Increasing Draft Sales
I agree with what Brian said except for pricing. Do not I repeat Do Not discoount your product. If you are to maintain your preception of Craft Brewed beer discounting once opens the flood gates on discounting in the future. It tells your distributor salesforce that you are willing to sell for less. And it tells the account that you sell for less. We are not Walmart and our margins are slim. The distributors continue to make their 25-30% even if we give product away. There are a few A accounts that deserve a kick once every couple of years but starting out discounting sets the standard.
We have a part time sales rep who is now full time. He was paid $200 /wk plus $5 per new account and $5 for each keg sold over last year. -$5 for lost accounts plus mileage. This worked well for 5 years. 20% growth each year. Each year gets better as the accounts see the rep every couple of weeks. Just like baitin' traps up here in Maine. The market share for Maine micros is only 3.5-4% so it is a very tough beer market.
Good old shaking hands and kissing babies works the best. Be visable. I don't know how he does it but look at Sam Caligone with Dogfish Head. That guy is absolutley everywhere and his sales show it. He produces very unique beers without a massive advertising campaign. It's a matter of how much you want to be out there. Hats off to him!
Sebago Brewing Company