In today’s issue, I’ll analyze why new drinks brands struggle to get a meeting with bar owners. I'll show you my 5-step process to make your cold-calling warmer and land more first orders.

By adopting this process, you’ll spend time better. You’ll likely increase your strike rate in the right outlets and get them to re-buy.

Unfortunately, most salespeople lack a pragmatic system. They either:

  • only work through their network, never scaling their distribution
  • or do cold calls and burn most of their opportunities in a city.

It's about having people + systems

First thing: building a brand takes time so you will never get a silver bullet or a shortcut from me. It's about creating a system to use long-term and be consistent.

Salespeople used to create + capture demand. Not anymore. Today, most On-trade buyers do the research themselves and want to decide when it's time to buy.

Without a system in place, you’ll spend most of your time trying to get your brand in front of people that don’t want to buy.

Challenge 1: They already know the hottest brands they want to list: They speak to peers and do research. If they haven't heard about your brand they think there's a reason and they're skeptical.

Challenge 2: You’re approaching them too early: most of the time, you show up at the door of people who don’t want to buy. You have to make your cold call warmer by making your brand known to them before approaching.

Challenge 3: 100s of salespeople contact them each month: Whether by phone, email, or in person. They've developed tough skin and they might say no to you for the sake of it. You have to play differently.

Challenge 4: You walk in too cold: walking in, and asking to speak to the buyer won't get you far. You might land 10 but burn 90. You have to get to them in a more subtle way, either via network or being a customer, before being a seller.

Here’s the 5-step process I follow to overcome the above challenges:

Step 1: Focus on those in line with your proposition

It's not about hunting the coolest bars in the city. It's about focusing on those like your brand. Do they have:

  • your same values?
  • the right setup for your core occasion?
  • a food offering that matches your drink?

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