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The wine guy in New Hope

Over Thanksgiving, we took a trip to spend the holiday with family in the Philadelphia area. While we were there, my in-laws agreed to hang out with Rory so that my wife and I could have an afternoon date.

After quickly saying yes before they could renege, we shot over to New Hope, PA. I'd always wanted to go there. Read about it somewhere online and it seemed quaint and otherworldly as well as close enough to make a day trip out of it.

So we're there in the beautiful downtown area strolling along and happened into a really nice indoor marketplace. New construction. Modern woodwork and corrugated metal graced the fronts of individual vendors lined up French market-style.

We passed a coffee vendor, a poke bar, a pork sandwich shop, and gravitated towards a little wine bar. Pouring wine was a guy who stood about 5'8" with a slender build, clean-cut face, and long ponytail. He was pouring wine and chatting with people. Eventually, he made his way over to us.

What struck me first was his nonchalance. His posture was relaxed - no peacocking whatsoever - and his eye contact was connected without being aggressive. When he spoke, the words sauntered out of his mouth. They were slow and soft, but super clear.

After a warm welcome, he continued...

"I'm pouring everything today, so just let me know what you'd like and I'll grab it for you." After a quick nod to acknowledge we got it, he meandered over to a couple across the bar and started pouring for them.

It's then that I realized...

Oh, wow... He's on THIS side of the bar pouring for people and walking it right over to them. (Sorry, I don't get out much these days, but I thought this was particularly impressive.)

No sweeping was required on the back side of the bar. He was, in a way, joining people for a drink, but he wasn't being intrusive. He'd stay long enough to talk about the wine, get a sense of people's reactions, make sure they were happy, and then he'd check on other people.

Eventually, he made his way back to us to see if we were okay.

"We're just looking for something to bring to Thanksgiving dinner," my wife told him.

"Oh, here..." He reached over the bar and grabbed a bottle. "This Merlot is fresh from right across the bridge in the Garden State and is a great accompaniment to Thanksgiving fare."

He didn't just ask us what we wanted. Instead, he showed genuine curiosity in what we wanted the wine for. Then, he gave us what he knew would be perfect.

He continued to present us with one or two others. I'm totally not a wine guy, so I don't recall exactly what he said as he described them to us, but I remember he put them in story form.

We bought a bottle. Thanked him. Walked out.

As we walked back to our car, I turned to my wife...

"That guy was AMAZING, wasn't he?"

We were thinking the same thing... She immediately agreed and we continued to analyze his ninja skills.

Here's what we gathered...

This dude wasn't just hanging out behind the bar taking orders. He was hosting a really quaint and relaxed - albeit super informative - wine event (and he was selling not-cheap wine like crazy).

He had crazy confidence in what he was selling. And he knew that he knew his stuff. No over-compensation or smarmy sales tactics were needed. He had what it took to wholeheartedly take care of his patrons and create a remarkable experience.

I see this as spiritual. This dude was connected. His work came from the heart and he backed it up with tremendous knowledge about his product.

My long-winded point here is that THIS is what selling can be like if you take the fear out of it. Generosity and human connection work every time over manipulation and urgency.

Don't just get good at selling, work to enjoy it.

Then again, maybe it was just the ponytail?...

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