Making the Sale

Most of the wineries I know would like to increase their sales, though many of them are not sure how to go about it. Selling is not hard, it just takes some practice and an understanding of the basics.

Occasionally (very occasionally) someone comes in specifically to buy because they have seen something or the product has been recommended to them. Those people are not numerous enough to push through all your stock. You will have to take the rest of your customers through the four phases of the sale.

  1. Opening

Introduce yourself to the guests before beginning the interaction. Follow the introduction with a few questions about what brought the guests to the winery, the weather, how they like the area. Be sure to give the guests time to answer. This portion of the interaction should not last too long.

  1. Information Gathering

Before you give guests the tasting sheet or start pouring, discover some things that are important to the guests about wine. Ask what wines they drink at home, if they enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, etc. It is important to let them know that you are first interested in them, rather than what they will buy. Additionally, asking questions about why they chose to visit gives the server the information needed to direct the conversation and the experience.

  1. Sell Benefits

How does buying and drinking the wine benefit the guests? Show the guests how their lives will be better or more interesting by drinking your wine. Offer a solution to a problem (for example, they want a wine they can drink regularly). As you are doing this, ask the guests if they have any particular points of concern or questions they would like to ask.

  1. Close the Sale

Ask a few closing questions that will elicit yes answers based on information you already have elicited: “ You prefer white wines, is that correct?” “I believe you said you enjoy dry wines?” “When you were tasting you preferred the Frontenac.” Then summarize the benefits: “You will always be comfortable serving this wine to guests.” “We have a special price on the Chardonnay right now.” (Do not use the word discount – saying special price makes it more… well, special) “How many bottles would you like?”

Selling is simple if you focus on the guest. There are some buyers who want to know all the facts, but they are few and far between. Give guests information they can pass along to their friends about when they get home.

A tip of the glass from me to you!

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More on Sales

When people come into your business do they already know that they are or are not going to buy from you? The answer to that question is no, they don’t. How many times have you walked into a business with no intention of buying anything and bought anyway?

As a salesperson, your job is not to assume that someone is or is not going to buy. Though if you have to make an assumption, assume that the customers in front of you are going to buy. If you assume that your customers are not going to buy, did they then not buy because they weren’t ever going to buy or did they not buy because you treated them differently in some subtle ways that may not be picked up by the conscious mind but will be stored away by the subconscious? Also, the subconscious mind contains information that we are not actively aware of but may nonetheless influence decision-making.

Research has shown that customers will make instinctive decisions with their subconscious mind. As consumers, we are not aware of what’s in our subconscious. Although that we may still be influenced by things we have heard, seen or experienced before stored in the subconscious.

As humans, we prefer things that are familiar to us as well as simple to understand. Make it simple for your customers to understand your products and to make decisions to purchase.

A tip of the glass from me to you!

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Give Your Customers A Sign

So many businesses don’t give enough consideration to signage, Signage is important, whether it’s outside the door, or on the highway to the directional. That and other signage inside the winery/company can be critical to the overall success of your business.

According to Sapna Budev, of International Sign Association, in an article in, “Best Buy discovered that about 17% of its customers were people who did not intend to stop there but did so specifically because they saw the sign, which is well linked to their brand and overall marketing.

Signs are especially important for new businesses, as research from shows that signs attract half of a start up business’s new customers.

Not only is using signage important, according to Budev it’s also about the look, readability and size of the sign. So here is some information regarding signage.

Color: Use colors that will stand the test of time. Using colors that are too trendy may make your sign look outdated quickly. It has also been shown that 80 percent of trademark recognition is due to its color.

Use contrasting colors to make the signs easy to read. High contrast also helps consumers retain the message or information in the sign.

Size:  Of course the larger the letters the easier the sign is to read. Billboards for example need to be minimal information and large type so people can see them as they are zooming down the highway.

Directional signs should also be easy to read, so use a plain type font.

Think about your customers and the information they need when they visit your business, as well as the information you want them to know about your products, upcoming events, etc.

Your signage is one more way to get important messages across to your visitors.

A tip of the glass from me to you!

Sales Is Easier Than You Might Think

e_T4Q6892 low-res -c bw sI find that there can be anxiety around the sales process. I have heard people say that they don’t like to sell because they don’t want to be pushy, or that if someone wants to buy something, they will ask for it. Though really sales is, many times, giving people the reasons to do something that they already want to do.

Many people who come into your business, want to buy, but they are waiting for you to give them the reasons why they should buy. If you don’t give them those reasons, they will leave without the sale, or worse – buy from the next business because the person behind the competitor counter asked them to.

If you enjoy the interaction with customers but have a few qualms about selling, here are a few things to think about.

Do you have customers who you relate to on an emotional level? It could be something as simple as you are enjoying talking to them and they seem to be enjoying talking to you. Once people are connected to you, they are more likely to buy something from you. And because you have been listening to what they have to say, you will know which products will appeal to them the most.

Use the way you speak to let your customers know that you’re interested in them. Instead of giving them your opinions such as, “Let me tell you about…” use the word you more often, for example, “You’ll find this wine is similar to the wines you said you liked.”

It’s about being more aware of your customers and what they are thinking and feeling. Once you get into the habit of putting your attention onto the customers instead of the products, you will sell more.

A tip of the glass from me to you!