From the REPublic: pay your own damn staff

September 20, 2011 · 1 comment

I love me some extra special wine made with unicorn blood and fairy tears. 

Dear Wine Buyer:

I’d like you to think back to that day last month, when we had our scheduled meeting. Do you remember that I ended up being at the store for over two hours because you wanted all your staff to  taste the wines, and for me to educate them on the product? Although you liked all of the wines, we agreed that the ones brought into the store would be the ones that the staff agreed that they liked and could sell. This meant that instead of bringing in nine new products, it was actually three. I was okay with this because the staff were genuinely enthused about the wines, and their enthusiasm would trigger re-orders.

Interesting that a month later, you’ve suddenly contacted me wondering if there is any money for in-store tastings. Interesting also that you want me to pay your staff to sample these products with customers. I thought the reason you paid your staff was because it was their job to sell the products that you brought in to the store.
You see, I once worked in a  liquor store, and it was MY JOB to sell wines to customers. Customers want to be sold to- they aren’t happy buying the big brands that they always buy. They want to buy wines that the sales clerk loves, and can tell them a little about. All it takes is a little interaction beyond ” Can I help you?”. Everyone knows the answer to that question is always no. Try a little harder! Try saying ” Oh, do you like that wine? Because I just tried a similar one, and I thought it was amazing. Unlike your big-brand, it was made with unicorn blood and fairy tears, which makes it extra-special”.

While I don’t mind an in-store tasting happening now and then (although I’ve never seen a real increase in sales), it seems strange that you would ask me to pay your staff to do one. I have a better idea: how about your staff starts trying to sell the products while they are on-shift, and then, if there are any slow-moving SKUs, we can talk about doing an in-store tasting.

In the meantime, I will drop off wines for your staff to try, yet again, but I will not be paying them to do their job.

Thanks, and see you next month!
Wine rep

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: