I visit many tasting rooms every month and have noticed that in the majority of these wineries I am asked if I am interested in joining their wine club only when I am standing at the cash register purchasing my wine. Once I’m at the register, in my mind, I’m already checked out of this winery and on to the next one, so my answer is always, “No thanks.” Especially if there are other people in line, as I don’t want to hold them up.
The solution: give visitors wine club information early in their visit. You want to mention the club at least three times before you begin encouraging people to become a member. Keep the first three mentions short, a couple of sentences and focus on the benefits members receive. No selling during these interactions.
#1 Ask if visitors are wine club members (unless you know they are). When they say no, explain a benefit (wine club members don’t pay for tasting).
If you know that your visitors are wine club members welcome them and tell them you’re glad to see them.
#2 As you pour the wines, talk about ones that are going to be in the next club shipment or any wines that are made only for wine club members. If you happen to have a bottle of a wine club only wine open, let your guests taste it. Make sure they know that the bottle is only open because you had a group of wine club members in the winery.
#3 Once you’ve learned a little about your guests and know that the wine club would be a good fit for them, describe one of the events and what a great time everyone had. Or talk about how your club has morphed into a community of friends, some of whom do other things together.
Now you’re ready to encourage them to become members. If you have had fun with these visitors, tell them so. “Thanks for coming in today, you’re so much fun, you would love our wine club, and… our wine club would love you.” Now tell them the features and the benefits, let them know the shipment schedule, costs, etc. Tell them when the next event is. It doesn’t matter if they live far away, they will still think that they can come back for the event.
If your visitors don’t join, make sure you get their contact information because they may go home and regret not joining the club and will do so if they receive encouragement from you.
Oh, and one more thing: If your guests are ready to join at step two, let them. I have seen winery personnel talk people out of joining the wine club because they won’t stop.
It’s summer, get in to the tasting room and make people’s lives a little better by allowing them to enjoy your wine at home!