Saturday, March 13, 2010
Being a Business Geek is as important as being a Wine Geek
Why do we see so many "unprofessional" people in the wine business that have great palates, and so many "professionals" in the wine business with crap palates? Why does being a wine geek and being a business geek need to be mutually exclusive? If you make great wine, is it "selling out" if you are good at selling it? Shouldn't all great wine rise above any sort secondary issues such as: lack of peripheral marketing materials, bad packaging, bad names, no easily retold story? In a perfect world maybe.
In the meantime, you need us on that wall (to paraphrase Aaron Sorkin). The truth is that great wine is irrelevant if no one gets to drink it. Selling wine doesn't have to be selling out. Selling out is selling wine you don't believe in. If that's you, you may as well be selling widgets, please get out of my way. If you believe in your wine, then what you learn about selling is proselytizing to the masses. If you are a wine geek, that is a powerful tool in your wine sales arsenal. It ultimately doesn't mean anything if you can't present though. Doesn't it stand to reason that if you hone your presentation, and strategy, start early, work late, have conviction, you will sell more great wine? Being sloppy, and disorganized will never help you sell wine. Are you telling the world that email is too insincere, and that you don't need to multi-task? Then you need therapy. Get it together, subscribe to Inc. and Fast Company, start reading books about Zingerman's and get your game on. Otherwise the guy with the TJ Maxx tie will kick your wine geek ass all over the street with Little Penguin. Because even if he doesn't know Gruner-Veltliner from Sylvaner, at least he knows how to sell.