This is the one of several recurring posts from David Lazarus about the intricacies of opening and running a wine shop. David’s posts will appear on Wednesdays. I’m also starting to get interest from other wine shops, so hopefully we’ll be seeing a lot of different perspectives in this column.
There are several relationships that I must maintain in order to have our business continue to grow. After the relationship with my customers, the interaction with my distributor representatives is probably the most critical to the business. The reps have the ability to either bring good deals or new products to my attention or just take my wine orders.
I tried to make it clear, to each of the almost dozen men and women who I work with, that our relationship is a partnership and that my aim is to treat them as partners. It is clearly in both of our best interests that I make money, since when I sell wine we both make money! I have seen situations where reps are treated like lackeys when they do not perform as the store owner expects them to.
Please do not get me wrong, I am far from perfect and am sure that I do not always treat our reps the as I have outlined above. I have however encouraged my reps to let em know when I am out of line. I have tried to be flexible. Jan and I have asked them to an appreciation dinner after the first of the year in the hope that we can cement the kind of relationship for which I am striving. Those of you who have shopped the store will benefit from this relationship through consistent good service and continued exciting new wines.
On a technology note we are still getting acquainted with our e-mail service, so there may be issues with timeliness of delivery. I will apologize in advance and keep my fingers crossed that we will get things figured out sooner rather than later. We are also planning a very special customer appreciation tasting for January and the date will be posted on the web site once it is planned. Also for those of you who are fans of great Champagne, we will be having a grower Champagne brunch the Sunday before Valentine’s day. This event is reservations only and should be really fun.
As always thanks to those who have already helped make this venture a success and we look forward to serving those of you who have not made it in yet.
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