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The Most Important Elements of Sales


In many wineries, sales training in sketchy at best. So, this week’s blog covers some the basics of sales training that are often overlooked.

 If we want to sell, we should listen more than we talk.

Some sales trainers say customers should do 80% of the talking, some say 60%. This leaves either 20% or 40% of the talking to the salesperson. Stick within either of these percentages to allow ample time for customers to say what they want or need to say.

Customers may already know a great deal about your business.

There are many ways for consumers to amass both good and bad information about your company. Before employees launch into a pitch for the business, they should discover what the guests already know. That way sales personnel can affirm or correct the perceptions.

First ask questions then provide information

If you don’t know what the potential customer wants, it is difficult to provide the reasons to buy that s/he needs. It is a waste of both the guests and the salespersons time to present information that is not wanted or needed. Additionally, the salesperson builds a relationship when s/he take a few minutes to discover the needs of the customer.

Discover the wants and needs of the customer

The salesperson can save time and be more helpful if they do a little digging into what the customers is looking for before making any suggestions.


  • The reason the guests chose to visit
  • What do they expect from the product they are buying?
  • Their priorities
    • Best product possible?
    • Price range?
    • Additional benefits?
  • How customers make decisions
    • Do they quickly decide what they want?
    • Is thorough research important to them?
    • Have they been shopping for the product at other places?
  • If there is more than one person participating in the discussion
    • Who is the primary decision maker?

Know your products

You now have enough information from the guest to know whether or not you can help them. This is the time to show them the products you have that will fit their wants, needs and budget as well as their personality and self-image.

Congratulate the customer(s) on his/her choice

Let them know that they have made an excellent decision and that they will be happy with their product.

Of course, there is a lot more to sales. However, starting with these simple techniques will increase sales and create long term return customers. Happy selling.

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.

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