How To Overcome Top 10 Objections From Beverage Retailers

Convincing retailers to carry your product means overcoming their reservations about your brand. Let’s take a look at the top 10 objections that you should be ready to answer.

overcoming-wine-retailers-objections retailers

Join us in New York City at the USATT Conference to get in-depth insight into top sales, distribution and marketing techniques being used in the wine, beer and spirits industry.

Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry. Beverage Trade Network (BTN) successfully connects wineries, breweries, distilleries and brand owners with international importers, distributors, brokers and beverage industry professionals on a daily basis. Strong partnerships with international and US organizations have helped BTN establish USA Trade Tasting as a premiere sales and marketing event committed to connecting the beverage industry.

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now.

How to get your beer featured by leading magazines and blogs

USA Trade Tasting outlines 12 tips for craft beer brands to get their beer featured by leading magazines and blogs.

 how_to_write_beer_magazine_press_Craft_Beer1. Send or Deliver Samples
For reviews you only need to send a couple of bottles of each SKU, however the more you send the merrier. Sending a carton or two for the editorial staff Friday afternoon drinks is always a good idea, and even attending the drinks to network or provide a product tasting with the staff. If delivering beer, and you don’t plan it with the editor, then be prepared to not see them, and have the carton labelled with their name and your details. If you do get a chance to talk to the editor or blogger, then have a sample bottle or 6-pack just for them, plus a bottle for the tasting panel if they aren’t the ones tasting the beer for the magazine or blog. Give them some merchandise or something that leaves a lasting impression.

When sending samples, you could also include a flash drive (branded or not) or CD with all the images of your brand identity, which is convenient.

2. Email
Editors receive so much email, however it is the best form of contact for brands given you can supply high res images, video links and text about the brand all at once, easy for the editor to file away on their computers.

The subject line is crucial and getting the message wrong can lead to a quick delete from the editor if they think it’s not relevant. As mentioned in a recent blog about what magazine editors really want, to write about your brand, the subject line depends on whether you are pitching a magazine or blog that is in-category or out-of-category. If in-category, i.e. as a beer brand, a beer magazine, beer blog, liquor magazine then you can be specific in the subject line what section or topic your beer is relevant to. Whereas for out-of-category magazines and blogs, such as for a beer brand would be Real Living magazine, Wheels, food blog, these would still be interested in beer, but your subject line would need to include your brand name, the section it relates to, and what issue, i.e. you should know if they have a beer feature coming up and therefore you are saying your beer is relevant to that edition. They also look for beers to run in a review, tasting notes section, and therefore mentioning what drinking occasion your beer relates to and what time of year, what food it matches to and so on, all help.

Images are crucial as well. They need to be high resolution (high res) at 300 dpi for print magazines and low res at 72 dpi for blogs. Ideally if you had these able to be downloaded from your web site, or you have them uploaded on dropbox or another cloud storage service, and you include a link in your email for the editor to download them. Images are crucial because images balance text and are visually appealing rather than just text. If you leave the searching of images to the editor, then they may not choose images that relate to your brand, and by providing images with your brand, its additional exposure.

With the text in your email, its best to include the text in the email as well as attach it as a PDF.

3. Phone
Having a chat over the phone is always great, better still in person, however with deadlines and a mountain of phone calls, if you don’t get through leave a message and keep trying. If it ends up you feel like you are hounding them with phone messages, just keep in mind they don’t know you, and may not understand your product or how its relevant to their readers, so leave messages that provide some evidence of your beer being relevant. Never give up!

4. Network at events
If you attend events where editors and bloggers attend, then if you meet them, that’s a great opportunity to build rapport.

5. Attend magazine and blog events
Magazines and blogs will stage their own events, and these are excellent opportunities to attend and meet them, plus for you to see if you supply product for the event, all to build rapport with the magazines and blogs, and ultimately gain some exposure from these events in their mediums, both print and online / social media.

6. Understand their readerships and editorial flow
When communicating via phone and email, it helps a lot when writing your press release, if you understand the magazine or blogs readership and editorial, so you know how to position your beer and what portion of their readerships you beer is targeted to.

You can do this by downloading their media kit from their web site.

You can also contact the magazine and request a features calendar, either from the editorial assistant or features editor, it doesn’t have to come from the editor.

7. Be Specific
If you think your beer doesn’t exactly suit the magazine or blogs audience, then say so, however, explain why you are pitching your beer to them, and what section it relates to, or if you are offering a product for a gift guide or reader competition. Be precise, what issue or time of the year your email relates to, not too wordy and straight to the point. Attach high res images and all detail required, so they don’t need to contact you for more info unless they choose to.

8. Lead Times
When contacting magazine editors, they are always working on editions months in advance, so if you are emailing today, be talking about the edition or feature that is three months ahead. Check the magazine’s media kit for deadlines and on sale dates.

For blogs, the lead times are much less, so you can be pitching ideas that might see your beer being included in a feature with days or weeks.

9. Multimedia
From a space point of view, blogs have much fewer restrictions on word count and images, plus they can include videos and link to websites. So make sure if you have video and more photos than would have been used in a print version, include them in your communication to the blogger and online editor for the magazine’s website or blog.

10. Online
Obviously, blogs are online, however many magazines are online, either as an App, blog, eNewsletter, desktop version, website. Therefore, if you find you are not gaining too much luck in receiving editorial in print, try again focusing on the magazine’s online mediums.

11. Awards
If you’ve won an award, then chances are you will be written about, so ask the question if they haven’t asked you already, providing the list of results, attach your high res or low res award or trophy medal images and images of you being presented the trophy if applicable.

12. Creative Ideas
There are so many reasons why an editor or blogger can write about beer, however as to get them to write about your particular beer is the challenge. They will have their own thoughts on who to include, and if you are emailing and calling them and sending samples, merchandise, small relevant cards or gifts for Easter, Christmas, networking with them at events, then that will all help to be top of mind.

As mentioned in a recent blog about what magazine editors really want, to write about your brand, a number of keywords were provided that capture the attention of editors and help them relate your beer to their readership.
• Brand Story – an authentic, believable and interesting brand story is always worth writing about
• Interview the Head Brewer, they are the Rock Star
• Packaging – canning is popular at the moment, interesting labels
• Exciting and unique ingredients, process, something different to the norm
• Sessionable, craft, premium, mainstream, commercial, mid-strength, hoppy, IBU, malty, flavour (taste, aroma, mouthfeel) – use words that are relevant to the magazines readership
• Health – how does your beer carbs and calories compare to wine, cider, milk, orange juice and so on
• Travel – weekends away, does your brand have a great destination to visit?
• Merchandise – everyone loves a free t-shirt, bottle opener, glass, and son – make sure you send more than one, as the magazine editor is sure to want one for themselves (as well as use them for reader competitions)!
• Food – Does your brand have styles that are great matches to different food groups, relevant to restaurants and consumers, what glassware is used for your beer styles
• Free beer – send them samples, it works
• Drinking Occasions – give the magazine editor some pointers on your brand being relevant for different drinking occasions, such as entertaining at home, celebrating, BBQ, food pairing, tasting beer, public holidays, Christmas, NYE, Australia Day, seasons, sport, boilermaker (match with whisky) etc.
• Education – use your brand to make things relevant such as the brewing process, beer styles, ingredients, flavour, tasting beer, craft beer 101, food pairing, what’s the difference between craft beer and VB?
• Exclusive – if you can give a magazine editor some content that no one else does, either ever, or just for a period of time, that works
• Homebrewing – cloning is very popular with homebrewers so if you can share your recipe in all grain, concentrate, extract that works
• Sponsorship – an event that is relevant to the magazine editors readership
• Competitions – either offer product for their reader competitions, or tell them about a great competition
• Charity – what is the cause, what is your brand doing, how much did you raise, etc.
• Events – invite them along
• Whatever your imagination can come up with, that is relevant to the magazine sections and readers
• Spur of the moment, radical, never been seen or done before events or circumstances, that a magazine editor just has to see or experience – AKA guerrilla marketing, such as, as mentioned in Starting your own Brewery, by Dick Cantwell, fermenting a craft beer pumpkin ale in a bath tub in a pub or cellar door for Halloween.

Join us in New York City at the USATT Conference to get in-depth insight into top sales, distribution and marketing techniques being used in the wine, beer and spirits industry

Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry. Beverage Trade Network (BTN) successfully connects wineries, breweries, distilleries and brand owners with international importers, distributors, brokers and beverage industry professionals on a daily basis. Strong partnerships with international and US organizations have helped BTN establish USA Trade Tasting as a premiere sales and marketing event committed to connecting the beverage industry.

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now.

How Prepared Are You To Meet Your Distributor?

Every distributor is different and every sales meeting is unique. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first elevator pitch or a routine sales meeting, before you enter your distributor’s board room you should be prepared for anything. Sample contracts, order sheet forms, sales literature cheat sheets – these are all essential documents to have on hand, but what else should you carry with you when you are called in for a meeting? Here is a list of 10 things you should bring to make your meetings effective (assuming you have closed the sale).
1. Sample Contract – If it’s your first meeting having a sample contract with you is critical. Most distributor’s will have a stock contract available if you don’t have one prepared, but having your own …
2. Sales Literature – Your Sales literature should include detailed information about your brand (or brands.) Production process, ingredients, tasting notes, packaging information, awards, reviews, compliance to state and federal laws…Download / View Your Whitepaper and be prepared for your meeting.
Wine Distributors Meeting

Join us in New York City at the USATT Conference to get in-depth insight into top sales, distribution and marketing techniques being used in the wine, beer and spirits industry. Meet the wine importers, Wine Distributors face to face.

Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry. Beverage Trade Network (BTN) successfully connects wineries, breweries, distilleries and brand owners with international importers, distributors, brokers and beverage industry professionals on a daily basis. Strong partnerships with international and US organizations have helped BTN establish USA Trade Tasting as a premiere sales and marketing event committed to connecting the beverage industry.

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now.

How to Optimize your In-Store Tastings and Boost Sales

Whether you are showcasing award winning wine, unique spirits or an exciting new craft beer, in-store tasting are great programs to help generate brand awareness, Boost Sales and develop new markets.

Hand selling is a tried and true sales strategy integral to building a solid market for your offering and should be a part of every beverage company’s retailer and distributor programs.

Using creative ways to boost consumer interaction at your tasting booth will help you develop your relationship with key accounts.  Not only are in-store tastings a great way to boost sales with a big day of revenue, they also generate long lasting brand recognition in new markets.

Here are 4 tips to help you develop your next in-store tasting program:

Sensory Experience

Make your tasting a five sense experience!  Even if your retail partner’s store doesn’t offer the greatest atmosphere for dynamic tastings, it’s up to you to make the most of what you have.  Here are a few ideas on how to make your tasting booth have a genuine feel:

Boost sales

  • Use grapes, chocolate, chips, etc. as give-aways to lure people in;
  • Fully branded displays accentuate your marketing;
  • Use props and merchandising to create an inviting booth;
  • Have scent samples of typical aromas found in your beverages;
  • Educate your customers on your product.  Prepare short, fun descriptions that are easy to remember;
  • Give out useful promotional material that people want to take away.

 Variety Works

Presenting a variety of your products allows customers to select their favorite and is an effective selling technique because it gives the consumer the sensation that they are in control and making a smart purchase.  The more selection you provide the better chance you will have to convert a customer.  Not only will they have a good variety to choose from, but they will also feel indebted to you for taking the time to introduce your brand line-up to them.

Promote the Event

Use your social media accounts to promote the tasting and tap into your retailer’s fan base and followers to expand your reach.  Here are a few ways to generate interest in your combined social campaigns and tasting:

  • Use competitions with exciting merchandising gifts that you promise to give when they visit you at the tasting booth.  Some good low-cost ideas are T-shirts, special edition releases, corkscrews and bottle openers.  An expensive sweepstakes prize can be very effective, but make sure you have the budget;
  • Spend a good amount of time leading up to the event actively engaging with consumers and accounts that are based around your next tasting;
  • Communicate your tasting with your retail, distribution and media partners and get them to promote it on their social platforms as well.

Get Feedback and Record Data

A lot of business owners and sales teams underestimate the value of customer feedback and data.  Whenever you do a tasting you want to accurately record your findings.  You should also think of an in store tasting as a survey opportunity. Monitor your customers and get them to give you feedback.

If you can, get your customers to fill out a questionnaire (keep it VERY simple).  If you think that the survey will get in the way of selling, then manually take notes on customer feedback.  When you receive immediate feedback from customers in new markets it is also unique insight into consumer tendency from a very specific sample population.  Take the info back to your marketing department and get them to develop programs that reflect the market’s wants.

In-store tastings should be a part of every beverage company’s retailer programs.  In today’s competitive market, your supply chain partners are expecting you to provide programs that generate brand awareness and help the sales process.  Use all five senses to make your tasting booth a hit with every customer that you touch and you’ll have a successful program that you can translate to every market.

Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry. Beverage Trade Network (BTN) successfully connects wineries, breweries, distilleries and brand owners with international importers, distributors, brokers and beverage industry professionals on a daily basis. Strong partnerships with international and US organizations have helped BTN establish USA Trade Tasting as a premiere sales and marketing event committed to connecting the beverage industry.

Join us in New York City at the USATT Conference to get in-depth insight into top sales, distribution and marketing techniques being used in the wine, beer and spirits industry

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now.

List Of Wine Importers In USA

Here are some of the leading wine importers USA.

Southern Wine and Spirits

[Tweet “Southern Wine and Spirits of America is the largest wine and spirits distributor in the United States with operations in 35 states. Southern’s portfolio is 45% wine and 55% spirits.”]

Since its founding in 1968, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. (Southern), is a nationally recognized wine and spirits distributor known for its historic commitment to delivering the highest standards of customer service and creative marketing programs and partnerships. The Company is also known for its best-in-industry sales and marketing professionals; its efficient and effective and well-trained sales, operational and support staff; its ongoing investments in and contributions to hospitality and beverage education for this staff its customers and to many national educational institutions. In addition, Southern is justly respected for its deeply held belief in the importance of giving back, for being a socially responsible corporate citizen and for making generous contributions to national, state and local charitable organizations.

Glazers

Glazers is one of the wine importers USA’s largest wine and spirits distributors. Glazer’s Family of Companies is firmly established with over 40 offices in 14 states and the Virgin Islands, and are still family-owned and operated.

The company began in 1909 in Dallas, Texas, where Louis Glazer opened the Jumbo Bottling Company, which distributed a line of flavored soda waters from the back of horse-drawn wagons. Glazer’s Distributors, as the company is known today, was established on Sept. 3, 1933 by Max and Nolan Glazer, two of Louis Glazer’s sons. By 1966, Glazer’s had expanded beyond Texas to three additional states.

Frederick Wildman and Sons

Frederick Wildman and Sons is a New York based fine wine importer offering the leading properties from France, Italy, Spain, Argentina and other regions

Frederick Wildman & Sons – Wholesale Company was established with the inception of the Company in 1934. Its origins date back to the year after the repeal of prohibition and was created to support the portfolio of top estates from around the world in the New York metro area.

Charmer Sunbelt Group 

The Charmer Sunbelt Group (CSG) is one of the nation’s leading distributors of fine wines and spirits. A group of privately-held companies, CSG operates local distributor and/or brokerage houses in 15 markets – Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York (Metro and Upstate), Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and The District of Columbia. Together, these companies employ more than 7,000 associates who bring to market some of the most valuable and well-known consumer brands in the world. CSG is a family-owned business that proudly serves as the critical link between wine and spirit suppliers, and the retail outlets where alcoholic beverage brands are legally and responsibly sold and enjoyed.

Young’s Market Company

Young’s Market Company is one of the leading wine and spirits distributor in America. Young strives to be the leader in the wholesale and distribution of wine, spirits and selected beverages. We are committed to adding value to our customers, reaching the highest standards of respect for our employees, exemplary professional representation of our suppliers, and support for the communities where we live and work. We will secure our future with dedication to performance and innovation.

Writz Beverage

Wirtz Beverage Group is a leading North American distributor/broker of the world’s top luxury and premium wine, spirits and beer brands. With nearly $2.5 billion in annual sales and operations in Canada, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada and Wisconsin, Wirtz Beverage Group counts the world’s elite suppliers as its partners.

Vine Street Imports

Vine Street Imports is dedicated to bringing the most exciting boutique and artisan wines from around the globe to the US market. Our wines garner critical acclaim from major wine reviewers and can be found in prestigious retail shops and restaurants around the country. In addition to our national portfolio, Vine Street Imports represents many of the world’s great wineries for exclusive distribution in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Like a truffle hunting dog, VSI founder Ronnie Sanders continues to scour the planet in search of booze that shows distinctiveness and a story. It all started with a relationship back in the latter part of the 20th century with a prominent Aussie winery. That association has developed and redeveloped over the years to metamorphose into what VSI represents today. While Australia is the feng shui of the portfolio, the evolution of our global selections continues.

Vine Street Imports represents many of the most talented winemakers and their craft from Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and Germany. Personality and open-mindedness are at the core of our mantra, this is expressed with the labels, styles and varietals that we work with. In the words of Italian Renaissance man Gabriele D’Anuzzio, “Memento Audere Semper” (Remember to Always Dare).

USA Trade Tasting (USATT) is an annual adult beverage trade specialist trade tasting and business conference that promotes sustainable growth in the independent beverage industry by helping boutique wineries, craft breweries, craft distilleries, importers, distributors, retailers and beverage companies to learn, source and grow.

Exhibit your brand at USA Trade Tasting (USATT) and get the attention of USA’s leading importers, important distributors, high-profile retail merchants, and influential media executives.

Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry. Beverage Trade Network (BTN) successfully connects wineries, breweries, distilleries and brand owners with international importers, distributors, brokers and beverage industry professionals on a daily basis. Strong partnerships with international and US organizations have helped BTN establish USA Trade Tasting as a premiere sales and marketing event committed to connecting the beverage industry.

LIMITED BOOTH AVAILABILITY

The event will offer 130 Tasting Stations, so space is limited. Exhibitors are encouraged to reserve space early as tables are expected to sell out quickly. All Founding Exhibitors will be given priority registration and booth selection at future BTN events. Early exhibitor entries will also get VIP seating for the keynote conference. (on a first-come, first-serve basis).

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now.

Meet Adam Lambert

Adam LambertAdam Lambert, a keynote speaker at USATT 2016 conference:

Adam Lambert AKA ‘The Seller Of Beer & Spirits‘ has spent the last 20 years learning from just about every angle of the beverage industry. Starting as a grocery store liquor clerk and growing to his current position as Vice President of Sales for Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.

Seller of Beer&Spirits-Teller of Beer&Spirits-New Holland Brewing & Artisan Spirits-VP of Sales will take on the stage to coach you on sales and distribution.

Adam Lambert has spent the last 20 years learning from just about every angle of the beverage industry. Starting as a grocery store liquor clerk and growing to his most recent position as Vice President of Sales for Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Prior to working for Dogfish Head, Adam spent 6 years as National Sales and Marketing Manager for Rogue Ales.

Lambert brings a wealth of sales and distribution experience that will provide suppliers distribution and selling strategies in how to grow your craft beverage brand by building a solid distributors network.

About USA Trade Tasting

USA Trade Tasting (USATT) is an annual adult beverage trade specialist trade tasting and business conference being launched in order to promote sustainable growth in the independent beverage industry by helping boutique wineries, craft breweries, craft distilleries, importers, distributors, retailers and beverage companies learn, source and grow.

Exhibit your brand at USA Trade Tasting (USATT) and get in front of USA’s leading importers, important distributors, high-profile retail merchants, and influential media executives.

Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry. Beverage Trade Network (BTN) successfully connects wineries, breweries, distilleries and brand owners with international importers, distributors, brokers and beverage industry professionals on a daily basis. Strong partnerships with international and US organizations have helped BTN establish USA Trade Tasting as a premiere sales and marketing event committed to connecting the beverage industry.

LIMITED BOOTH AVAILABILITY

The inaugural event will offer 130 Tasting Stations, so space is limited. Exhibitors are encouraged to reserve space early as tables are expected to sell out quickly. All Founding Exhibitors will be given priority registration and booth selection at future BTN events.

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now.