Friday, January 13, 2012

The Middle School Dance, Revisited

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I knew cold-calling was going to be the price of admission.  What I didn't realize is that it is EXACTLY like trying to ask out a date to the 7th grade sock-hop.  And my proclivities in that arena were on par with screen doors on submarines, Crystal Pepsi, and Creed.  That is to say, abysmal failures (or at least embarrassments, in the latter case).

This was the first day I struck out into the meat grinder of wine sales.  Popped into 12 places, awkwardly (a word white people use for every situation) announcing that I wanted to sell commodity alcohol to said places.  

Sure, I know it's the lunch rush.  And I know another distributor just fast-talked you into a 10-case order of Crazy Bear Charbonnonay.  And I understand you just spent 20 minutes talking with the hipster chick in the stupid hat about your cheese order.  But, screw them.  Take your endless walls of wine, your established relationships, and your $20/each printed-on-real-papyrus wine lists and throw them in the f**king trash!  Why?  So you can buy wine from me!  

It's not a position of comfort for me.  Wine is- essentially- a commodity product to many.  For most consumers, wine is the Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay that washes away the hopeless ennui of suburban life.  Nothing more.  So, trying to put one's freshest-face forward to convince surly shop owners and (understandably) annoyed restaurant managers to drop the stuff with the heavy marketing behind it to carry small-production wines from unknown producers is tough sleddin'.

But, so far, it's not all bad.  There are folks out there who really care about the wine.  They are evangelists, and they are buying what I'm selling.  And, damn, that makes it fun... finding that girl who appreciates sweat pants and a knowledge of Legos.  Hope springs eternal, and it better, because the cold-calling begins at the crack of noon.

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