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July 14, 2006

Introducing Shane

shane 07 06 002.jpg
Cape Town's top wine bar, The Nose, is setting records with Stormhoek Pinot Grigio.
From left to right, Shane Wilson, blogger and Stormhoek man on the ground, Mynhardt Joubert, Nose's manager and Lee Ann Wicomb, chief record setter

"Hi, my name is Shane and I am..." [I know what you are thinking...wine blog - the opening phrase of a well known support group]
but, actually "I am.....an addict." I am addicted to Stormhoek. So much so that I have joined the sales team.

How? I started my own blog about 2 years ago. It went nowhere (mainly because my posts were less than ordinary). I came across www.changethis.com last year and found "How to be Creative" written by none other than our lad Hugh. Having just attended an amazing Edward de Bono with Nicola Tyler this would have been an appropriate Google - +"how to" +"creative"

From there, "How to be Creative" led me to gapingvoid.com and that led me to English Cut and back the global microbrand thingy and from that, here, into Stormhoek.

I have obsessed about owning a wine farm since I was a teenager. So naturally the Stormhoek blog was a starting point and I voraciously consumed the early conversations the blog had to offer. But I still wanted to know more...

In March 2006, I emailed Graham [Knox] to inquire about the availability of Stormhoek in Cape Town to be met only with an email that there was a distributor in Gauteng, that a local [Cape Town] one was being sought and that I would be contacted shortly.

And then, in April 2006, I reached a personal crossroads and made the decision to follow a dream and go independent from my corporate employer - known only as my "ball and chain" - to pursue my other business interests. Part of this thought process resulted in another email to Graham along the lines of "I am going independent and if you still don’t have anyone to sell the wine in Cape Town, I will do it" with the disclaimer that I "have some wine certification" from the early 90’s (not mentioned then) and "have passion", correction, have "lots of passion". Exaggeration will get you everywhere, but I still had no idea what it entailed. My last sales experience was in my early 20’s as a waiter at a national steak house chain.

What I do believe is that real, authentic, face-to-face conversation is what gets a thing sold and sometimes (more rarely) the thing sells itself. Your passion, knowledge, product and authenticity simply augment the process. What really keeps it sold falls back on keeping the relationship alive and vital through follow up, consistency, availability (you and your product) and caring (for your client and product). Love what you sell, baby, and it will love you back. And so here I am - Storm-hoeked...line and sinker.

Graham and I went on the road on Thursday (7/7/06). It was great!!! I learnt so much! We visited 8 restaurants, mostly in the southern suburbs of Cape Town and the reception was amazing. It is great to have such a good product and a market begging for something out of the ordinary.

As Hugh so delicately puts it, "The market for something to believe in is infinite". Drop us an email and we’ll pop in...at your convenience of course.

Posted by graham knox at July 14, 2006 9:48 AM

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Is that addict or AddiCT? ;)

Posted by: rafiq at July 25, 2006 9:53 AM

dunno how I missed this post

just had a flurry of emails with Graham and found out I can finally get my hands on some Stormhoek just around the corner from the Observatory Bottle Store

looking forward to it!

Posted by: d@vid at July 28, 2006 10:25 AM

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