Ground Game Defined
If you connect people to wine/spirits and you don’t just send email offers all day hoping someone will respond, your ground game will define your career. It is the difference between the professional and the passable/mediocre in the artisan practice of sales.
Unfortunately, typical management practices in the beverage business have created a debauched sense of what is best practice by asking for recaps, appointment counts and god knows what else with the mere goal of making sure people are doing their jobs and not emboldening a team to make waves.
The Strong Ground Gamer
Strong Ground Gamers observe and act by simply noticing.
They don’t “desktop surf” the marketplace, they walk the marketplace.
They don’t covet appointments, they promote dialogue.
They don’t show an ocean of wine to see what sticks, they get specific by putting themselves in their customers’ shoes.
They are led by truth and not by number. They are never dishonest in the pursuit of shipping an allocation.
They ask better questions, listen more intently and dance with the marketplace devil that will never be tamed or fixed, it will always be moving.
How do buyers know the difference? They know the difference as much as you know the difference between an artful buyer that creates a narrative in what they buy and offer and the hackneyed or self-interested.
Mostly it is in between the rests. The unsaid. But over time, you will always know who has Ground Game and who doesn’t.
The kicker is that the folks with real Ground Game don’t get caught up in the comparison – they just hone their craft on the daily.