In today’s issue, I’ll share my 5-step process to improve your approach to selling to on-premise outlets.
By adopting this hunting process, you’ll spend time better. You’ll likely increase your strike rate in the right outlets.
Unfortunately, most people lack a pragmatic system. They are getting rejected or focused on the wrong outlets.
Winning in On-trade is about having a tested hunting system to guide your decisions
Without a system in place, you’ll encounter a few challenges.
Challenge 1: You focus on the wrong outlets. People will recommend you to get a hunting list. The problem with those lists is that you’ll focus on the hottest places in town. If you search online you’ll end up with the same list as all the salespeople in your city. You’ll focus on the wrong, hard-to-get outlets
Challenge 2: The wrong bars reject you. You may have heard they don’t have time for you, or that the manager is not there. Showing up at the door of people who don’t want to buy you is a waste of time. Many bar owners now do their research online or through word-of-mouth. They have already made up their mind about what brands to stock. You need to create the demand for your brand before you’re going to capture it with a visit.
Challenge 3: Unbalanced relationships. By focusing on those above, you will affect your mood. The moment you walk in, you’ll feel you’re in a lower position. If successful, you'll base those relationships on favors and you'll be always "on-call".
Challenge 4: The wrong outlets will have slow velocity: In case of success, they may try one bottle. They will make you sweat for any new small sales. Very ineffective.
Here’s the 5-step process I follow to overcome the above challenges:
Step 1: Understand whom your brand is right for
Skip the target consumer. Clarify what your brand is for. What consumption occasion and what type of venue? No, I’m not talking about the 50 best bars or the hottest venues. I’m talking about the venues that will likely sell your brand on a specific occasion. You’ll have to do trial and error at the beginning. Analyze the patterns you see.