from the REPublic: human doormat no longer

December 14, 2011 · 2 comments

This reader-submission perfectly illustrates the problem with being too nice, with being too available, with being too responsive to our winebuyers with nothing in return. It’s somewhat akin to the first few months of dating, right? We all cringe when we watch our best girl friend run for the phone and answer on the first ring when there’s a man in her life, the enthusiasm dripping from her breathless greeting, only to be asked by said man for another female friend’s phone number. The guy strings her along unknowingly as she fails miserably at playing hard to get… eager as a puppy dog to please.

But that’s a problem, right there. We’re not supposed to play hard-to-get in our line of work. Go ahead. Call me on a Saturday night. Well, actually… I probably won’t answer… but send me a text message and I’ll text you back. Did you sell out of a particular wine that my warehouse can’t deliver to you until next Wednesday? If I have samples on hand, I’m happy to lend them to you. I’ll even drive up to 10 miles to bring them to you on a Sunday, provided you support me in kind. Buyers, please recognize the time and attention we lavish on you and your staff. We do expect something in return: your order and at least a shred of gratitude.

Dear WineBuyer,

Do You remember this conversation we had last week

Me: I am really glad that you liked said Pinot Noir. Since you agree you like the packaging, pricing, story, and taste why not add or replace it onto your menu?

Buyer: I’ll have to remember that for the future

Me: You really like it though, is it because you don’t want to reprint the menu right now?

Buyer: No I can print these here at any time, but I just bought a case of sparkling rosé and don’t have space in my inventory

Me: I’m curious, who did you get the Rosé from?

Buyer: Tom

Me: Oh does Tom put together staff trainings and run docksales to you every week?

Buyer : No

Me: Did you first call Tom last Friday at 11 pm when your guest had a question about wine?

Buyer: No, but you are always there for me when I need you.

Me: You’re welcome, so you are basically telling me that I am the most consistent and supportive of your suppliers?

Buyer: Yes, you are great to us.

Me: Then Why Haven’t You Bought Any Of The Wines I Have Tasted With You In The Last Four Months?

Buyer: mumble mumble I’ll Buy the Pinot From You next week


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