A great gesture from a "competitor"...

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George Tita
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A great gesture from a "competitor"...

Post #1  Postby George Tita » November 11th 2011, 12:16pm

There's only so much territory and only so many dollars out there, so you can imagine my surprise when I was having lunch at one of my accounts and received the following call: "Hi - Valerio from Terravino tells me you have a great barbera. Ship me 3 cases, I want to pour by the glass and let's taste some of your other wines."

It's a tough business, but this is just proof that it's not that hard to "play nice" from time to time! Thank you, Valerio!
Tanaro River Imports, LLC

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Bob Wood
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Re: A great gesture from a "competitor"...

Post #2  Postby Bob Wood » November 12th 2011, 12:42am

Really nice!
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Terence T-Bone Livingston
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Re: A great gesture from a "competitor"...

Post #3  Postby Terence T-Bone Livingston » November 14th 2011, 8:57am

Working together with other reps / houses can be a good thing. Knowing what quality wines they have in their portfolio (that you don't have) and recommending them goes along way with customers and your reputation in the biz.

Love hearing these stories.
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Ken V
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Re: A great gesture from a "competitor"...

Post #4  Postby Ken V » November 14th 2011, 9:27am

Terence T-Bone Livingston wrote:Working together with other reps / houses can be a good thing. Knowing what quality wines they have in their portfolio (that you don't have) and recommending them goes along way with customers and your reputation in the biz.

Love hearing these stories.

T-Bone, if I think of you making a "gesture" to a competitor, something completely different comes to mind. [wink.gif]
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George Tita
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Re: A great gesture from a "competitor"...

Post #5  Postby George Tita » November 14th 2011, 2:24pm

Terence T-Bone Livingston wrote:Working together with other reps / houses can be a good thing. Knowing what quality wines they have in their portfolio (that you don't have) and recommending them goes along way with customers and your reputation in the biz.

Love hearing these stories.


Glad these words ring true, Bob and T-Bone! I'm sure that the big houses don't know/care that I exist, but I would never hesitate to recommend the wines from another small importer that I knew and respected. And even if I didn't think much of someone portfolio, certainly would never bash it. Karma, right?

So I don't know how many of know/buy from Valerio, but as I wrote him, in my eyes he's a saint!
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Re: A great gesture from a "competitor"...

Post #6  Postby justinmcinerny » November 19th 2011, 12:19am

Posts like these make me glad I am ITB. I am the buyer and manager for a small off premises store. Yesterday a rep cold called me. She was sent to me by a small bistro around the corner from me. The bistro and I do some cross promotions. The rep is from Burgundy but her portfolio is from Georgia (the Georgia by Turkey, not the Georgia by Alabama). I have no Georgian wines, I have been thinking about getting some but they aren't exactly my top priority. I was working alone, I was with a valued regular customer who wanted me to hand pick a mixed case for Thanksgiving and another customer or two was wandering in. I was also dealing with about 50 cases of beer which just arrived and I was also still sorting out a wine delivery which arrived the previous day. Anyway, the rep was great, she tasted with my customer and me. I was too busy to focus on her wines so I asked what the bistro ordered because I trust the bistro. I tried the ones the bistro ordered. I made a small order and I told the rep to come back when I had more time and we could set up a public tasting before Christmas. I also told her of another retailer who really likes eastern European wines and he would probably like these (I know - Georgia is Asia but close enough).

We have only been open since last March. I used to be a rep so that probably helps. I have a handful of trusted reps who are spread very thin, my account is small, but they understand my store and they understand me. They can serve my account without spending a lot of time or wasting a lot of samples on me. It is a symbiotic relationship. As much as I like the reps as people, we still have to make some money. I can help them to make money. They can help me to make money. Basically, it is being a good salesperson and it is not necessarily something specific to our business.
Justin
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Ken V
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Re: A great gesture from a "competitor"...

Post #7  Postby Ken V » November 19th 2011, 7:10am

justinmcinerny wrote:.... Basically, it is being a good salesperson and it is not necessarily something specific to our business.

Nice story. I would say it is even more general than that. It is being a professional and treating the people you work with as professionals. In any line of work (even academe), you try to find people like this and hold on to them, nurture your relationship, recommend them to others.
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Peter Gatti
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Re: A great gesture from a "competitor"...

Post #8  Postby Peter Gatti » November 19th 2011, 9:38pm

In the end, it really is all about customer service. At some level, all of us are customers of someone farther up the supply chain, and gracious gestures are remembered (and sometimes rewarded, if in no other way than our own contentment). The point was well made in the movie "Miracle on 34th St".
Be good to yourself...

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Disclaimer: ITB-I run a small fine wine shop in Austin

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