The Merchant23 Blog

Quick Question, Are You Qualifying Your Buyers?

Mar 10, 2019 4:00:00 PM / by Cyrus Azari

Before qualifying a buyer, make sure to know your buyer persona - and if not, figure that out before reading this!

Selling is difficult. This methodology will make it easier. Here at Merchant23, we like to use the methodology dubbed "ANUM." Make sure to have a buyer persona / target customer in mind before applying this method! Whats a buyer persona? We talk about it **here.**

When going through this process, keep your buyer persona in mind the whole time. This provides you a framework of reference while you navigate these steps. The purpose behind A.N.U.M (Authority, Need, Urgency, Money) is to take the pool of leads you have with your buyer persona and turn them into a qualified lead. 

A qualified lead is someone that fits the demographic of your product and has gone through the A.N.U.M process. Now, exactly how does A.N.U.M work? Read below to find out!


Leslie Ye, in her article "The Ultimate Guide to Sales Qualification" is very familiar with the ANUM process, echoing the sentiment of “a sales rep’s first priority should be to determine whether they’re speaking with a decision maker.” The same sentiment is echoed by marketing genius Niel Patel, in his article "Sell to Large and Enterprise Businesses Using This 16 Point Checklist" as he states  “In order to close a deal, you need to understand how decisions are made.” This is step number one for a reason, delineated below. Take a moment to understand how important this is before applying the this

Now, ask yourself, who will ultimately be authorizing the purchase order? Whoever it is, they are the one you need to convince and delight. Simple in concept, complicated in execution; for a variety of factors, such as:

1) The authority is constantly getting offers thrown at them everyday.

2) They are not available by phone/e-mail/a gatekeeper prevents you from talking to them, or they simply hate sales calls.

3) Your competitor can be offering them a similar product with a better price.

4) They are out on vacation.

5) Life, acts of god, really anything is possible for not reaching the authority.

Reach out three times, and if it does not pan out then move on.  Do not waste time - clearly they do not want whatever you have to offer. Everything hinges on talking to the authority, accept nothing less.


Once the authority is reached, you need to put on your consulting hat. You are nowhere near closing - think instead of how you can add value to this person. Ask questions in the vain of: what varietals, regions, and price points work for them. What does the authority emphasize when making a purchase a decision, is it margin? Does the authority specialize in a certain region (France only, New World only, etc.) or is the company more global? Are they a boutique wine buyer, or a bulk wine buyer (micro vs macro buyers Is it name recognition? Wine competition scores? Close outs? Exclusivity?  

Be an active listener. Ask the right questions -what are their pain points? What do they want to improve on at their business? Before you know it you will have a very good idea of what the authority is interested in and how a decision to purchase is made. The purpose is to understand what they need. It is very possible that you have nothing to realistically offer them. Why try to fit a square widget into the triangle shaped hole?

Consulting is the new closing, internalize this concept.


Many retailers operate on category reset dates, seasonal manual transitions, or seasonal menu changes. Sometimes retailers might buy things on a whim.  Make sure to ask when the prospect plans on bringing in new product so you can prioritize opportunities. You may have the right products, but the timing might be off. After all there is not a huge impetus for bringing in a Rosé in the dead of winter, now is there?  Its like Stephen Ngo in his article, "How Beer, Wine, and Liquor Sales Trend by Season (2017 Edition)" that “Wine still sees its highest on-premise sales in the autumn, with demand dropping off after the December holidays end.” Understand when the timing is right and then make your move accordingly.


When you make it this far, ask the question:“If all things align, and you like my product, how many cases would you bring in on your first order? What is your average time for reorder if the product does well?” The teleological end of A.N.U.M is to increase money to your pocket. Its as Zorian Rotenberg in the article "Lead Qualification: Don’t BANT. Just CHAMP!," says “Have they (the authority) set aside a budget to solve this challenge? If they don’t have the funds now, will they in the future?” Getting an idea of what commitment level is allows you to strategize around that. You can understand the timeline of business with the potential buyer, and can better anticipate when money will be coming in.

Big Bucks Rollin' In! 

Many wineries and distilleries need far fewer accounts then they actually think they need. Dave Lavinsky at Forbes, in his article “Pareto Principle: How To Use It To Dramatically Grow Your Business” states “ general, 20% of your customers represent 80% of your profits. And 20% of your time produces 80% of your results.” Concentrate your resources and times on the buyers that are excited about your product. Nurture the big accounts that do this, and the money will be rolling in. 

Find your market segment, and apply Authority, Need, Urgency, Money to it. Internalize this process, breath it, live it. We have a handy script to further help out here. You yourself will create your own style, allow these questions to fertilize the ground for you to organically modify this to your business. This is but a snapshot of the many facets, facilities, and efforts that it will take to create a successful brand. Stick to these tenets, work hard, and have the fortitude to have doors slammed in your face, and success will be your reward.

Topics: Wine

Written by Cyrus Azari

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