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Hpious last won the day on May 21

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  1. I think, and BlueStar can vouch for this, that the bar codes are not necessary. Those are the case and bottle scans for office use. I think its not important for the day to day selling of the brand. I wax and wane on QR codes... I mean... I dont know anyone who actually uses them regularly. Nightclub and bar tried to force a QR system down the attendees throats this year... with no real success. If you really want it, go for it, but its an afterthought IMHO.
  2. Thanks for Thanks scott! great visuals, and congrats on all the awards! Only thing I'd think about is a little more empty space as it begins to look a bit cluttered. I'll print these out and take a look at a physical version, sometimes it makes a difference!
  3. Thanks everyone! Happy to help! Feel free to contribute discuss or ask away!
  4. As a distributor in Chicago, I am very happy to support/join in on this! As an ADI member, I will gladly volunteer my time to help out in the planning and execution of this!
  5. Hey Gang, I've been doing a lot of reading on the sales forums and I noticed that one of the most critical pieces of developing your brand, was not being covered - POS So I've taken it upon myself to start chipping away at some fundamental and easy things that can help build your brands without breaking the bank. who the heck are you, and what makes you the 'expert?' Glad you asked. I have almost a decade of industry experience ranging from bar and restaurant purchasing, distilling, brand development, market management and new market arrival - all the way to distribution and portfolio management in Illinois. I have quite literally seen brands develop from the field to the bartop, with every ugly little step in between. Trust me. So, with that out of the way, let's move on to the sell sheet: You have now made the greatest distilled product since (insert your role model here). You need to now find and choose a distributor (this is a WHOLE different thread) and get out into your first market. Usually the first market is your home market, so lets pretend we're looking at a second market, perhaps a large rural state, with a bustling city-suburb center and some sports teams... HEY! How about IL! (mind you the sell sheet is crucial for control states as well, I am using tier for now) For visual aid, I have attached an example of a sell sheet that I find to be a very good example of a successful sell sheet **YES I KNOW IT'S AN LDI/MGP THING! THIS ISN'T WHAT THIS IS ABOUT, SAVE IT FOR ANOTHER THREAD** This is simply, from an organizational and visual perspective a good example. The 5 most important pieces of a good sell sheet: 1. A PICTURE OF THE BOTTLE I, I cannot tell you how many sell sheets I've seen, without a picture of the bottle. I think suppliers (you guys) think that the sales staff will always carry a bottle of your product in their car or bag, and the customer then, will see it and hold it and taste it. WRONG. I know some places where the sales staff are limited to 2% of the previous months sales allotted in samples. These guys cant pull a bottle whenever. They cannot have a rolling liquor depot in their car and they dont always have time to taste with a customer. The bottle image is KEY to sparking the interest in the brand that will have the buyer ask to taste it on a follow up visit, if at all! The sell sheet is also a "FIRE AND FORGET" type of POS, you cant be leaving bottles at every account, on every call. Most of the time, you just leave a sell sheet after the pitch as a constant visual reminder that they want to buy this brand. 2. BULLET POINTS/BUZZWORDS This part ends up being more for the sales person, who is overloaded with quotas, deadlines, information and stress, than for the buyer; It does have relevance beyond that though. These are words/points/one-liner's/pillars that the brand identity is based on. This is the MUST-SAY list when pitching the brands. When we present our own brands, we do it with the type of confidence and pride that only we can exude. Your sales rep, in your absence, will not be you...but he can at least say the type of this you would say! Reps dont know what a dephlegmator is, or why spelt is trending on twitter (it's not by the way) - Good news! Neither does the buyer! Just a few keywords and practice is all the average rep needs. 3. A HOOK! Now I encourage you to look at the example. Notice that the brand/company name isn't the header. If you have high quality bottle shots, the brand name is clearly legible already... no...the header in this case is the hook. INDIANA BOURBON **WHAT DID I TELL YOU EARLIER... SAVE IT FOR ANOTHER FORUM** This, historically, has had two distinct effects on almost everyone who has read it "i thought bourbon only came from Kentucky!" and "what is Indiana bourbon?" CONGRATULATIONS, YOUR HOOK WORKED! The purpose of the hook isn't just to catch the eye visually (if your brand is based off of a visual hook, you are already in trouble) it forces the buyer, consumer, sales rep or other reader to ask a question. It gives you or your rep the window of opportunity to dive into those buzzwords or key points that you worked so hard on! Its the foot wedged in the door of conversation. In this case, you've affronted a widely held public belief and now you have the opportunity to prove it, while developing a conversation about the product. Pushing the conversation into a dialogue instead of a monologue is like... sales 101 folks; Let your Sell Sheet help. 4. SUPPORT/FURTHER INFO In the wild world of social media, I cannot stress how important it is for an emerging brand to have a solid, well managed presence in social media and the web. A bad website, to me, as a portfolio manager is the end of the discussion for me. It is officially 2013, if you arent at least on facebook and ACTIVE (cant stress that enough) you are doomed. If your website looks like a geocities relic. I will not even bother to taste the product for consideration, and neither will the world. I will get to that more in a different post, but for the sake of your sheet, I think my example sheet could have done it more simply, but the idea is there. This is also useful if you are making a .PDF version which can be sent ahead or as follow up to your pitch. It shows that your brand has a reach beyond just paper and ink. 5. EMPTY SPACE! This is my lame attempt at an M. Night Shyamalan twist - Empty space on a sheet is a tenant of good design; No one likes an overcrowded and visually assaulting page. Empty space can offer two important advantages: A place to take notes, write down the pricing (since it may differ slightly state to state) record flavor notes, or follow up questions during the presentation. The other aspect is it keeps the readers focus on the important parts of your brand. I think my example sheet could actually do a slightly better version of this as well, but there is still a place for notes on the sides. Whew... okay that was a lot. I know, but feel free and encouraged to ask questions, discuss this post and hell, post your own sell sheets here to talk about them. I may be on the distribution and sales side but I always have time to chat or lend a hand to this community when I can. This is your most vital, simple and cost effective option in augmenting your marketing attempts. I'd love to help you work them out. -H
  6. I need to revive this post. I just had a conversations about this with a potential brand. I think everyone should read this thread because there are a lot of ideas on here. I previous to my current life worked on developing a brand with a shoestring budget. There are a few sales tools that you just NEED. When you present to a (good) Distributor, one of the first questions they will ask you after "How Much?" is "What Else?" What kind of POS (Point of Sale) items do you offer as tools for sales people. Sales people, are largely, some of the worst people to deal with - not by lack of character, but rather the nature of the life. They are constantly pulled in different directions, different focus brands all fighting to be their top priority when they walk into an account that only gives them a few minutes. Buyers - retail or on-premise - are also overloaded by sales people coming into their offices and showing hundreds of brands. I've seen and lived it on all three levels. That being said- HAVING A WELL MADE 'SELL SHEET' IS THE CORNERSTONE OF YOUR MARKETING I really cant bold that enough... The well made sell sheet, acts as a cheat sheet for the sales person to represent your brand, with the same buzzwords, terminology, and points that you yourself would use if you were personally presenting it to the account. They are cheap and easy to make, you can even have a .pdf version to email. I might start a separate thread for building a successful one. All of the other Ideas are secondary to this simple and easy tool. -H
  7. Hey Folks, I think it's a good question to ask your distributor. Usually they have a way of dealing with this. In IL Binny's does a large online ship business that they hold all the liability for. I am aware of several other states that also have a vendor like this. Once you are distributed, it's a good question that your distributor should answer. So to pre-empt that question from Bluestar You guys should be lit up on Binny's.com next month. Brett Has been very busy with the ADI conference and the like. It is something I will bring to him after Denver.
  8. Another day of tasting panels. Looks like well line stuff today... I hope my palate can forgive me these sins.

  9. Po! We most certainly did meet at Distill America. I think I may have one of your (or someones card) in my possession. I'll catch up with you ASAP. I am just back from NCB and trying to get ahead of the game before heading to Denver next week! check your inbox for a PM with contact info.
  10. Jedd! Coop! You are NOT forgotten guys, Things with our new partners at Quincy St and a few other early entries from this thread (I am SWAMPED *thanks!*) have been very productive and busy. I assure you I am working my way through the list, I have both private messages from you guys and the squeaky wheels will get oiled. bear with me as we go into trade show season; that being said, BlueStar brings up a good follow up point here. I will be attending several trade shows in the coming months if anyone here will also be going feel free to send me a forum message and we can meet up and talk! Distill America - Madison Nightclub and Bar - Vegas WSWA - Orlando ADI Conference - Denver Cheers, Harrison
  11. Hey Gang, I've been given a great opportunity to start digging into the WI market for possible distribution. This is a big chance for me to show off, so naturally I turn to my favorite resource: YOU. I am beginning my research elsewhere on the various distributors in WI, but as a small supplier I am looking to find the right fit (as always). Any thoughts, preferences and or horror stories from the WI area that can better help me on my search? Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. -Harrison
  12. Hpious

    Yeild of Alcohol

    Personally, the first thing I would do is clean my equipment. A bacterial infection can at times affect your yield and before you mess with recipes or buy anything, just give your equipment a solid and THOROUGH cleaning, especially joints. then go with N supplementation. good luck
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