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Ben Salisbury

Ben Salisbury

Ben Salisbury is the founder and president of Salisbury Creative Group and a former sales executive with Constellation Brands, Ste Michelle Wine Estates, and Glazer’s Distributors.

For the last six years, Ben and his team have been providing new solutions, new skills and new strategies to struggling wine & spirits brands giving them the edge they need to survive and thrive in the new reality.

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3 Myths about Digital Selling that are Holding You Back

Wine Pouring from iPad
Wine Pouring from iPad

Just about everyone who makes a living selling wine or spirits in the 3-tier channel is standing on the precipice right now. Faced with a serious choice and that is whether to take the plunge into learning to sell digitally.

I wrote a few weeks ago about WHY everyone needs to make this shift. But, even with the proper motivation and perspective, change is hard. One of the biggest reasons people resist change is because they believe they will not be able to adapt and do what they need to do. So, to help with this nearly universal predicament, I offer up 3 “objections” or “myths” that many will have. And then bust those illusions to smithereens.

1. Too complicated and technical.

Forgive my too-often used quote by Thomas Edison but it really does apply here: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” While there are not as many overall wearers today as in Edison’s time, I think we can all agree human nature conspires against us when faced with a new learning curve.

And for the impatient among you I simply offer this: If I can do it, anyone can do it. I turned 60 last year and started my career in wine sales when sticky sidewalk pay-phones were the primary means of communication. I am living, gray-haired proof that even old dogs can learn new tricks.

Old dog new tricks- Ben Salisbury
Old dog new tricks- Ben Salisbury

Learning to sell digitally is a snap if you know exactly what to do. And I cannot make it any easier than I already have.

If you are a learn-by-doing type of person I bring wonderful news. As soon as you start this journey, you will see how linear and logical the path forward is. The hardest part is taking that first step.

I believe one of the reasons YouTube is so popular is any idiot can sit and watch someone else do something. It is less threatening. Less risky. Just sit and watch -sometimes more than once. Watching videos about leveraging technology in your sales process is about as intimidating as manatee migration. Exhibit A.  

2. Too expensive.

Another of my favorites (and I am not sure who to credit) is, “Price is only an issue in the absence of value.” Price, after all, is a relative term. I once bought a 600mm zoom lens for my camera that cost more than my car (no joke). But it allowed me to capture some of the most amazing images of my life. And sell thousands of dollars’ worth of wildlife photographs.  

Owl in tree
Owl in the tree branches

The good news is you can learn everything you need to know to become a digital wine & spirit sales pro for the cost of a new iPhone.

It does take money to make money that is true. But what is FUN (and smart) is when it only takes a little bit of money to make a lot of money! One of the great benefits of learning to sell digitally is all these new skills are scalable. If you can find and attract one trade buyer to join your trade-only email list, you can do it for hundreds.

3. Too busy

Are you ready for some tough love? To quote one of my gurus, Tim Ferris, “Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action. Being busy is most often used as a guide for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions.”

email for trade sales
Email for trade sales

If you want to become a digital wine or spirits sales pro, you must get ruthless with the use of your time. Stop doing things that do not matter (we all have them). And carve out just 30 minutes a day to learn this new stuff. Be the chess player, not the chess piece.

We are about to see a great separation in the wine & spirits, 3-tier sales game. On one side are those who will cling to the past and wait for things to return to normal. On the other side are those who understand and accept that things have forever changed and the only way to survive is to evolve.

Evolve or Die
Evolve or Die

When the lockdowns began last spring, I hustled to produce and distribute a free resource called, “The Modern Playbook Guide to Selling Wine & Spirits Remotely.” The response from the 3-tier sales world to this 13-page PDF was overwhelming and I quickly realized MUCH MORE support was going to be required!

This became the inspiration for my new signature online course. Which is named Wine Sales Stimulator. It will launch publicly on February 5th during a free live webinar.

Before full completion, I tested the concept with about 25 real-world sales pros just like YOU. They fully committed themselves to the process completing 35 videos and more than 13 hours of instruction.

Here is what a few of them had to say:

It’s a digital jungle out there and Ben provides all the right vines to swing on. Ben’s course is one of the most comprehensive and in-depth looks at the future of selling your products in a digital world.”

– Lee Griffith, Director of Sales/Distiller, Boot Hill Distillery

We are looking to grow the wholesale side of our wine brand, and I wasn’t quite sure how to do that until I came across Ben’s course. It was easy to follow and I learned a lot. I have already seen progress in gaining new customers.”

– Denise McKahn, CEO/Owner, McKahn Family Cellars

I cannot recommend Ben’s Wine Sales Stimulator course highly enough. Whether you are a winery, supplier or distributor, there is plenty of content here to show you exactly what you need to do to build your brand and sell more wine (and spirits) in today’s market.”

– John DeChello, Vice President, Slocum & Sons Distributing

If you have even a remote interest in previewing what these sales pros have experienced, I implore you to register for my free training workshop on February 5th at 2:00 PM eastern time. Click here to reserve your spot.

I hope to see you there!

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