Just the other day I get a call from a wine trader buddy of mine. He was telling me about a recent auction that he had attended, and this one was particularly packed. He found himself stuffed in the middle of some Swiss Wine Brokers and they all prodded their American colleague to ‘tell the story’..Blake, as his name turned out to be was also from Maryland.
My buddy couldn’t control the excitement as he continued his story, and I must confess I was gripped.
Blake was tall, well built, immaculately well dressed and wore his rolex and berlutis with great pride. He was a closer, and prided himself on the fact that he could convince almost anyone to buy wine off him. The clock was ticking. Soon the auction would start and clearly the attention wouldn’t be on him. And so he started his story.
On a recent trip to HK, Blake found himself back on the same flight as a prospect. One he had worked on for months, one he knew was a regular buyer of his competitor’s and yet despite his look and his charm he could never close him. That hurt his pride. He sees the prospect sitting in the airport lounge and almost instinctively bowls over to have a ‘casual’ chat. Luckily for Blake, a chat turned into a drink, and then into drinks. Once they realised the flight was running late he knew he had time to work the prospect. Whilst they laughed and chatted and mused about everything but wine, Blake saw someone familiar from the corner of his eye. The familiar character was starring out at the runway and making a conscious effort not to be seen.He couldn’t believe it. It was Robert Parker himself, the man, the legend. In the same airport lounge as him. Adrenalin pumping, heart racing – Blake couldn’t believe his luck. He excused himself for a moment and hustled over to where Parker was sat. He introduced himself, humbly telling him that he worked for a Wine Merchant in Switzerland and that he was a huge fan. He then went on to say:
‘Look, Robert, I’m with a potential client, and it would mean the world to me if you could just walk past us and casually look at me and say Hi Blake, nice to see you again.’
Parker was a little startled at first, I mean what a strange request he thought – but then again everyone could do with a bit of luck and Blake was from Maryland – why not help a kid from your own neck of the woods.
He reluctantly agreed and simply said
Blake rushed back and began pitching the prospect like he had never pitched before. He was more eloquent than ever and effortlessly outlined how he could craft a cellar that would yield tremendous profits. He boasted his returns for his clients, and his knowledge of wine was admirable. He trashed his competition with class by only saying good things about them but outstanding things about his own firm. It was all going so well and he just knew it was going to get better – Ten minutes were drawing to a close and he concluded in his usual way: he looked the prospect dead in the eye and said
‘At the end of the day, I will always focus on you.’
At that very second, Robert Parker walked by, stopped, looked at Blake with a huge smile on his face and said
‘Blake, it’s so good to see you again, it’s been ages since you’ve been round. How’s the family?’
Blake looked up and just snapped back
‘Piss off Parker, can’t you see I’m busy’
Deal done !
……phone call with buddy ended.
(and please don’t email in, we know this is a joke. Someone told it to us and it made us smile. Hope you laugh as much as we did)