“How to inspire a Wine Salesperson”
The million-dollar question in the NYC Beverage Market today isn’t about inventory or debt ratio or the “quality” of the producers in the portfolio but actually, how do you inspire a wine salesperson? How do you build a sales team that can make the market move?
I know Companies wrestle with these questions: Why aren’t they taking this wine out? Why aren’t they putting this in their bag ? (I hate this phrase, BTW). Why are certain producers being forgotten? Why do the salespeople lack energy?
The below may have an answer or three – and it speaks less to the product and more to how to inspire your team. Portfolio Managers/Owners/Upper Management take a gander…
Before you go further, this is a FACT: enlarged commission is rarely the answer. Daniel Pink has written extensively about this; money presents like the answer to motivating others, but it rarely is. Can you think of anything else?
Telling a better story
Tell your salespeople a spectacular and also true story. Especially about the Company that they work for. Give them something to believe in. Building trust drop by drop and word by word with honesty and thoughtful care is intentional and takes real work. A sales team that believes and trusts is unstoppable.
Besides all the technical and “do you like this” talk in a sales meeting, have you passed along a vision of where the producer’s wine belongs?
If you can translate the producer through your lense of the marketplace you will win more often. Show the sales team you see the spaces where the producer fits in.
Have you communicated a gem that isn’t on the tech sheet and/or isn’t some droning handharvested/nativeyeast/lowsulphur BS? That isn’t a story. If a salesperson walks out of a meeting, feels like they have met the producer, and wants to tell others – you are laughin’.
Less Email, more “Eye to Eye”
Is sending more emails to the team working for you? Great results? I doubt it.
Email may feel like the go-to move, but try connecting more eye to eye. Salespeople want to be seen and heard, and email often isn’t the best tool for that. If you are mad when your emails aren’t read, it might be your fault – maybe consider some other way?
The Micromanage Move
Micromanaging doesn’t work. Full stop. Managers who micromanage don’t know how to teach or inspire. Stop micromanaging and lead with actions. Offer a helpful suggestion, an empathetic action and work in some follow-through. The salespeople are the buyers of a wine company – if they are micromanaged and not connected to properly, you are going to see company consequences that hurt.
“ A sales team that believes and trusts is unstoppable.
TALK. LESS. SHIT
This may seem obvious, but talk less shit about the salespeople. Complain less. Try this for a change: how can I help them? Is it possible that the problem is my tactic?
Respect that salespeople earn…(high energy output and low gross profit for the salesperson is not a good formula – no matter how it is packaged).
Some folks need repetition. Repeating something with a slight alteration so it doesn’t present like some sort of corporate-speak can really help. Think of how sticky natural is. That word was repeated by the godfathers of the tribe for a reason. Find something that resonates with the sales team and repeat.