Hi, my name is Marcello Marchese and (among the other things) I’m an international wine exporter for Don Tomasi. How did I become one and how can you? In this post I’ll try to outline step by step how the wine business works so that YOU can start your own career and hopefully go abroad, make a lot of money and have a great life!
1) Find The Company
First of all you need to have the wine to sell, of course. Since you don’t have your own brand you’ll have to find one. It’s easier than you think, you just need to go and ask. Start by asking some friends and relatives if they know someone who produces wine. Then visit their company, try their wine and if you are convinced that it’s a quality product then ask them if they would like to expand and sell abroad.
Don’t overlook this part because you’ll have to sell their product all the time, and if the product is not good then it won’t sell. My recommendation is choosing quality over price. It might take you more time to make customers appreciate your product but it gives you more possibilities to have repeat orders.
I know most of you reading this are thinking: “I don’t have the courage to go to the company and ask this”. But think about it for a second, which company doesn’t want more sales? If you were the boss and someone came up to you and asked to try to sell your product for a percentage, wouldn’t you agree immediately? Sales are never enough for a business!
Another recommendation is to choose a winery which has already some sales agents for some foreign countries and get assigned a country not yet covered where you would like to go to. This is because if the company already sells successfully abroad it means that they have good prices, marketing and brand. Another possibility is to choose a company with a very good product which doesn’t yet sell abroad and think yourself about the marketing and the strategy to position and sell that product somewhere else, but you need in this case a lot of work and knowledge.
2) Time To Export Abroad
Hopefully now you have your contract to sell your wine somewhere abroad. Now the best part begins! Your job will be to find companies with the licence to import wines, visit them and convince them to buy your wine.
Before you leave for your destination you can collect from the Internet all the addresses, phone numbers, emails and you can already contact them with all your information. The most important thing, though, is going there in person because nothing can replace the human contact.
So buy the ticket for your destination, book the hotel and, if you need to cover long distances, rent a car.
Yes! You need the balls to show up at the company’s door, present yourself to strangers and talk about a your wine. Worried? This is actually the most interesting part: you’ll meet all kinds of people (some very nice, some less, some very interesting) and some of them can become partners or turn out to be useful connections.
3) Wine Tasting And Order
Once you find some company interested in trying your wine, contact your winery and ask them to send some samples. Usually you’ll have to rely on the importers licence but this depends a lot on the country your are working in. Ideally you should be trying the wine with the importers so that you can present it better and discuss with them the taste and impressions.
Did they like it? If so, you get your first order! Great! Remember: it’s all a number’s game so don’t beat yourself down for one, two or ten rejections. Eventually you’ll find someone interested and you’ll start a great business relationship.
Meanwhile, looking back one year from when you started, you’ll realize how much you learned, how many new interesting people you’ve met and how more confident you’ve become. All of this by travelling and having a great time abroad: cheers!
Curious To See What I Sell?
Curious to see what I sell? Here you’ll find a presentation of our wines Don Tomasi. If you are an importer or own a restaurant/store and you are interested in buying our quality Sicilian wine, contact me. All the information is in the presentation file.