Written by Lamar Engel:
For those of us entrenched in the gritty world of winery tasting rooms, where wine flows and sales pressures loom large, mastering the art of selling becomes a daily grind. Whether you're honing your sales prowess or chasing ambitious targets, mastering key performance indicators is the path to growth in this industry.
I wish someone had handed me these game-changing tips earlier in my career, transforming how I perceive the link between product and patron.
So, without further ado, here's a no-nonsense list of 5 tips that will overhaul your tasting room sales strategy.
#1: Zip It and Tune In
In a nutshell: Talk less, listen more. Sure, you're a wine whiz and probably have at least 12 wine pins showing it. Begin to assume your guest knows their stuff too. Turn the tables; ask them about their wine preferences, entertaining habits, or interest in wine clubs. You'll gather invaluable sales insights.
#2: Trash the Tech Sheets
Ditch the data spiel as your guests aren't here for a tech talk. Share the wine's story instead. Transparency is your ally. Memorize the valuable data, yes, but craft a compelling narrative behind it and when or if you share it with guests; bring reason with it. Tell us the vineyard saga, the dramatic decisions—make it juicy.
#3: Humanize Your Brand
Your brand needs a human touch. Rewire your team to narrate your brand story differently. Eliminate robotic jargon and replace it with relatable descriptors. Let your guests peek behind the business decisions, forging trust through authenticity. Don't be afraid to allow the human details shape your guests perception of the brand. Not one brand exists from a perfect set of zenith points. It's ok to talk about the shortcomings and how the brand learned and grow from them. Be real and the reward in brand trust will follow.
#4: Close the Deal
Stop with the yes-or-no interrogations. Ask specific, tailored questions based on what your guest has already shared. It shows you're attentive and significantly boosts your chances of a sale.
Instead ask “How many bottles of the wines you loved would you like to take home today? Or “Which wines can I ship for you back home” or “Which club level makes more sense for your style of entertaining your own guests?”
#5: Practice the F-Word
How is your “Follow-Up finesse”? Guests crave post-visit connections. A simple follow-up—be it an email or a call—works wonders. Wineries who miss this boat lose out on long-term customer value and club retention. Empower your team to make those post-visit connections count. Don't be afraid to modify their daily tasks to ensure you are enabling them to connect with the customers.
Sharpen these strategies, and watch your winery's revenue soar.