Creating New Sales Grounds

Erin Grey Kemplin has seen a switch. Bars that would never buy a hazy or a craft Pilsner five years ago — like a corner tavern or neighborhood dive — are now supporting these styles year-round.

“We are very focused on the on-premise so this shift continues to open new opportunities for us,” the Sales Manager for Ecliptic Brewing admitted.

More and more premises are offering craft now even if they are not a craft-centric account, said Cheboygan Brewing‘s Nick Beard.

“I think you have more drinkers experimenting and finding that all craft beer is not intimidating and “overly hoppy” as once perceived,” he said. “With so many craft offerings, there truly is a beer for everyone.”

Cheboygan will strategize a sales plan depending on the place.

Tap takeovers, beer dinners, and in-store samplings can help drive sales and ensure the success of the brand whether it is a new product or core product in a new retail account, Beard said.

“We also educate the off- or on-premise management on the beer so that they can communicate it effectively with the end consumer,” he added. “We also rely on our distributors to print POS if the account wants it.”

Cheboygan also promotes new releases on its social media in targeted areas to help with awareness.

“It seems like an easy thing to do, but when I hear a brand of mine is not selling great I ask, “Is it on the menu?” Often it isn’t, which is a huge hindrance to sales and fairly easy to fix,” Beard said.

Kemplin added that the Portland brewery is calling on every account now where before some accounts may get skipped because they ‘didn’t support craft beer.’

“It’s incredible to be able to get a great pint at every bar in town,” she said.

But there are always tough accounts. Whether they have a favorite brand or distributor it can be tough to get them to listen to what you have to say, Beard pointed out.

“The best feeling is when you are finally able to get them to listen and taste your product,” he said.

Unfortunately, there are some accounts you do have to let go of. Beard has seen it firsthand and said it just becomes a waste of resources and time if they are never going to buy again.

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