Tasting Room Sales Staff

Skilled Tasting Room Staff Can Make or Break the Tasting Room Experience

You have invested a substantial amount of capital and time into your tasting room.  To grow your profitable direct to consumer business you need to be constantly improving the tasting room experience and growing your tasting room traffic. Here are some ideas to consider.

1. Consider free WiFi for visitors and have your staff encourage on-the-spot social media reviews, shared photos, check-ins & videos.

2. Develop reciprocal relationships with your neighbor wineries and recommend each other to visitors. Have postcards to handout with map, tasting discounts, wine list.

3. Celebrate your news. Distribute press releases for new staff appointments, wine releases, awards, and vineyard (bud break, verasion, harvest) or winery (bottling, barrel sampling) events.

4. Partner with related hospitality providers. Reach out to hotels, restaurants and cultural organizations and create co-marketing opportunities.

5. Use your mailing list regularly and include coupons and special incentives to entice your fans to visit your tasting room.

Click here for more ideas and tasting room sales tips


Tasting Room Sales Training

Sales Training Package with, Workbook, Management Package and Tasting Room 56 Best Practices

You work hard to make great wine. You spend good money making your tasting room comfortable and inviting. You Facebook, you Tweet, you advertise, you are on the map. You get visitors in your door but do they buy your wine?

At the average tasting room a third of visitors do not buy wine.  A well trained staff can make the difference in getting 80 to 90% purchasing your wine or joining your club. They need to know how to ask for the sale. Here is a quick video on one very simple and successful method to sell more wine.

Tasting Room Sales Tip #14

Frequently staff members are hesitant to “ask for the sale”. This video tip reviews the Direct Close technique and how to use it in the tasting room. It uses a simple question to determine which wine(s) to ask your visitor to purchase.

For More Tasting Room Sales Tips Click Here

Plus 6 Tips For More Sales

There is good news in wine country about increased visitor traffic in tasting rooms. The recent survey conducted by Silicon Valley Bank shows visitor traffic up a whopping 11.5% year over year, following an 8.5% increase the previous year!

In addition to more people in the tasting rooms, visitors are also spending more money than in previous years. Tasting room guests opened their wallets from a low of $41 per average purchase in Michigan, to a colossal $202 in Napa Valley. The vast majority of regions fell between $45 (New York) and $95 (Oregon).

Preparing To Profit

For small and mid-sized wineries this is welcome news as they continue to grow their direct to consumer sales channel. Many wineries are leveraging the increase in tasting room traffic by having better trained sales staff to grow their revenue. On average 36% of visitors do not even make a purchase, yet some tasting rooms have over 80% of visitors who buy. This is due to a well-trained staff, good operating sales systems and support from management.

Converting more visitors to wine club members is also an opportunity that many wineries miss. The survey average was 1-2% conversion of visitors to new club members. According to tasting room consultants, a well-managed tasting room can average  5-7%.

6 Sales Tips For More Sales

Click here to learn more sales tips
  1. Make sure your sales staff communicates your brand values
  2. Instruct your sales staff to look at visitors in the eye and ask for the order– every time
  3. Mention the wine club at least 3 times during the tasting
  4. Learn about your guests and match the sales offer to their needs
  5. Try various closing techniques including the direct, indirect and open-ended close
  6. Develop rapport with your guests, offer appropriate advice and become a trusted advisor in their wine buying decisions

Tasting Room Sales Training now available on DVD

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WiVi Central Coast (WiVi) is a newly expanded symposium and trade show focusing on wine and viticulture.  The two-day event is built on the foutwitterlogondation of the successful VINE Symposium. The expanded showcase brings winemakers and wine grape growers together for an unprecedented collection of trade show booths, product demonstrations and networking opportunities.

WiVi is the newest and largest trade show on the Central Coast showcasing hundreds of new products and innovative ideas.  Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about techniques and technologies from today’s industry leaders and look at issues and regulations facing one of America’s fasting growing wine regions — California’s Central Coast!

WiVi Central Coast is brought to you by WINE BUSINESS MONTHLY and Precision Ag ConsultingWINE BUSINESS MONTHLY is the leader in product information and resources for the wine industry, and Precision Ag is a Central Coast viticulture consulting business that understands education and the pulse of the Central Coast. Both companies are working together to create a premiere conference and trade show on the Central Coast.

WiVi brings together a talented team of meeting and event planners paired with the editorial integrity of WINE BUSINESS MONTHLY. The marketing and planning of the meeting is directed by Becky Zelinski, co-owner of WiVi and Precision Ag Consulting. Becky Zelinski has more than 20 years experience planning and marketing events and is the developer of the Central Coast VINE Symposium along with her husband Lowell Zelinski, Ph.D.

The educational sessions are being directed by Lowell J. Zelinski, Ph.D., and Cyril Penn, editor of WINE BUSINESS MONTHLY. Lowell Zelinski is co-owner of Precision Ag Consulting and WiVi. He’s a former U.C. Extension agent and CSU professor with more than 30 years experience developing agricultural research and education services. He currently provides viticulture production services on the Central Coast.

This one day immersion course in sales and marketing is hosted by Elizabeth “E” Slater, marketing expert and owner of In Short Direct Marketing and partner in the Wine Industry Network.

Anyone who frequents the home improvement store or watches TV home make-over shows understands the do-it-yourself (DIY) concept quite well. We’ve taken this concept one step further by empowering you with the DIY tools, skills, and know-how to improve your winery’s tasting room, programs, and staff.

You don’t always have the budget to rely on outside services to change your merchandising, increase sales staff training, or revamp your wine club. Take action and start the ball rolling yourself. In this workshop, you’ll receive a handy DIY Instruction Manual filled with tips and suggestions along with expert commentary and materials by qualified guest speakers. You’ll leave armed and ready with the right tools to get the job done and the satisfaction that you’ve done it yourself! For more information on the show schedule and speakers Click Here.

This single day event will be hosted in the heart of the Napa Valley.  The exclusive supplier showcase will be sized to feature a limited number of high level exhibitors whose products and services relate directly to the target audience attending this seminar.  Anyone wishing to attend the showcase must enroll for the seminar.

The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival will bring big-screen glamour to the Central Coast in March 7-11, 2012, with screenings and special events across the county.

Located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, surrounded by lush vineyards, ranchland and a 100-mile coastline, the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival (SLOIFF) is headquartered in the quaint, sophisticated downtown of San Luis Obispo on the spectacular Central Coast of California.

Festival Website

As a premiere 5-day annual event, the SLOIFF showcases contemporary and classic film screenings in a wide variety of venues, from the city’s classic art deco Fremont Theatre, to the popular independent Palm Theatre, with a variety of unexpected venues from the wine country of Paso Robles to the seaside towns of Avila Beach and Pismo Beach.

San Luis Obispo Wine Tasting and Film Festival

The main event will show feature films, narratives, short films and special screenings at venues countywide.

Variety is the spice of life, and the SLOIFF is proud to embrace that philosophy in its programming. From cutting edge documentaries to tried and true cinema classics, the SLOIFF celebrates film on the ‘big screen’ by offering something for everyone. Experience HOLLYWOOD & VINES EVENTS that pair excellent local wines with film classics. Or the RED CARPET EVENTS, where we welcome celebrities from Hollywood filmmakers to action sports legends.

Enjoy premieres of INDEPENDENT FILMS – films that you may not have a chance to see anywhere else. Filmmakers from all over the world attend the Festival and offer informative Q & A sessions after the screening of their films.

Details for the 2012 festival have been announced. Check the Festival Website for the latest news and highlights and the complete schedule of films, workshops and special events.

For a view of special films see the SLOIFF Youtube channel and sit back and enjoy!

I have been in the wine business off and on since the late 1970’s and have tasted thousands of wines and visited well over 1000 tasting rooms. Some people call this work, but I know better, it’s a great fun and great practice to discern what wines I prefer to drink and what wineries I like to visit.

Wine has been an enigma to many people– a misunderstood beverage with lots of mystery. Yet, for years we are told that everybody has different tastes in wine and some wines will appeal to different people, and we should enjoy what we like! So individual opinions from “experts” really shouldn’t sway us on what wine we should like. But they do!

I was speaking with a couple of local winemakers the other night about gold medals and 90+ point scores for their wines. They both indicated that they submit their wines to a number of competitions and will regularly provide wines to influential wine writers. High scores and gold medals clearly help sell their wines. (A top score can liquidate a vintners inventory within a few days.)

Other winery owners I have spoken to feel that the days of gold medals making a substantial impact of wine sales has passed. Are there too many wine competitions and therefore too many medals? Is it overload to keep up with the latest scores? Or are we now more attuned and confident in our own ability to discover wines we like and to heck with what Mr. snooty, cork dork thinks?

Let’s go out to the wine country this week and do some research.



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