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Supplying wine in a national hotel or restaurant chain is a dream for any label. May it be a chuckbuck, or a premium wine complex, if it’s a label, cracking a single deal with any national hotel or chain in the USA is almost an unfathomable big fish. From there on you indeed become one of the top dogs, and to your surprise, your wine may not have had played as much of a role as you think.
“Oh! Wow! We don’t have a product like that... That, won’t happen!” - Tim Hanni Mw
To shed better insight into that, below listed are 4 pointers that could prove a game changer to unlock those big accounts:
“There are more than 110,000 wines in the US according to the TTB”, William Sciambi, President of Drewmar Consulting Solutions said this at the conference about “Alcohol and Beverage Imports and Distribution” hosted by the Beverage Trade Network.
This makes it crystal clear, that there is anything but scarcity of quality wines in the wine industry. And not every quality wine is going to get a shelf space. Hence, this is going to require for you to get creative, and find solutions on how to make that shelf space. Imagination is the limit here, since when you are urging a buyer to make space on that shelf for your wine, it also means that you are asking to replace someone else’s wine with yours. You will need to make that switch worthy of the buyer’s time. One way of making shelf space on a retailer chain store is reversing the process, and instead of it being shelved and hoping for it to be sold afterwards, you may create an external buzz before by introducing your wine through other mediums and urging potential consumers that if they want to try it, they could send you the store name that they buy liquor from, and that then you will request the store to contact them once its available. These kind of strategies will interest the buyer since it assures demand for any supply even before it’s shelved.
You can’t be pitching in a distributor’s meeting with a head buyer of a national restaurant chain speaking in depth about your wine and where it comes from. He/She probably doesn’t care about that, since he/she buys quality wines everyday and is always presented with an array of quality wines to choose from. So, the question that arises is what is their reason to buy? And that’s where being totally aware about what you pitch and to whom you pitch comes into the picture. Its finding a gap that the buyer is trying to fill, or a gap that even the buyer didn’t realise, problem solving, profitability and so many more ways by which you can sell your wine with them. The only thing that you need to have is total awareness about who you pitch, and what.
What brings you to them?
It’s your big problem of selling your wine, which only they can solve.
Likewise, remember that they will most definitely make a deal with you if you solve their big problems. And that wouldn’t happen if you don’t know their problems well enough. If you don’t realise that they have hundreds of people who try to approach them and fail, you probably won’t crack the deal at all. Bringing your value to the table by providing real time solutions to some of their biggest problems that not only eradicates the problem but simultaneously proves generously profitable to them is what will emerge you out of that crowd of distributors.
“Be very very careful under marketing promises” – Tim Hanni MW
The last thing that a national chain wants is you promising on something, and not delivering on it. These promises could be from anywhere between delivering supplies to delivering services. If, you fail on delivering promised supplies, your reputation has atleast exited the country. There will certainly be a press release about that, and you will the likeliness of you becoming famous for the wrong reasons will be skyrocket. The odds of you returning from that kiss of death are close to the odds of anyone trying the Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 1992 vintage in an entire life time. So it’s best to deliver what you promise, than trying to recover an irrecoverable reputation.
“Believing in treasures came first, only then came the discovery”. - Anonymous