Motivating and Encouraging Staff to Sell

Working in a tasting or retail room is hard work. From the outside it seems like a lot of fun (so many visitors will tell you how they wish they worked in a winery) but despite the perks it can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when the season is upon us.

As things get busier, it is harder to engage and connect with visitors and introduce the wines in ways that will interest them. Many times what’s forgotten is taking time to encourage visitors to buy and creating that need to buy. Just as visitors need to be motivated to buy, your staff needs to be motivated to sell.

There are lots of ways to motivate staff to sell and to focus them on the sale. It helps, of course, to have a plan, so here’s one idea:

Begin by choosing a different wine each week, fortnight or month on which to focus. Talk about the wine at the weekly meeting you have with staff and open a bottle of that particular wine, so everyone tastes it. Give the staff written information on the wine (more than the tech sheet), including reasons why buying this wine will enhance visitors’ lives. Remind your staff every day of the focus wine for the time period.

Include a game as a motivation. For example: Take the cork from the bottle of the focus wine you opened for the staff to taste and mark it with a red X or some other distinguishing mark. When the first person sells that wine, they take the cork. When the next person sells that wine they take the cork from the first person. The game goes on until a pre-selected time. The person left holding the cork wins.

At that time you can reward the person who has the cork with a prize, or you may put their name into a drawing for a bigger prize that will be given when that particular wine is no longer the focus. You may do both, with a smaller prize on a daily basis and a bigger prize later on.

Use prizes that are meaningful to the employees (and don’t discount the fact that even though these people have access to wine, they still enjoy getting bonus wine). When you try this, please let me know how it works for you.

A tip of the glass from me to you!

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