Beyond the Pour

Pour & Ignore

The phrase “pour and ignore” is not how you want people to refer to your tasting room experiences. Sure, on a busy weekend afternoon, it becomes a challenge to give each customer undivided attention, but this should be the exception not the rule. We know from hundreds of mystery shops that there is a huge correlation between the guest satisfaction and the interaction the guests have with winery staff, so more needs to be done in the tasting room than just pouring wine.

Merely Monologue

A vast number of enthusiastic tasting room staff has a tendency to be so happy to share their wealth of knowledge about the winery, wines, and other information that they tend to treat each guest as a potential audience to present to. While much better than ‘pour and ignore,’ merely regurgitating facts and giving a presentation without any input from the guest tends to be too one-sided and lacks the much needed interaction. In a presentation, you talk at a person and it becomes a monologue. No matter how professional, educational and entertaining it is, it’s just a one-way street. And, unfortunately, monologues don’t build relationships, get club members or sell wine. Dialogues do.

Dazzle & Dialogue

Is your staff talking at your guests or with them?  In a dialogue, you talk with a person in a relevant conversation asking questions and exchanging information.  You still work in all the key points about your winery and winery – but as a natural part of the conversation. Figure out (by listening to) what your guests are interested in and convey the information back to them in a way that is tailored to their preferences.

Building Rapport

The best way to find out what your guest is interested in and what their needs and wants are is to ask open-ended questions. By asking the right rapport building questions, you’ll find out more about your customer – what their relationship is with your winery, with wine in general, and what they are going to be most receptive to.  You can accurately profile customers – and then adapt your ‘sales pitch’ accordingly – by engaging them in conversation. This will give you clues on how to sell to the individual in front of you.

Dialogue leads to building rapport/establishing a relationship, which leads to trust, and trust leads to sales. More dialogue not only leads to more sales, but also customer satisfaction is actually much higher because they feel that they had a unique experience, tailored to their preferences.

So dazzle your guests with dialogue that engages them, and watch your customer satisfaction scores rise along with sales. What conversations is your team having with guests?