Your Future

Selling strategies
Selling and promoting wine to restaurants and liquor stores are two different animals. Liquor stores are more concerned with label appeal and margin. Restaurants either sell by the glass or by the bottle off a wine menu. It’s desirable to get your wine sold by the glass. Before you approach the restaurant, know the wine list and see where your wines fit in. Many restaurants publish their wine lists on their website.

Many restaurants schedule their tastings at the same day and time every week. Look for them to be held late afternoon, about an hour before they open for the dinner hour. Many times you will be sharing time with other sales representatives. I suggest you get to know them.

Liquor stores
Liquor stores are most interested in their price margin and the label appeal to their customers. UIW has selected wines that have this label appeal and room for a profitable margin. It’s a win-win model for the distributor and the liquor store.

Storage, stacking and temperature control

Remember MapQuest! It can help you schedule out your deliveries in an orderly fashion. It can handle making many stops by preparing a route for you. Be sure you have at least two copies of the invoice with you for each order. One copy is signed as accepted by the establishment—the one you keep as evidence of delivery—and the second is for leaving with the establishment to elicit payment within your payment terms.

Weekly scheduling
When you first start your distribution business, I suggest you arrange your week as follows:

Monday – finalize orders for delivery. Accounting.
Tuesday – delivery day
Wednesday – sales calls to sample wine
Thursday – sales calls to sample wine
Friday – sales calls to sample wine

State compliance excise taxes and any other requirements
Each state creates its own liquor laws. Most states have excise taxes to pay on each bottle depleted from inventory. Notice I said, “depleted.” This is so you pay taxes on all the bottles rather than those that are just sold. You pay this tax on samples, gifts, etc. regardless of any transfer of funds. These taxes are assessed on a bottle basis not on a sales dollar basis. You should review your state liquor laws and be sure you are in compliance.

Licensing requirements
Each state, again, has their own set of liquor laws. Some states are what are called “controlled states.” A controlled state means the liquor is distributed by the state and the state collects the funds for each sale. Distributors in those states do not carry inventory. The distributor does sell in the same fashion as those in non-controlled states.

A distributor must apply for a license and the costs vary from state to state. In Colorado, for instance the distributor license costs $2,400.00, which is high, compared to most states. There is also an annual renewal fee that is much less than the initial fee. Colorado charges $1,000.00 renewal fee but that is higher than most.

Flash drives with unique imported wines

Pens and corkscrews for waitstaff with name. Sales goals for sales staff give away corkscrews to top three.

Wine book
Unique Imported Wines endorses a book by Kevin Zraly, “Complete Wine Course”. A copy will be sent to you free of charge. It is a useful wine reference guide and will help you learn the business. Please read this book. It includes helpful hints that will help your business grow.

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