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Applying Bartending Principles to Sales
Blog / Sales Management / Dec 7, 2023 / Posted by Neil Rogers / 32

Applying Bartending Principles to Sales


The world of bartending and sales may seem like two entirely different professions, but there are actually many surprising parallels between the two. Just as a bartender strives to create a welcoming and memorable experience for each customer, salespeople aim to build relationships and ultimately close deals. By drawing on the lessons learned behind the bar, salespeople can enhance their skills and achieve greater success in their field.

Making a Great First Impression

In both bartending and sales, first impressions matter. A bartender greets each customer with a warm smile and a genuine interest in their drink preferences. Similarly, salespeople should approach potential customers with the same level of enthusiasm and personal connection.

Cultivating Customer Relationships

Just as a bartender takes the time to get to know their customers, salespeople should invest in building relationships with their clients. This involves understanding their needs, providing exceptional service, and fostering trust. By building strong relationships, salespeople can increase customer loyalty and generate repeat business.

Effective Communication

Prompt and effective communication is crucial in both bartending and sales. Bartenders must communicate clearly with their customers to ensure they receive the drinks they ordered. Salespeople, too, need to communicate effectively with potential customers, providing clear and concise information about their products or services. Prompt response times are also essential, especially in today’s digital age.

Preparation and Organization

Bartenders must be organized and prepared to handle the rush of customers during peak hours. Similarly, salespeople need to be organized and prepared for sales meetings and presentations. This involves having all the necessary materials, such as product information, pricing data, and customer profiles, readily available.

Adaptability and Situational Awareness

A good bartender can quickly assess the situation and adapt their approach accordingly. For example, they may need to switch from making cocktails to pouring beers, depending on the crowd. Salespeople also need to be adaptable and have good situational awareness. They should be able to read the room, identify opportunities, and adjust their sales strategy based on the customer’s needs and interests.

Positive Attitude and Resilience

Bartenders often face challenging situations, such as dealing with demanding customers or working long hours. Salespeople, too, may encounter rejection and setbacks. In both professions, it’s important to maintain a positive attitude and resilience. This involves staying focused on the goal, learning from mistakes, and never giving up.

The Power of Promotional Products

Promotional products, also known as swag, can be a powerful tool for both bartenders and salespeople. Bartenders often use swag, such as branded coasters or pens, to promote their establishments and create a sense of community. Salespeople can also use swag to promote their brands and keep their company’s name top of mind.

By applying the lessons learned behind the bar, salespeople can enhance their skills, improve their sales performance, and achieve greater success in their field.

About Author

I have been in sales since graduating college. I took this path after discovering my passion for servicing people as a bartender. For the past 27 years we have been in the SWAG/Promo marketing business. My wife Lori is my partner in life and in business and we have 3 grown children.


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