What can David Rosen teach us about business

Remarkable. That’s what I first thought when I finished reading the article about David Rosen, in the July/August 2010 issue of the Inc Magazine. David is apparently a very happy and extremely successful personal wine broker with Grove Street Brokers in Healdsburg, California. I would suggest that you pick up a copy of this issue since it is jam-packed with a number of interesting stories. (Alternatively you could Google it I guess.) But for now, let me give you just a little taste:

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Good salesperson does more than sell

When the need arises, he will deliver more than great wine at fair prices. He will assist a client who asks for help, say, hosting an important business dinner. Rosen will check out the restaurant’s wine list online and e-mail a few recommendations to pair with various likely entree selections.

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Nothing is more valuable than a good referral

Truth is, Rosen no longer has to make a slew of daily cold calls to meet his weekly sales goal of $10,000. His business hums along nicely on referrals. You can’t be afraid, he stresses, to ask your current satisfied customers if it’s OK to contact their friends and colleagues. Just don’t rush that request. Like a good wine, the customer-salesman relationship needs to age, to settle in a bit.

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Lesson #1: Promote what people buy. Let me ask you: What’s David promoting? Why is this important? Because, as Alan Weiss in his book Million Dollar Consulting notes, “Time, like money, is not a resource issue; it’s a priority issue. There is time, but will the buyer provide it for you?”

Lesson #2: Word of mouth marketing is the most effective kind of marketing. The best promoter of your business is your customer. If you take care of that person, if you delight or fascinate that person, he’ll walk right out of the door and sell for you.

Lesson #3: Effective word of mouth marketing generally stems from something authentic.


1. Worthy of note or attention.
2. Attracting notice as being unusual or extraordinary.