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Acquiring Customer Information – First Contact


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One of the best ways to gain information about your customers’ appreciation of wine, wine drinking habits, the types of wine they enjoy and how often they buy, is in person. Whether it is at the winery or an outside tasting, you have the opportunity to learn a lot about your customers that will help you create a relationship.

In many businesses other than wine, people who visit are there for a specific reason. In wineries this isn’t always the case.

  • Guests may wish to learn more about wine in general.
  • Someone may have told them about your wine and winery.
  • They are regular customers.
  • They had never been to a winery before and wanted to see what “the wine thing” was all about.
  • They were passing by and needed to use the bathroom.

Rather than starting the interaction by handing them a tasting sheet and telling them what is to taste, introduce yourself and ask them why they came to visit your winery. Once you know why they came to the winery, you can follow up with a couple of questions about their relationship and knowledge of wine. Listen carefully to their answers, taking the time to jot down some notes as needed.

If it seems appropriate to explain why you are taking notes, tell them in a few sentences that you want to ensure that they have the best experience they can. A big part of that is being able to offer the wines that are best suited to them or make recommendations of what they may like.

Having information about your guests likes and dislikes gives you a better idea of what you can do to encourage them to buy today, come back or buy again from you.

Remember that it is easier to create a customer if you have already made a friend.

More ideas in next week’s blog.

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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