Just like any job, being a Wine Sales Representative has its pros and cons. And while the job title can seem straightforward enough, everyone has a different perception of what people in the role actually do (it’s not all white tablecloths and sommelier tastings). Read on to get an inside glimpse of what it’s like to be a Wine Sales Rep, from people who have been in the role.
1. It’s Unlike Other Sales Jobs
Being in any sales role can be challenging: you’re trying to get someone to buy a product that they may or may not even like. Selling wine and spirits is an industry that (for most people) is highly relatable. Many wine reps will agree that the alcoholic beverage world is something fun to discuss as most people drink and can more easily relate to what you’re doing. In other words, it’s a fun and exciting product to sell.
2. It Takes a Strategic Mindset
Being a good salesperson means understanding the natural synergy of supply and demand. In other words, there’s a lot of strategy involved. While having deep knowledge of wine and spirits is a nice skill set to have, it’s not always mandatory. What is mandatory though is having a creative and strategic mindset to place certain products where they might not seem like a fit at first. The best advice? Know your customer.
3. It’s Important to Be Adaptable
Being a ‘chameleon’ and able to adapt to different situations is key for succeeding in this role. Wine reps will tell you that their days often vary and can take them from a dive bar at 9am to a white tablecloth restaurant in the evening to meet with a different buyer. Each environment is often unique so it’s important to adapt.
4. It Can Be a High-Pressure Environment
Most sales reps are tasked with selling a certain number of bottles of assorted wine and liquor during a given cycle. It can be a high-pressure sales environment because distributors often promise aggressive new numbers to suppliers. It takes an aggressive and hungry salesperson to be able to not only meet these numbers, but to succeed them. But there is a reward: you often get to keep the products you’re sampling.
While the role varies from company to company, most reps will agree that one of the biggest perks is the people they meet along the way. As a Wine Sales Rep, you often meet lots of interesting people and learn a lot about cultures and how other people work. In meeting these people, you get to talk about something that’s fun and engaging that people love to hear about it. It’s a win-win.
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This article originally appeared on Wine Enthusiast as part of our monthly series, ForceBrands Decanter: Opening Up the Conversation.