BeverageTradeNetwork's Guide To Pitch Wine Chain Stores

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THE KEY TO MAKING ON-PREMISE RETAIL CALL IS PREPARATION AND PLANNING. A GOOD SALESPERSON KNOWS TIME IS LIMITED WITH CHAIN BUYERS. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOUR GOALS AND OBJECTIVES ARE CLEAR IN YOUR MIND PRIOR TO MAKING THE CALL. BE PREPARED TO OVERCOME OBJECTIONS AND CONVINCE THE CUSTOMER YOUR PRODUCTS ARE BEST SUITED FOR THEIR NEEDS.
Here is a checklist for Craft Brewers and Small Wineries making a on-premise chain call

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BeverageTradeNetwork's Guide To Pitch Wine Chain Stores

  1. 1. Guide OnHow to Pitch On-PremiseChainsBeveragetradenetwork.com
  2. 2. • The key to making on-premise retail call is preparation and planning. A goodsalesperson knows time is limited with chain buyers. It is important that yourgoals and objectives are clear in your mind prior to making the call. Beprepared to overcome objections and convince the customer your productsare best suited for their needs.• Here is a checklist for Craft Brewers and Small Wineries making a on-premise chain call—no matter the size of the Chain:Beveragetradenetwork.com
  3. 3. Beveragetradenetwork.com1.) Orientation to the Buyer—the rep needs to make an appointmentwith the buyer—2 weeks in advance in the norm but it could take alot longer to get an appointment on the first call. To do thateffectively, you need to “know the buyer.” You should know not onlythe buyer’s contact information (HQ location/address, direct phoneline, email, fax #, Facebook account, Twitter account, website, andadministrative assistant’s name), but you should also know theirfavorite sport, their favorite types of food, their wife and children’snames, their birth date, their hobbies and what they enjoy to do onweekends. This is a relationship that takes a lifetime to master.
  4. 4. 2.) Analyze the Chain Buyer—the rep needs to ask questions aboutthe products that they buy, the number of people they see, and whatkind of programs they need to generate high profitability andturnover for their organization.See if the buyer will provide results on previous promotions that thechain has implemented and programs that they have been sold bythe other Craft Brewers and Small Wineries. You can set the stagefor creative programs that you havedeveloped that will result inhigher profitability and sell-through for this chain.Beveragetradenetwork.com
  5. 5. • 3.) Sell the Chain Buyer On Your Brand—explain to the retailbuyer your Company’s Philosophy in selling craft beer and/or artisanwines. Also, review the background History on your Company andits growth.• 4.) Chain Store List—if you were unable to secure this off theInternet, please request a full store list and match that up to yourdistributors and provide the Buyer with a Market Coverage Plan.Beveragetradenetwork.com
  6. 6. • 5.) The Presentation—use a laptop if possible. You can always leave ahard copy behind. Powerpoint slides should cover your Company’sHistory, brand’s positioning in the market, articles about growth,financials if you want to them to be public, media plans for the brand,pricing and discounts planned, sales promotion programs, POSsupport, merchandising programs, wait staff incentives, tastingprograms and manager education sessions (these can be done in therestaurant/pub/arena or at your Brewery or Winery if local).• 6.) Pricing Is Important—your wholesaler should have you wellprepared of his frontline price (case 1), and a “deal” price (if there isone). The gross margin you are showing in your slides should becompared to, in the case of craft beers—premium beers; in the case ofartisan wines--national wines. Holiday price promotions are a given, butdon’t forget to provide ideas for food pairings, chocolate or dessert tie-in’s, happy hours, off-sale specials, value-added tie-in’s with gift cardsor coupons and cross merchandising with their brands.Beveragetradenetwork.com
  7. 7. • 7.) When National Chains Don’t Return Your Phone Calls orEmails—even though you may be a very persistent sales rep, theChain Buyer may not believe your brand is big enough to create thedemand of one of the National Brands in front of you. This requires adifferent approach. Many times you need IRI or Nielsen data andyou don’t have it because you’re not in the scanned stores.• If this is the case, then your Craft Brewery and/or Artisan Wineryneeds to start building a track record by targeting small, but well-known, on-premise retailers to carry one or two of you best sellingcraft beers and/or wines. You then focus on a or target this chain fora “perceived hole” in their craft beer line-up or wine program. Thismay include a flight of craft beers or wines, but usually it is all aboutthe “best seller” you know will turn once you’re in.Beveragetradenetwork.com
  8. 8. • 8.) Demographics By Product Quality and Price Point—Most on-premise chains have a tiered craft beer or artisan wine program.They have different clientele coming in at different times or ondifferent days of the week. Your job is to identify the on-premiseaccounts that fit your demographic profile and determine where theopportunities exist.• 9.) Timing is Important—most Chain menus are reset at or justafter the beginning of the Calendar Year. Keep this in mind whenbooking your Chain Buyer appointment and get in there first!Beveragetradenetwork.com
  9. 9. • 10.) Upselling Your On-Premise Chain - Many times the menu in a Chain ofeven nice restaurants, pubs, or upscale bar & grills has little to be desiredbecause the bar manager or chain buyer doesn’t drink craft beer and/or wine.This becomes a significant profit opportunity for you to “up-sell” the Chain onyour Craft beers and /or wines. Here’s a few suggestions on how to accomplishthis:•a. Develop food pairings with your wines and/or craft beers• 1.) Match red meat with red wine and white meat with white wine• 2.) Match red meat with darks ales a, porters and stouts• 3.) Pair fish with low-tannin wines, like Pinot Noir, Chianti and Merlot• 4.) Pair fish with citrusy IPA’s or Pale Ales or Belgian Ales• 5.) For desserts offer sweet wines, like Port, sparkling wines, and Riesling• 6.) For desserts offer lagers, or marzens that have sweet malts• 7.) Pair spicy and fried foods with white wines like sauvignon blancs, pinotblancs or brut champagnes.• 8.) Pair spicy and fried foods with brown ales, ambers or Irish Style Red Ales—they are perfect compliments to the meal.Beveragetradenetwork.com
  10. 10. •b. Sell “Local”—many Chain buyers like to support “locally-brewed”beers or “locally-made” wines.• c. Sell the fact that your Craft Beer and/or Wine may be the #1 sellerat their major competitor’s place—this can backfire, but it neverhurts to have success somewhere and make sure the Buyer knowsthe type of volume you’re doing in the same neighborhood or in thatcity.• d. Follow the Trends—stay with varietals and beer styles that are“hot” but put your own spin to them.• e. Develop “on-premise” brands only—brands that are not sold inthe grocery stores or the drug chains. These wines and/or specialcraft beers are very appealing to the on-premise chains due tomargin structure and the ability to hand-sell them, restaurants have“:power” and they can actually create the trends talked about above.Beveragetradenetwork.com
  11. 11. • 11.) Summary Of Your On-Premise Playbook• a. Book your appointment right around the first of the year and don’twaste the buyer’s time—do your homework and be prepared!• b. Showcase your craft beer and/or artisan wine—tell themeverything they need to now to make an educated businessdecision.• c. Make sure you tell the Buyer “why” your Craft Beer or Wine fitstheir strategy and their menu or feature lists.• d. Inform the buyer of all of your support materials and what you willdo to make the product turn in their stores or restaurants. They don’twant products to gather dust in their store rooms or in their coolers.• e. Ask for the order! Too many times, the reps goes in, makes asterling presentation of everything the Buyer wants for their Chain,and the rep leaves without asking for the order. Don’t let that happento you!Beveragetradenetwork.com

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