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What would I do for my wine, beer or spirits brand in OND (October - November - December)?


“Knock as many accounts as you can and get as many placements and floor stacks as you can. Be out on the road selling”, Sid Patel, CEO of USA Trade Tasting and Beverage Trade Network

In this post, I outline what I did for my brands and what I would suggest you do starting today for OND. I have written by month in simple priority work and what matters the most.

August 20 to 31

1. Ask your distributors to send you depletion reports by account. You focus on selling to the top 30 in their market.

2. Plan market work with each distributor for 3 days max or 2 days (as they are going to be very busy).

3. Ask your distributor to take a couple of pallets by August 31 and tell them you will come and sell.

4. You will have to convince your distributor that you will be effective. A lot of sales reps DO NOT like market work at this time as they want to sell what the account wants. They rather discuss programming for In-Bev, Gallo, Constellation or YellowTail. Please remember you are competing against everyone trying to get a floor stack.

Image: My main brand was Friday Monkey on which I built a reputation that my wines sell

September 01 to 30

1. Cover as much ground outside the office as you can. ON THE ROAD. Knock doors. Market work. Be ready to make deals and decisions on the spot with accounts.

2. Your goal should be to cover 8 markets, 3 days each. 10 accounts in one day. That’s 240 accounts in September. Use Friday and Saturday to do store tastings, dinner and lunch meetings with sales reps, distributors and key people in your markets.

3. Get floor stacks, holiday placements, and glass placements as many as you can.

4. Tell the retailer, if this sells thru, you will come back in October/November for a bigger display deal.

Image: My brand Lucky 7 wines. The goal was to make a brand that is a good fit for floor display. The retail price was $7.77 and retailers made 50% margins

October 01 to 31

1. Do the same thing in October. 240 more accounts. If you don’t have current accounts, cold call.

2. Cover as much ground outside the office as you can. ON THE ROAD. Knock doors. Market work.

3. Try to visit different accounts, don’t go to the same accounts you sold in September.

Image: Meet your distributors and listen

November 01 to 30

1. Focus on driving depletions where you have displays and products.

2. Do as many in-store tastings as you can.

3. Try and get as many in-store tastings slot for your brand in the week leading to Thanksgiving especially if you sell wine. That’s your BIGGEST WEEK to deplete from retail.

4. Pay third-party marketing agencies to do tastings, and pay distributors’ sales reps to do tastings.

5. Make thank you call to each big account and each distributor after Thanksgiving - thank them and tell them you will see them in a few days.

6. Send thank you handwritten notes to each of your importers, distributor and retailer. To each customer. Remember thanksgiving means thanking. Do this in mid-November.

Here's a recent talk I gave at USA Trade Tasting on 'Getting New Distributors On Board and Penetrating Distribution'. Check this out for pointers.


December 01 to December 31

1. From your September and October placements, see which retailer needs help, support them and make sure you sell out.

2. Again, try and hit the road in the first week, this is your LAST DANCE to get new orders for this year.

3. Close the year with a year review meeting with your importers and distributors, plan new year programming, offer your distributors new products, get their commitment and have them start in Feb 2024 on your new products. Thank key accounts for the 2023 business.

OND - It’s time to focus on the current customers, it’s time to get floor stacks, it’s time to do market work, and it’s time to be on the road and not in an office.

Follow this simple rule: Hit as many doors as you can, and say as many hello’s as you can. Feel free to share this with your brand reps.

If you want to learn more about how to grow your brand in the US market, join me in the 2-day learning and networking 2-day event USA Trade Tasting in Chicago. The dates are October 17-18. I will be moderating a panel of distributors and how you can work with them.

Get your tickets here.