is as volatile as it gets.
I know it sounds woo woo and/or eastern, but I promise you that having a philosophy holds the keys to the castle.
You must have a cadence with your customers. Now – there will be some sales manager saying you have to see everyone every month, etc. If you can – lucky you. In my experience, it just isn’t how the world works.
Figure out another way.
Study the market you work in. Know the props, players, trends, young and old. You will never know it all and you will be surprised often. BUT, You will gain in perspective – and that is the only way to perform well over a sustained period of time.
“ The truth is that it isn't the wine in the bag that sells, it is the dialogue that sells.
Calm and Cool
I have been meditating for years, I highly recommend it. And one of my best friends (also a legendary sales guy) always took weekends and a few weeks in August to get some headspace and clarity.
Work in some serious breaks for yourself.
In concert with breaks, it is vital that you create some boundaries with your work – or you will ultimately have to fight to save your sanity.
Do you answer every email as it comes in? Do you take time for yourself? If you don’t create some boundaries, you will be drinking too many negronis to forget how burnt out you are…
Systems and the need to let go
I have tried everything from Salesforce to Mailchimp. I am constantly tinkering (sometimes to my own detriment) with what I utilize to communicate well and keep track of details with. I look for systems that will work for me and my own style.
Find what works for you.
Even still, I still miss on a ton of shit. Details, offers, timing, customers…you name it.
To put it plainly: I still fuck up. A LOT. And I think I have a decent mind and fairly sharp intuition to go with it. But I still swing and miss, or forget to swing at all.
BOTTOM LINE: LEARN TO LET IT GO. I took a long time to learn this lesson. You don’t have to do it the hard way as I did.
By the way: don’t let it go in a jerky or distant way as if nothing matters – but you have to move on from the things you miss on or they will pull you down and hold you back.
The real game
It takes no talent to sell the wine that everyone wants. Sometimes you can’t give them as much or you have to say no, but basically a robot could do the whole thing.
The next level shit is dialogue. The conversation you are having.
The truth is that it isn’t the wine in the bag that sells, it is the dialogue that sells.
Most people in this market are very confused about this concept (I admit there is some nuance to it).
Ultimately, this business is the people business and not the wine business.
At least until someone figures out how to put everything we do on a spreadsheet…*
*I was asked by a well-known design thinker and AI specialist if I could put everything I do on a spreadsheet. I have tried: IMPOSSIBLE.
He said to me: AI has no shot and no robot will replace you.