With the wholesale environment shifting towards Winery-Direct and Direct-to-Trade sales, wineries are moving away from distributor-centric sales and instead are taking on the job themselves. For many people, this is an exciting yet daunting task. Where to begin? Who do you talk to? How do you get a Buyer to purchase your products? Thankfully, we have answers for you.
The alcohol industry is shrouded with questions, confusion, and secrets. At Merchant23 we are huge supporters of transparency, which is why we've decided to share our sales teams' cold-call script with you. We've used this script on a large range of Buyers from Cost Plus World Market to mom & pop liquor stores. It's had an incredible 90% success rate of qualifying leads for our sales team —and now it's yours.
✓ Know the name of your in-state distributor partner before calling (not sure/don't have one? You do through Merchant23. Sign up here for free.)
✓ Target your accounts wisely. We recommend:
Liquor stores with 10,000,000 in annual revenue or more
Regional grocery chain with 10,000,000 in annual revenue or more
✓ Do your research:
Check the company's website
Look through the company’s Twitter
✓ Read their Blog
✓ Research the prospect or store and find an icebreaker (commonality remark)
✓ Research LinkedIn for the decision makers' name
✓ Find one fun fact about the decision maker
✓ Have an example on hand of a similar client that you already do business with
You: Hi (Buyer's first name) this is (your name) from (your winery).
You: Commonality remark.
You: I work with wine and spirits retailers that are looking to increase profitability while maintaining a competitive advantage. Is that something you’re interested in?
You: Great. Can I ask you a couple of questions that would help me understand you and your customers buying preferences?
You: What's the biggest pain point you’re having right now as a liquor retailer?
*This is where qualifying the account, or ANUM, comes in. ANUM is an acronym for Authority, Number, Urgency, Money. You will ask a series of questions to complete the ANUM. If you receive answers to each question, you've successfully qualified your lead.*
A) Authority; is the person on the phone the decision maker?
You: Are you the wine buyer?
IF [NO]: Can I have that person's email to send them over some info on our wine offers?
N) Need: What are the needs of the person you're calling?
You: What retail price points do most of your customers buy at?
You: What varietals sell best in your store?
You: What regions sell the best in your store? (CA, France, AUS)
You: Are you open to wines from other regions if the varietals are familiar?
U) Urgency: What is their timeline like?
You: If I have products that fit your needs, when would you plan on bringing them in?
You: What’s your buying schedule like?
You: Are there any products lagging in your inventory that you would like to replace?
M) Money: What are their buying capabilities?
You: On average, how many cases of each item would you be bringing in at a time?
You: What price points do you need to hit?
You: Great I really appreciate you taking the time to answers these questions, I think I have enough info to get started, do you have any questions for me?
You: *Answer Questions* I’m going to put a list of my products together that I think would be a good fit and I’ll email it over to you this afternoon. If I don’t hear back from you would it be okay if I follow up in the next 48 hours?
You: Awesome, I’ll get that list over to you and we’ll go from there.
You: Thank you (Buyer's name), have a good day.
Key Takeaway Points
Many people have a tendency to stick to the main markets: Illinois, Texas, California, New York, Florida. We have found that those markets often tend to already be saturated (when we say 'we have found' we mean that our sales team has cold-called over 3,000 retailers, restaurants, and bars in the United States, and 'we have found' that some markets are very full while other regions of the country are starving for new products). Try calling accounts in North Carolina, Iowa, Colorado, Massachusetts - think outside the box. You never know where your products might build a following!