A Fair Weekend

I spent the weekend (actually Friday, Saturday and Sunday) at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, helping a friend of mine work his booth. What a fun weekend! Yes, my feet are killing me, still, but it was well worth it. I really do enjoy working with the public. Talking to people as they walked by, showing them the products, giving them ideas on how they can be used and reminding them that the holidays are just around the corner. So, this was as a great time to get a jumpstart on their holiday shopping, and it was all so much fun for me. I really do like people; all of them, even the ones that are none too cheery…

We sold lots of merchandise, which made packing up much easier, and a fair amount of it we sold because of my reminders about the holidays, birthdays and other gift giving occasions. It really helps to remind people about what is coming up and how quickly.

One of the items we were selling was a tote bag. So I suggested making it the base of a gift that included a bottle of wine, some crackers, cheese or chocolate. We sold out all of the bags in three hours.

What selling opportunities may you be missing in the winery? Think about items that can be put together in gift baskets or tote bags. If you have a newsletter coming out soon include information about holiday shopping and the items you have available.  A couple of bottles of wine combined with a corkscrew, drip ring and glasses make a great gift.

A tip of the glass from me to you!


A Wild Ride

I was coming back from Washington State a week ago, flying in a smallish turbo prop plane from Spokane to Seattle.  As we went over the Cascade Mountains it became a little turbulent. Actually it became a lot turbulent with 100 mile per hour winds. The plane was going up, down and sideways and was being bombarded by chunks of ice.

I’m not a nervous flyer but I have to say that this was more turbulence than I am used to.

Needless to say everyone was strapped tightly into the seats and the flight attendant was giving instructions to those who were not dealing with the turbulence well. She told us not to look out the windows (which was rich as those planes do not have window shades) and to turn on the air vent above the seat.

In the midst of this, everyone was quiet when from the front of the plane you could hear a young boy (probably six or seven years old) yelling, “Yahoo, Yahoo…Dad this is great!” He finished by laughing and shouting a bit more.

I can’t speak for the other passengers, but I know that I relaxed considerably hearing the child’s pure enjoyment. It made me realize that most things are just a matter of perspective.

Think about changing your perspective about business. No matter how grim things look, lean back, relax and enjoy the ride, especially during the holidays, when many people feel stressed and don’t enjoy, as much as they could, the opportunity to spend time with family and friends.


Happy Thanksgiving! – Yahoo!

Selling for Holidays

What are you doing for the holidays?

More importantly, what have you done for the holidays to promote sales?

Here are a few ideas to make your holidays merry and bright, and to make you thankful:

Create a holiday display in your tasting room – a table set for a holiday dinner complete with wine, wine glasses and other items that will encourage people to buy from your winery.

If you don’t have the room for a table, add some packages wrapped in festive paper and finished with ribbon. Add a label or signage that says (for example) Gift Pack – Two Bottles of Wine and a Corkscrew or Three Bottle Gift Pack with Glasses.

Develop a printed/email brochure presenting the different gift packs that you will not only sell but also wrap and send with a gift card. Send the brochure out via email and have it in the tasting room. Anyone who buys wine should get a copy of the brochure with their purchase (whether they take it with them or have it shipped).

Add some counter cards to display tables reminding visitors that wine or case club memberships make perfect gifts for their friends, clients and for themselves. – After all, they deserve it, too.

It’s a good time to send an email reminding customers that wine makes a welcome corporate gift. You might suggest to customers to send corporate or business gifts as a New Year’s gift. The wine gets there a little later and the gift is not one of many received all at the same time.

Think of items you sell that would be appropriate for people who don’t drink.

Put packages together that consist of a private tasting for four (or any number you choose) consisting of a tour and a wine and cheese tasting and a bottle of wine for the participants to take home with them.

There are many ways to increase sales at this time of year. What are you doing to make sure your customers have a very happy holiday?

Santanka Nu! (To Your Health!) – Iceland