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As it is already May and wineries throughout North America are getting busier and busier, it seems like a good time to remind you of methods of interacting with guests that can and will increase sales in your hospitality center.

Many people who work in wineries do so because of their own interests in wine, their desire to be in the industry and of course the advantage of being able to buy wine at less than full price. Conversely, many of your guests may not know a lot or anything about wine so their level of interest in wine may not be as deep. This disparity between what guests want to experience and what we think they want to experience can, many times, lead to a disconnect, which it turns leads to guests leaving without buying anything.

Over the years I have created many handouts to use in my winery training seminars. This handout, D.A.R.E. To Sell is one of my most popular with winery staff.

D.A.R.E. is an acronym for: Don’t Assume • Ask Questions • Reach for the Sale • Explain Benefits

Don’t Assume …

  • Your guests remember everything you have told them during their visit, even before they leave.
  • Guests know a lot about wine in general or your wine in particular.
  • Your guests feel comfortable asking questions about the wines or prices of wine.
  • Every guest has read the tasting notes or wine club information.
  • Guests have faith in their abilities to judge that your wines are worth the price you are charging.

Ask Questions…

  • Questions should be asked of your guests as their visit proceeds. Long before the end of the visit you should know their interest in and relationship with wine.
  • Establish a rapport with guests along the way by creating a personal relationship. People connect first with people, then with the product or company.
  • Discover what is important to your guests; what they like and what they know. People come to wineries for all different reasons. Some may be very wine savvy while others have never stepped inside a winery before.
  • Allow for a two-way conversation.
  • Use the information you have collected from your guests to help them create a    closer relationship with wine and your winery.

Next week, part two of D.A.R.E. To Sell:

  • Reaching for the Sale
  • Explain Benefits

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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