Home Wine Business Editorial E Column If You Have to Assume…Make Positive Assumptions

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 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 must 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.

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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