Bartenders: The Best Salesmen

It’s 8:30am on a Sunday morning, I’m two coffees and a fried egg sandwich deep trying to get enough energy and muster up the courage to check my bank account after going to the bar the night before with friends…

*Jaw drops to the floor*


Now, perhaps you can’t personally relate to that story, but I’m sure that you know someone who can. Which points to one very important conclusion:

Bartenders are the best salespeople!

I learned this firsthand through my experience bartending. So, let’s dig into why bartenders are the best salespeople.

Reasons Why Bartenders Make the Best Salespeople

  1. Bartenders HAVE to be knowledgeable about their product and who they’re selling it too

A bartender has to be able to provide something best suited for their customer based upon their drink preferences. There’s that initial session of discovery where they discuss what it is the customer is looking for and what they like. They do this so they’re not suggesting an Irish Tea when the customer wants something fruitier like a Strawberry Margarita.

That same concept can be applied to sales. How can a solution be applied if the salesman doesn’t understand your problems? Far too often salespeople are too concerned with pitching their product without taking into account if said product is the right solution for the prospect.

A good example of this would be with one of my guests in my bar. They want a strong drink but not with any of the top shelf liquor, so at that point suggesting a drink that uses the top shelf liquor would be of no benefit to the guest. So I suggest the standard Long Island that uses rail liquor; a drink that’s cheaper and just as strong as the top shelf drinks so it benefits that guest on satisfying the strong drink requirement and at a lower cost. Giving him what he actually wanted helped me to build a relationship with him where he became more likely to return to my bar for drinks in the future.

  1. Bartenders HAVE to be personable to build and sustain relationships

A bartender’s skill in striking up conversations and getting their customers to open up to them is an essential part of their business. Every person they encounter has a different perspective on life. So, in order to relate to their target audience, they have to adjust their own personality.

Take for example my experience as a bartender. For certain customers I engage in conversation with them far more whereas with other guests I notice that they don’t want to engage in conversation, so I change my demeanor and hasten the ordering process so they can enjoy their drinks in peace.

The same can be said for your sales prospects. Each role in a business has different goals and objectives. It’s a sales representative’s job to get to know your prospect and ascertain what it is they’re looking for, and position their product in an appealing way to each of their needs.

  1. A bartender is ALWAYS hustling

Bartenders rely upon tips: the more drinks they make, the more money that ends up in their pockets. Whenever a new patron enters the bar, they have to drop what they’re doing, prioritize and acknowledge the customer and help them out.

This is essential to success in a sales role. The more calls you make, the more opportunities you create. If you’re a closer then the more proposals you send out and the more deals you’re going to close.

Who would’ve thought a simple job to get me through college would teach me so much about sales! Even if you weren’t a bartender, hopefully, you can take away some of those tips and skills that bartenders use in order to further enhance your own sales career!

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