From the REPublic: Supplier Workwith Code of Conduct

October 31, 2011 · 5 comments

I wish I had time to add to this wine rep’s pleas to our dear suppliers… but O-N-D continues to march on into N, and I’m in the weeds. I’m sure you’ve noticed the lapses between my posts as of late. It’s not because my winebuyers have been behaving themselves, they’re still acting out as should be expected… it’s just that I have NO TIME. The good news is, I think my new friend has covered the bases pretty well, don’t you? I’m thinking of printing this list out as a flyer and handing it to my supplier for light reading material as we start our day.

Dear Supplier,

I know you think you know my customers, who I have called on for years, better than I do. So, when we are riding together please try not to muck-up the hard work I have put in for years with MY customers. I have taken an enormous amount of crap and have spent endless sales calls trying to build good will and credibility with my customers. I simply do not have the time to spend my entire next week apologizing for your bad behavior or pressure tactics. Yes, I know your wines are the best and everyone should be selling them or pouring them by the glass. In an effort to make our day together go smoothly here are some simple rules to follow:

1) Do not act like the customer’s best friend, even if you have been there before. It really creeps us out.

2) Do not get pissy if my customer and I review some items that need to be addressed during our visit even if they are not your wines. It is still my sales call and I need to invoice the products the customer wants to order so I can get a paycheck.

3) Do not think you can talk my customer into placing all your wines into his Friday night / Saturday afternoon tastings for the upcoming weekend. He or She will do what is best for their business.

4) Do not say, “I hope we see all restaurants today” without being forthcoming about your expectations PRIOR to me making all the appointments. You will be disappointed.

5) Do not think you can change up the accounts that I have worked hard to make appointments for our day together. No, we are not “swinging by XYZ restaurant” because you know the buyer. Read #4 again.

6) Do not get upset if a customer has to cancel. I know it sucks but if something comes up I cannot force my customer to see us. It happens all the time, get used to it.

7) Do not, for the love of God, spend your entire time in my car on your cell phone. We will run late if I have to spend 15 minutes outside my car, at every other stop, listening to my voice messages so I can get orders taken care of for my customers. Probably half of those messages could have been taken care of if I had a chance to answer the phone in the car but you were talking to everyone in the world while I drove you around. Interact with us, “What does your wife do for a living”, “Do you have kids”. Simple, human conversation works.

8) Do not complain if a customer likes your wine but does not order on the spot. Most of the good wine buyers will follow through and order the wines.

9) Do not, under any circumstance after our market visit, have the audacity to send me an email with a spread sheet asking me fill in who we visited, who liked what wines and who purchased which wines. I will not do your job unless you want to send me your paycheck. Read the reports our office sends you every month. Better yet, take notes while back in the car instead of talking on the phone.

10) Quit sending emails to all MY customers about your entire f’ing portfolio. It irritates them to find an email every day about your wines in their inbox.

Finally, please do Thank the customer for taking time to see us. Thank the customer, even if they order just one bottle of wine. You never know who may buy the wine….

Wine Rep

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