24 Things You Need to Sell and Deliver Alcohol (Liquor Stores)

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Things You Need to Sell and Deliver Alcohol

Selling a product doesn’t have to be complicated.

At its most basic level, a sales program is defined principally by what you sell.

Who you sell it to and how you sell it.

Beyond that, sales involves staying focused on the details of your product and customers.

As a sales program continues you will want to keep paying attention to changing trends.

And the needs or desires of your customers.

By observing these changes you will be able to adjust your program and keep your sales strong.

1. Get the background of the business

Opening a liquor store can be a great way to ensure a steady income.

Because people drink alcohol in both good times and bad.

However, that same inflexibility in demand contributes to low profit margins.

Meaning you’re unlikely to get rich with just one store.

In addition, retail alcohol sales are heavily regulated.

And it can be difficult for an interested businessperson to know where to start.

Nonetheless, with proper counsel and wise strategies to boost traffic.

Your store can be a reliable income stream for years to come.

2. Study your product.

 If you are able to convey knowledge about the product.

And to answer questions that customers may have.

Then they will understand that you really care about the product.

If you find the product worthwhile, they are more likely to as well.

  • It is absolutely vital to know your product inside out.
  • If you do not know something a customer asks of you.
  • Try saying something like “I don’t know the exact answer for that.
  • But I’ll be happy to look into it and get back to you right away.
  • What’s the best way to contact you when I find the answer?”

Things You Need to Sell and Deliver Alcohol

3. Find a suitable location.

The profit margins on liquor stores are low and demand is inelastic.

Meaning that it doesn’t change much over time.

That means the success of your liquor store is inextricably connected to its location.

If you open a store in a market that’s already saturated, not only is your store unlikely to do well.

But you’re likely to eat into a local competitor’s bottom line as well.

  • Liquor stores are very much neighborhood stores.
  • What sells in one neighborhood won’t necessarily sell in another.
  • Keep this in mind as youre scouting locations.
  • Market saturation is heavily influenced by distance to competitors, but there are other factors at play. Another influential factor is the demographic and cultural makeup of the neighborhood itself.

4. Research the market.

When you’ve established that youll be able to sell alcohol at your chosen location.

You need to take steps toward crafting a business plan.

The first of these is to research the market around your chosen location.

  • Liquor stores are very much neighborhood stores.
  • What sells in one neighborhood won’t necessarily sell in another.
  • An influential factor is the demographic and cultural makeup of the neighborhood itself.
  • The more detailed the market analysis in your business plan, the more detailed your cost estimates can be.
  • Take factors like ethnicity, age, marital status, and income into account when you’re conducting your market analysis, because they all heavily influence drinking habits.

Things You Need to Sell and Deliver Alcohol

5. Create sales and cost projections.

The market analysis is meant to give you a good idea of your customer base.

With an idea of the composition of your customer base.

You can create sales and cost projections based on buying habits and price points for items in your area.

  • For example, if you have a disproportionate amount of young single customers in your area, you can anticipate selling large amounts of beer and shooters like tequila. Approach wholesale distributors about their case prices and compare that expense with the local price point of popular brands. When that’s combined with traffic estimates and overhead (including rent and labor costs), you can estimate costs and sales.
  • Don’t neglect the impact of competitors on your sales.

6. Buy your inventory.

This is going to be your biggest expense.

A well-stocked liquor store will have millions in inventory sitting on the shelves.

There will be a temptation to try and compete with that, but you should resist.

Tilt your initial inventory toward items which will sell quickly—the more you sell.

The cheaper the cost to you—and then broaden your inventory later.

  • The price of alcohol is usually fixed by a distributor who has a monopoly on that particular brand (which is why the prices of alcohol are similar everywhere), so you’re unlikely to be able to negotiate much on the price. So if you want Jose Cuervo, you can’t shop and compare—one distributor will sell Jose Cuervo wholesale, and you’ll only get volume discounts.

Things You Need to Sell and Deliver Alcohol

7. Emphasize the perks of the product to customers.

As well as getting good product information to the right people.

It is important to translate the product’s features into benefits.

This makes it easier for the customer to see why they should purchase the product.

8. Think about things like:

  • Will the product make the customer’s life easier?
  • Will the product create a sense of luxury?
  • Is the product something that can be enjoyed by many people?
  • Is the product something that can be used for a long time?

9. Ensure that the product has been adequately explained.

If you are not doing direct, person-to-person sales.

Then you will need to ensure that good product information is supplied via retail packaging, point-of-purchase displays, and any marketing materials.

 Even if you are selling products directly or making a pitch.

Having good product information on display will help you convince customers.

  • Make sure that all product information is informative, true, and complete.
  • Make sure that the language on product packaging and marketing materials is clear, direct, and easy to read.
  • Invest the time and money to ensure that your product, packaging, and marketing materials look good—high-quality photos, vivid colors, etc.

10. Share your love of the product.

 A good salesperson believes in the product that is being sold.

And transfers this enthusiasm to the customer.

There are numerous ways to show your love of a product.

  • Don’t neglect body language and tone. You will convey energy and enthusiasm if you speak clearly about a product, and show expression when discussing it. On the other hand, if you mumble when customers ask questions about a product, or cross your arms over your chest, then it will appear like you are distant and don’t care about the product.
  • Be prepared to discuss how you use the product, or how other satisfied customers have. Specific stories about the product make it relatable to customers. For instance, if you’re selling a shampoo, you can tell a customer something like: “My hair is usually so frizzy, but ever since I’ve started using this it’s been as smooth and straight as it is right now.”

11. Anticipate your customers motivations.

You want to be able to answer any questions that customers may have about a product.

But even more importantly, you want to anticipate those questions.

This shows that you understand customer needs.

Make sure that you are able to connect emotionally with customers by addressing those needs.

  • Think about your typical customers. What motivates them? What needs do they have? Are they young? Single? Wealthy? Do they have families?
  • Once you have an idea of your customers in mind, think about how your product can help them meet their needs or reach their desires.

Things You Need to Sell and Deliver Alcohol

12. Practice breaking the ice with customers.

If you are working in direct sales, the way you connect with people is critical.

Instead of asking the close-ended question “May I help you?,” ask the more positive.

Open-ended questions like “Are you looking for something for yourself?

Or a gift for someone special?” In addition, be ready to make remarks about your product that will interest customers and start deeper conversations.

For instance, if you are in clothing retail, you might say: You know, ugly Christmas sweater parties are really popular right now. Have you ever been to one?”

13. Convert the customers motivations into the products characteristics.

In marketing, this is known as “positioning,”

And it consists of equating the product with the customer’s hopes and desires.

A number of factors are important when positioning a product:

  • Position the product in the best spectrum of the market possible.
  • Don’t pitch the product too high or too low in terms of affordability and luxury.
  • Position the facts about the product according to the person you’re selling it to. You may have a handful of different facts, but it’s up to your skill to know which of those facts best serve each individual sale.
  • Don’t fudge facts or lie outright. Product positioning is about perception, not deception.
  • Position the facts so that they transcend the product itself. This means that the desirable, positive values associated with the product are what sell it. Companies that excel at this include Coca-Cola, Apple, and many designer goods or labels. Think about how your product will connect with a customer’s lifestyle or values, and not simply serve a function.
  • For instance, if you are trying to sell a relatively high-end minivan to a wealthy older person, you might mention its luxurious features. Do this by saying things like: Take a look at that wood trim—it’s just beautiful. And those soft leather seats—they’re so comfortable. They’re perfect for taking a nice sunset drive.”
  • If you were trying to sell the same minivan to a family with three children, however, you would emphasize its more utilitarian features. For example, you could say things like: “The third seat adds lots of room for carting friends around. It also folds down when you need room for hauling groceries, sporting gear, and things like that. And did I mention that side air bags and anti-lock brakes come standard?”

14. Be honest about your product.

Long-term lovers of your product will only come about if you’ve been honest with them.

This means being transparent in your delivery of product information.

And also admitting your own lack of knowledge or mistakes you’ve made.

Don’t be afraid of honesty; it builds trust.

  • If you ever are not able to answer customers’ questions or supply them with what they need, offer to follow up with them later, as soon as you are able to.
  • Make sure customers know they can come back to you later if they have questions or concerns.
  • If it ever turns out that a product isn’t right for a customer, be honest about it and help the customer find what he or she really needs. Even if you don’t make the sale today, your honesty and generosity will be remembered, and can translate into future sales.
  • For instance, if you are trying to sell a sports car to customer who eventually tells you that he has five young children who he drives to school everyday, you could say something like:Well maybe you’d be better off with a good minivan or SUV. But if you’re ever in the market for a second vehicle, come back and talk to me and I’ll help you get a good deal.”

15. Familiarize yourself with all aspects that feed into the end sale of a product.

As an owner salesperson, that is, one who owns the business that is selling the product.

You have the ability to affect more than just the interaction with buyers.

In addition to the strategies mentioned in the rest of this article.

You can also use other functions to improve your sales.

Advertising, merchandising, and marketing are support functions for sales. 

Selling is the goal of these support functions and a good owner salesperson needs to have a decent understanding of each of these.

  • Read basic texts on marketing.
  • These will inform you about many of the tactics and techniques underlying advertising, merchandising, and marketing.

Things You Need to Sell and Deliver Alcohol

16. Get lawyer involve.

Once youve identified what seems to be a suitable location, you need to make sure you can actually operate a liquor store there.

Many localities will have restrictions on where alcohol can be sold—not in close proximity to a church.

For example—and it isn’t always easy to be sure you’re abiding by state, county, and municipal laws.

Indeed, the state and local laws governing the retail sale of alcohol and spirits are so inconsistent.

Across jurisdictions that the best advice to give about licensing is to hire an attorney familiar with the local laws.

And let them guide you through the process.

17. Stay on the right side of the law.

Selling to underage customers, even by mistake, can cost you thousands in fines and can even put your livelihood in jeopardy.

Check identification diligently, and ask local law enforcement what you can do to make sure you don’t get fooled by a fake ID.

  • You should also beware of criminals, as liquor stores have often been targets of criminal activity. Although robberies of convenience and liquor stores have declined along with the use of cash, it can still be a concern.

18. Market your product.

It is important to make your product information available through as many channels as possible.

Today, the range of potential placements has increased a great deal thanks to the advances in communications.

Give your potential buyers many possible places to find out more about your product in numerous ways, such as:

  • Word-of-mouth
  • Advertising (radio, TV, print, email, social media, online ads, etc.)
  • Sales representatives
  • Trade shows
  • Conferences
  • Cold call sales
  • Product placement in movies, sports, etc.
  • Local community events (for instance, donating a product to a local benefit auction will draw attention to your product and serve a good cause)

Things You Need to Sell and Deliver Alcohol

19. Review your sales performance. 

You should analyze your sales at regular intervals.

Is the product selling well? Is stock low or high? Are you profiting?

How are your competitors performing?

Being able to answer these questions will help you maximize your sales, and keep growth steady.

20. Troubleshoot sales, if necessary.

If you are not selling well, you will need to enter problem-solving mode.

Improving your sales will involve reassessing your product, customer base, and marketing.

  • Change your tactics periodically. If customers hear the same sales routine over and over again, or see the same display month in and month out, your product might start to seem irrelevant.
  • Consider deleting a product from your line if it is not selling well. Stock can be sold at discounted prices to liquidate it.
  • Review your target market and sharpen your sales focus. Your buyers might be changing, and you will want to keep up with them, or else find a new market.
  • Re-evaluate the product design, distribution, packaging, etc. Tweaking the product with your target market and sales strategy in mind can improve your sales.
  • Change the price of your product. By studying your sales data and competitors’ performance, you may be able to tell if you are charging too much or too little for your product.
  • Make the product exclusive, or available for a limited time only. Sometimes, controlling supply in this way will increase demand and sales. Make sure that this tactic works with your overall sales strategy, however. If you are marketing a product as perfect for everyday use, it may not work to also market it as exclusive.

21. Suggest food pairings.

As the sommeliers say, “what grows together, goes together.

Suggesting food pairings to go along with beer, wine, and spirits.

Can be a great way to cultivate an air of expertise, which will appeal to higher-end customers.

  • You can even take this strategy one step further and sell some of the foods (like fruit, cured meat, or cheese) to go along with your beverages. Your customers will pay for the convenience.

22. Boost your online presence.

Create a high quality, professional website, start an email list.

And encourage your customers to post online reviews.

Get active on social media and announce flash loss-leader specials.

Selling a product at a loss for a short amount of time to drive up traffic).

Do whatever you can to boost your visibility and ingratiate yourself in the fabric of the community.

Things You Need to Sell and Deliver Alcohol

23. Sponsor local events.

A good way to ingratiate yourself in the community is by sponsoring local events like festivals and concerts.

Not only is it an opportunity to boost sales at that event.

But you can offer promotions to get concert-goers back in your store to keep the sales going strong.

24. Request promotional items from distributors.

Most distributors will keep you stocked with new displays, swag, and signage.

Make sure you keep it updated, because it will make your store seem fresh.


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