Home Wine Business Editorial E Column What Your Guests Want From You?

What Your Guests Want From You?


The title of this blog, “What Your Guests Want From You,” is somewhat disingenuous. All businesses have many different types of customers, though in wineries there are even more variables. Coming through you doors you may have everyone from people who have never been to a winery before and/or don’t drink wine, to those who study wine and know more about wine generally than you do.

When new people step through the door, you have no idea why they have decided to visit. Your job is to quickly discover what brought them in and what they expect to achieve. They could have walked in the door for any number of reasons that may or may not involve buying wines.

Before you start telling visitors about your business and products, find out about them. Start by entering into a conversation that combines asking questions about their reasons for visiting and information on how you can meet their needs.

Here are some of the different types of guests you may encounter:

Newbies: Never been to a winery before. Don’t drink wine on a regular basis and don’t know anything about wine. Rather than this being a time to fill their heads with wine facts, discover:

  • What their lives are like
  • Why wine has never become a part of it
  • How you can change that.

It may be a lack of confidence and fear of choosing the wrong wine that is keeping them from drinking wine. Give them the information they need to be more confident.

All About The Money: These are people who may come in looking for a bargain. While you may think your wine is a bargain, the important thing is, what do they think? You need to know:

  • What a bargain means to them
  • When they have bought a wine that is outside their price range and why

Once you know what is keeping them in a particular price range you can give them reasons to expand their ideas.

Aficionados: These people may want you to listen rather than talk. When you do talk, it may be to point out how your wines meet their criteria:

  • Medals
  • Reviews with high scores
  • Recommendations

Once you know what they like, congratulate them on their knowledge, the quality of the wines they drink or their choice of varietals. Make them feel good about their choices and put your wines into those categories.

Focused: These are the wine drinkers who know what they like and want to see if you have that type of wine. With them, ask about:

  • How wine is a part of their lives
  • Wines they regularly drink
  • How your wines compare

With the knowledge you gain you are able to create the room for them to expand their tastes slightly into wines that you have that will fit into their focus.

Next week more ideas.

A tip of the glass from me to you.

Elizabeth SlaterE Column
by Elizabeth “E” Slater, In Short Direct Marketing

A recognized expert in the fields of direct marketing and sales in the wine marketplace. Slater has taught more wineries and winery associations how to create and improve the effectiveness of their direct marketing programs and to make the most of each customer’s potential than anyone in the wine industry today.

Follow E on twitter @esavant and facebook.

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