Restaurants are treated like a disposable convenience for a lot of people. They – for some reason – book multiple venues for a single meal and don’t bother to cancel the ones not making the final cut. They seem to expect that restaurants, their stock and their staff can just magically appear when required or equally disappear into the mist when a different option is selected. But restaurants have bills to pay. They hire staff and procure adequate supplies to be able to feed and water their booked people.
And then the dreaded no-show. It’s rude, essentially. But there are reasons, obviously. Medical or family emergencies. Unforeseen… something. It happens.
The deliberate no-show, however, merits blacklisting. It damages business.
One would think these businesses might be equally as aware of how their actions might translate… Should the shoe be on the other foot.
Sales reps get a rough trot sometimes. They are pushy by nature. They bug venues for appointments, take notes, and inexplicably remind venues of wines over which they’d enthused. But this is the job. Bugging for appointments. Being on time. Knowing what might work and what is on special in a nearby venue. Information is the core of what they do. And occasionally it goes skewiff, but generally? A LOT of work goes into planning a day, a week, a month.
And money, obviously. Because time allocated in one place is time not used elsewhere. Time WASTED in one place is lost business. Reps drive to venues. They pay for parking. They allocate time and outlay to the work, the appointment. They generally open wine in advance, check that it is looking as it should. Selling wine is a job. It costs money to accomplish. It costs wine. And many people only get paid a commission or a minimal retainer which covers nothing much at all. They make their income when sales come through.
Venues not ACTUALLY cancelling appointments but kinda not rocking up are no better than the no-shows they despise. They are screwing with someone’s job and income for no real reason other than their own disorganisation or unwillingness to be professional.
We get it, you know. We understand that you are busy and that things crop up. It happens to the best of us.
And dealing with wholesalers CAN be a chore. But we are also your suppliers.
We work to YOUR requirements. Show you viable wines. Negotiate the pouring discount you need. We train your staff, and eat in your venues to better understand your needs. We send people to your venues. We host events with you.
So please. Understand that when we make an appointment with you, and schedule to have certain wines open that we are conducting OUR business. Show up. Pay attention. Take notes. Or, honestly? Don’t make a time. Tell us you will never list our wines and we will take our business, our wines and our time elsewhere.
Have a little respect for the time and effort that planning our weeks in order to be the best business for our producers might take.
Those bottles we open? HAVE A COST. Our time? Has value.
Ignoring our emails or just refusing to make a time? Also not helpful. Do you know what I might have to show you or are you going to dismiss me out of hand? If you have zero interest, just TELL US. We’ll go see someone who wants to see the wines.
For a start, getting a reputation as being that buyer who is difficult? That WILL follow you. We talk to each other. Word gets out when professionalism goes AWOL.
Sure. Sometimes we just want to stamp our feet and demand that people pay us a degree of respect. But we don’t. We call, we email. We bring in wines. Don’t treat our business like a free tasting. Don’t condescend to give us an appointment when you have zero intention of buying anything but personally just want to try the wine. Or whatever the excuse might be.
We respect your role, your experience, your voice. It does go both ways, though. We get that stuff happens. We’re not incompetent.
A teensy bit of respect goes a long way. Those venues? Those buyers? Get first dibs. Get allocations of limited stuff. Get the time with amazing winemakers when in town. Get the deals.
Some venues may think they get the best of their reps. Despite treating them appallingly. Or ignoring them. Because the venue (or worse, the buyer) is too important.
Nope. Play nice. Be honest. And don’t waste our time. Easy.