​Finding and Developing a Successful Sales Staff​

Does a salesperson need to have “it” to be in sales? Or, can your winery develop a salesperson to be successful?

​Erica Paolicelli, the Vice President and partner for 3 Brothers Winery says the Geneva, New York facility looks for ‘someone hungry.’

“A salesperson must be self-driven, independent, and charismatic,” she said adding that relationships can drive sales.

​”A good salesperson must be charismatic; they have to hold an energy that people want to be around and support​,” ​Paolicelli​ said​. ​”​The technical info and organizational info can be taught, but that character comes from within.​”​

Arming ​a new hire with information is the best way to prepare them for the field.

​”​The worst mistake I see people make is hiring someone to sell, but not onboarding them properly,” Paolicelli said​​, adding that the winery is constantly recruiting and even finding the best salespeople are customers first.​

​”​Give the person the information they need to believe that what they are selling is worth it,” she added.

For Michael Cook, the Director of Sales for Lieb Cellars & Bridge Lane Wine in Mattituck, New York, he says he leans toward eliminating the “wine snobbery” that comes inherently with nearly every appointment. 

“If I walk in and say ‘I have NY wines for you today and they come in 3L boxes, kegs and cans,’ half of the tasters have already decided that they don’t like it,” he said. 

“I typically just pour the first wine and say ‘taste this — who cares what it is if you don’t like it, right?’ In most cases they do like it, and then we can have a conversation without preconceived notions about our wines.”

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