Why Being a Brand Ambassador for Booze Is Harder in Control States

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Nearly everything is more difficult for alcohol producers and consumers in control states. That also extends to perhaps unexpected parts of the drink industry, such as brand ambassadors. Liquor.com interviewed several veteran brand ambassadors about the difficulties of operating in control states:

Being a liquor rep or brand ambassador can be a rewarding career. Knowing the ins and outs of a product or brand, spending time on the road visiting key accounts and building relationships with bartenders and owners are all key aspects of the job. But working in control states adds another level of complexity and challenge to the business of promoting a spirit, especially in stricter states that impose numerous regulations on how to sell alcohol…

Primarily, control states act as a single distributor for alcohol, selling directly from state-controlled liquor stores to bars and consumers and prohibiting bartenders from placing orders with anyone else. Building that relationship with bartenders, whether you’re the ground team working in that state, or a national rep who makes the occasional stop in, is key, even more so in control states when checking back in is an essential step.

“One difference in a control state is that you can’t always be closing, because there’s a disconnect between pitching products and educating, and the actual purchase,” says [Rocky] Yeh. “They can’t just take an order on the spot. It means there needs to be a lot more follow-up but in a way that’s not nagging.”…

Read the whole feature here.