One of the toughest jobs out there is working as a wine sales rep. You’re competing with so many people trying to do the same thing as you and it can be hard to distinguish yourself from the others. You need to give your prospects a reason to believe you’re better than the rest; they should trust you and the product you’re selling. There are a few ways you can stand out from the crowd and we will look at some of them now. Note this stuff down. You will need it!
Are you a Wine Person?
If not, it’s probably time to become one. If the buyer doesn’t believe you like what you’re selling, they’re not going to buy your product. Even if you’re not a fan of drinking wine, you should at least like the idea of it. If you don’t fit either of these profiles, well, at least you gave it a shot. But if you are a wine person and want to get into the wine sales industry, read on.
A good way to get involved in the wine community is to attend wine tasting classes. These are a great way to learn about the different wines while building your network. It’s killing two birds with one stone. You have the opportunity to try some high-quality wine samples and you wouldn’t be paying for it. I think that’s awesome, don’t you? And while this doesn’t mean you expense the wine for your parties through your company, you can have some fun.
There are other ways you can increase your buyers’ trust in you. One way is to take the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) certification. It’s not absolutely necessary but it’s a great way to show you’re knowledgeable in the field and know what you’re talking about.
Sell a Brand you Believe in
Some individuals can sell products they’ve never used with flair, but that’s not the case for wine sales rep. Selling wine can be difficult, especially if you’re not invested in it. Like the brand of wine you’re selling. If you don’t, switch to one you like. The brand you’re selling needs to be both high quality and offer a variety in terms of price, taste and quantity. Buyers trust your product more if you’re able to offer them a variety of quality products. You become their trustworthy supplier, someone irreplaceable. That's the best way to maintain a stable and sustainable income being a wine sales rep.
Take Advantage of Technology
In a technology dependent age such as ours, it’s important to use certain tools to our advantage. Tools that can help you find leads and plan your schedule for the day is worth investing in. Selling wine is a unique market and it can be hard to find the right leads to follow. Time is the most valuable factor in sales and technology has given us the opportunity to divide our time into more important avenues of sales. Taking advantage of these tools can be the difference between making your quota and breaking it. There are a bunch of applications out there that can help you be a more efficient wine sales rep. If there was one that stands out, it would be Badger Maps. Ultimately, it’s a decision you have to make to improve your productivity out in the field.
The internet can also be a great source of information. If you’re curious about how other wine sales reps are doing their job or want to know more about wine, there are plenty of forums on social media. Reddit and Quora or other third party forums like cafeb2bsales offer some good insight into the wine sales industry.
Where do I Start?
Piqued your interest? Good, let’s look at getting into the industry. You have probably heard this one before, but word of mouth is a good place to start, especially if you are already in an industry that deals with similar products. The connections you have here can guide you in the right direction and give you some insight as to what you can expect in wine sales. Getting to know the various importers’ names can be fairly easy. Just take a look at the back of the label on wine bottles, they’re not very hard to remember.
Job hunting in the wine industry is similar to any other industry, hard and exhausting. Use portals like winejobs.com to help you find sales rep positions in the industry. As mentioned before, going to wine tasting meetups will give you the opportunity to meet the importers. This is a great networking opportunity so make sure you bring your business cards. Remember, this is a great opportunity to find work, so keep it professional (read: refrain from getting drunk).
Patience and persistence are without a doubt the most important traits a wine sales rep needs to be successful. Dealing with new accounts is never easy and being part of such a specific industry can be very demanding. It might take you several years to be a successful wine sales rep who is both confident and comfortable with their role. If this is what you’re looking for, several importing companies might hire you! It’s time to spruce up that resume and your knowledge about the wine sales industry - and some core strength. After all, you’ll need to carry around those bottles!
And there you have it short and sweet. In another position, you could’ve been reading the much longer article “How to Become a Life Insurance Sales Rep.”