What Makes Guests Buy – Part Two

Last week’s blog (March 27) talked about three of the six most important things that guests are looking for when they buy your products. In that article I covered Identity (how your products relate to how guests see themselves), Quality (know what quality means to your guests before you start to sell), and Experience (guests remember a good experience).

Part two follows up with three additional things that guests want. The first is Connectivity/Community. As a winery you want to encourage people to connect with your products, your employees and your business. One of the reasons why wine clubs are popular is because it gives people who enjoy wine the chance to meet other people who enjoy wine. These days it may be harder to create a community; we don’t all know our neighbors, we don’t necessarily go to church on Sunday and we don’t always live close to our family. Wine clubs and wine events give people a community they can connect with.

Connectivity is also the reason you have a Facebook page for the business, post on Instagram and Twitter, just to name a few options for social media connections. Keep connecting in every way you can and create communities of customers.

What Need does your wine fill for your guests? You have a lot of guests. These people buy your wine for many different reasons and to fill many different needs. Find out what their needs are and add the information to their customer record. The more you know about them, the more you will be able to meet their needs.

To finish off, think about Value and what it means to your customers. The idea of value varies from one customer to another. To some, price is value, to others scarcity is value and others may value service. Ask everyone working in the winery what is of value to them in working for the company. You will get many different answers and the same is true for your customers. Don’t assume that someone else’s definition of value matches yours or the last customer you served. A tip of the glass from me to you!

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Creating Unique Interactions

The best thing about working in hospitality is that we get to interact with different people all the time. If you don’t find that to be a positive, perhaps hospitality is not for you.

We can, however, fall into patterns of behavior that are not always easy to break. We get used to presenting our products, talking about the company and giving people information about the area. However, it is important that we remember that each of our guests is different, including the ones who visit together, especially if it is a man and a woman.

Men and women are different and the rapport we build with each of them is built in different ways. Treating people respectfully is always important. It does not matter how much they know or do not know about our product or even about the type of product we sell. If they are treated well they will come back or recommend us to others.

Most women prefer to create relationships and are more likely to buy if they feel they have been able to form that relationship. While men, overall, are more interested in knowing facts. Additionally, men are more mission and task-oriented, whereas women are more discovery-oriented. The man may have come in with certain wines in mind and stick to those, whereas the woman may taste wines that she has never tasted before and broaden her interest. This means we may be able to sell them wines, they hadn’t known about prior to their visit.

Let’s say a couple visited your winery and the man does most of the talking. However, that does not mean he is, necessarily, the decision maker. It is not always easy to discern who the decision maker is and we don’t do ourselves any favors if we make assumptions.

Keep an open mind and try to meet the different wants and needs of all your guests. It will pay off in increased sales and more loyal customers.

A tip of the glass from me to you!

If You Have To Assume… Make Positive Assumptions

“Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesperson – not the attitude of the prospect.”- W. Clement Stone

I am not sure that there is anything more frustrating than entering a business of any kind wanting to buy products and realizing that the salesperson has already decided that you are not a viable customer.

This happens more often than we might think. Many salespeople judge prospective customers as buyers or non-buyers on any number of factors that are not reliable gauges.

Here are some questions for you? As a salesperson, what is your attitude towards your guests? 

  • Do you judge guests as buyers or non-buyers when they walk in the door?
  • Does your attitude to the guests change based on your assumption that they will or will not purchase?
  • If you answered “no”… are you sure?

Most of us judge people automatically. We have made assumptions more than once in our lives. At one time or another, we have been proved wrong and had to revise our ideas or points of view.

Making assumptions about whether your guests will buy or not when they visit your winery cannot only prove you wrong; it can also cost you and your employer money. If commissions are part of your overall earning and you want to make an assumption about your guests, assume that they are going to buy.

When someone you have never met walks into your winery, you don’t have the information you need to decide the likelihood of their buying or not, regardless of how they are dressed or how they sound. Even when you have asked them a couple of questions, such as:

  • Have they been wine tasting before?
  • Do they regularly drink wine?

If they answer no to both questions, it is still difficult to know whether or not they will buy. While they may not drink wine themselves, they may have twin daughters who are getting married at the same time and have invited 300 people to the wedding. All of the wedding guests are wine drinkers (or certainly could be if someone else was paying for the wine).

If you have to make assumptions, make positive ones. Assume your guests are going to buy and treat them well. If you do, they are much more likely to buy.

A tip of the glass from me to you!

Small Investment… BIG RETURN

The Facts

Is going to be an interesting year for the wine sales in the United States. Reports are saying that wine production is increasing in the U.S. with more wineries opening every year and wine imports to the U.S. are increasing. A May 2018 report from the Wine Institute noted that wine available for sale in the U.S. from all U.S. production sources and wine imported to the U.S. by foreign producers — grew 1% to 403.4 million cases in 2017.

As of 2018, there are 9,654 bonded wineries in the United States. This number does not include the virtual wineries without a brick and mortar winery. These producers make their wine at host facilities (i.e. custom crush facilities) and sell through mailing lists, retail stores, email, and over the phone.

It is also expected that individual wineries will see fewer people as wine consumption slows in the Boomers and Matures’ generations while, at present, Millennials and Gen Xers consume more liquor and beer than they do wine. It is expected that Millennials will be the largest group of fine wine by 2026 (only 7 years to go).

What does this mean to you as a winery? 

It means that the majority of wineries have put more effort into selling wine to the guests and customers who take the time to come to the winery or have signed up for the email list.

The Problems

1. In many wineries I visit, I find that people who are supposedly selling wine were hired because they know a lot about wine and want to have a spotlight to talk about what they know. Owners and/or winemakers, who started a winery or make wine, also got into the business because of their love of wine.

Unfortunately, knowing a lot about wine, is not a great recommendation for a hospitality/sales person. While it is important to know about the wine you are selling; it is more important to know about the people to whom you are selling.

2. Guests are overloaded with jargon that they may not understand and probably won’t remember by the time they have made a left-turn out of your driveway.

The Result

Guests leave your winery without buying any wine and without a story to tell their friends about your wine. I doubt that this is what you want.

The Solutions

The solution to the problem is two-pronged:

  1. Change your hiring practices, so you are hiring employees who like people even more than they like wine.
  2. Training your hospitality staff is a small investment with a Big Return.

I guarantee that a staff well trained in customer service and sales will sell more wine and create a loyal following for your brand.

If you want more information on training your staff, drop me an email: E@inshortdtc.com

A tip of the glass from me to you!

Customer or Guest? Customer Service or Customer Engagement?

The words you use to describe your clients are important.

Some people may dismiss the use of slightly different words such as customer or guest, service or engagement as just semantics. However the words you use influence the way you think and the way you may act towards the people who visit your winery.

Let’s start with the words, customer and guest. The two definitions for a customer that I found in Dictionary.com are:

  • a person who purchases goods or services from another…
  • a person one has to deal with.

The definitions of the word guest in the same dictionary:

  • a person who spends time at another’s home in some social activity, as a visit…
  • a person who receives the hospitality of a club… or the like.

If you were visiting a winery, which would you prefer to be, a customer or a guest? Would you rather be… “A person one has to deal with” or “A person who receives hospitality?”

Many people who come to wineries do so because they want to be a part of something they think of as exciting and fun. How many times in your winery, have you heard guests saying “It must be great to own/work in a winery.” Considering those who make time to visit your winery as guests, may encourage you to be more friendly and may encourage them to buy and return often.

Moving on to the words service vs. engagement:

I have seen many tasting room staff members give good service without being particularly engaging or truly treating the person they are serving as a guest of the winery. These staff members can be helpful without being interested or efficient without being friendly.

Engagement tends more towards creating an affinity with the customer, a lasting connection and providing the best experience possible. While service fills a need to provide a product for the customer but may not go that extra mile to create a feeling that as a guest the person is important to the company and to the staff member who is engaging with them.

Think of these and other words that you may use in your hospitality center that can be revised to create changes in the way you think of the people who visit your winery and how you treat them.

A tip of the glass from me to you!

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This week, WHAT, HOW, WHO, and WHY are we NOT Selling?

Last week we looked at what to do and this week we are looking at the opposite side of the What, How, Who and Why of selling, which is:

  1. What are you not offering
  2. How are you not offering it (is our presentation unique)?
  3. To whom are you not selling?
  4. Why are you not doing this?

What are you not offering?

Most people (owners, managers, and staff) have ideas of what they want to do in the business they either own or work in. Many times these ideas have a lot to do with their own interests or motivations, which while reasonable is not necessarily going to get the job done. Because of this, you may not be offering customers the information that will close the sale.

How are you not offering it?

You are not offering the information the customers’ want when you haven’t discovered what it is the customer is looking for. If, for example, I like red wines, fifteen minutes of information on how you grow your Chardonnay grapes and how you make your award-winning Chardonnay is going to cut no ice with me at all. That time could have been much more profitably spent talking about your red wines. Also, many times crucial information is not offered until late in the visit. If it is something that will benefit the customer (such as special case prices or wine club info), let the customer know early in the visit so they have time to weigh the pros and cons and make a decision.

To whom are you not selling it?

Are you judging visitors when they come into your business? If you say no, you are probably wrong. We all judge, it’s part of being human. It is part of what keeps us out of danger. It helps to be wary. It also helps to understand that you have no idea how much someone may buy based on the car they drive, the clothes they wear or how much they know about your product. Many times someone may not buy because you haven’t taken the time to discover his/her likes, dislikes and purchasing triggers.

Why are you not doing this?

Remember that purchases are made through engaging the emotions rather than in the intellectual part of the brain. Buying is a process that is strictly emotional. Instead of facts, inspire your customers. What and How educate your visitors, the WHY inspires them to buy and become long-term customers.

A tip of the glass from me to you!

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