From the REPublic: can’t we all just get along?

November 4, 2011 · 8 comments

The lovely 3-tier system in our country ensures that each little post or submission that’s put up on this site has at least 2 other viewpoints. And we haven’t even dragged the consumer into this whole mess. So let’s see, we got winemakers, supplier sales managers, importers, distributors, territory sales managers, brand managers, sales reps, and of course winebuyers… who am I missing? Most likely a whole gaggle of folks. The point is, we’re all out there struggling and fighting, pushing and shoving, shouting and finagling, all for the same thing: a consumer’s wine purchase.


So you would think we would all be working together, our suppliers and our sales managers would be there to help eachother and to help us on the streets and even to help our winebuyers… and I believe we all TRY to work together, but there’s obviously often a disconnect somewhere in the chain. Here’s yet another facet: Dear supplier, From an On-Premise Sales Manager…

(FYI Supplier: I’m a sucker for a sales incentive, by the way. I don’t get them dangled in front of my nose very often, but as soon as I do, I’m off like a greyhound at the races after one of those silly little stuffed rabbits. But $5 a case? Yeah. Save it.)

Dear Supplier,

1: No one cares about medals… from anywhere. I don’t care if your chardonnay got the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism. No one cares.

2: No one cares about Wine Enthusiast, California Grapevine, Wine and Spirits, etc. Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate… period. If it is less than 90 points, don’t send it to me. Best Buy? No one gives a shit.

3: $5 case for an incentive. Keep it. No one gives a shit.

4: Incentive with house goal. Don’t waste your time. My reps are not going to bust their ass to help another rep get a trip to a spa in Napa. Don’t waste your time.

5: Thanks for the generous incentive. No, you do not need to come into the market and do ride-withs to drive your incentive. You put in the incentive, so we would sell your wine for you. Stay at home and play angry birds.

6: Do not request a power point projector for your sales meeting. We hate power point slides and we will hate you for showing them to us.

7: Do not talk about wines that we do not carry at your sales meeting presentation. If we can’t sell it now, we don’t give a shit.

8. Do not talk about wines you represent from another distributor at an account. If you do it at an account, you will be left at that account. You will have the rest of the day to discuss your other offerings.

9. Take notes during your work-with. Do not expect the rep to do the recap. If you don’t have a pen and a scrap of paper, we will give you one.

10: If your shit is stacked at local grocery and club stores, we will not sell it. We don’t give a shit what your bosses want.

11. I’m glad your national accounts rep got a mandatory placement at Applebees. If we have to follow up on it, then it is not mandatory. If it is optional, no one gives a shit…including the Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, Best Western, etc. Mr. Patel is not interested in ordering a Russian River pinot noir.

12. Do not remind us what a hot category Pinot Grigio is because you finally got around to making one. By the way, Pinot Gris is NOT Pinot Grigio. This also applies to the Malbec category with one caveat: if it is not from Argentina, please leave it in the bag.

13. Your Chardonnay sucks. Everyone’s chardonnay sucks. Chardonnay sucks. EVERYONE has a chardonnay.

14. We are not taking you to “Key Accounts”. We are taking you to the accounts that will see you on the day that you requested…period.

15. When we are done for the day, we are done. No, I do not want to have a drink or dinner with you. I just spent a whole day with you.

On-Premise Sales Manager

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