Name a product and there is a now club for it: razors, socks, meal kits, and on and on. Just about anything can be delivered regularly to our door via a club or subscription plan, which can save time and money. As a result, we’ve become a bit jaded about selling our own wine clubs. There’s push back from our Tasting Room hosts who complain that no one is joining wine clubs anymore, or that everyone is pitching at every winery and guests are tired of hearing about it.
Our current mystery shopping reports show that our wine club is being presented less than 40% of the time. That’s means that 60% of the time visitors aren’t being effectively presented the wine club and invited to join. We let opportunities pass us by because we’ve convinced ourselves that people don’t want to join our wine club. But we must remember the Platinum Rule – to treat customers the way THEY want to be treated. It’s all about our guests and their preferences and we are not even in the picture.
We can’t sell anything that we don’t believe in. Let’s remind ourselves what our guests find valuable about our wine clubs. Discount benefits are less important than bragging rights, exclusivity, events, and belonging to something cool.
We’re not Selling Used Cars – Pacing, not Pouncing
If done correctly, selling wine clubs should NOT be a hustle. The people who are most successful at selling wine clubs have mastered the art of hanging with the sale. They focus on showing the customer what’s in it for them by explaining features and benefits throughout the guests’ experience. It’s all about pacing instead of pouncing, so that we invite our customer to join AFTER we’ve explained what’s in it for them and weave those benefits during the conversation and not just at the end of the experience.
What’s in it for the CUSTOMER – Present Features and Benefits:
- Bring up one club benefit: exclusivity – receive wines not available anywhere else – then let it go.
- Serve others or ask open-ended questions to learn their preferences.
- Then describe another club benefit mention – it maybe the next club event, or other invitations to private, special events, then let it go.
- Serve others or go back to more open-ended questions.
- Later, bring up another club benefit – savings, then let it go.
- Free Tasting – use a concrete example: For a party of four – If one of you becomes a wine club member, your first savings will be $XX (the cost of a tasting for four).
- Club members receive 20% off on purchases, which means on a $200 purchase, you save $40.
Other benefits for our club members that are worthy of mention include:
- Convenience – top-quality wines delivered right to your door – it’s like Christmas every quarter, or however often the club is shipped.
- Special Members-Only Lounge/ Tasting location.
- Memories and a connection to the brand.
- A gift they can give to themselves that keeps on giving.
If they are still not biting, back off. We should strive to be persistent, but not be a club shark.
What’s in it for the WINERY?
Let’s face it: revenue from club members provides steady, high margin, profitable income. Our CFOs love clubs! And it’s great, on-going PR, with the opportunity to develop brand ambassadors, which leads to positive word of mouth – the most precious advertising there is. These folks are paying us to be reminded about the winery. They also share their wine – and stories about their club experiences with friends and relatives, which again is unbeatable word of mouth.
What’s in it for US?
When we sell a club membership, there’s typically a bonus, right? And it’s an emotional high – helping the customer treat him or herself to great wine on a recurring basis. Also, club members tend to buy much more than non-club buyers and some love nothing better than to help sell memberships to others.
So, let’s get out of our own heads (and wallets) and remember that we have something our customers want – our wine clubs! It’s up to us to invite everyone to join with a thoughtfully paced, passionate presentation of features and benefits.