Myth Busters

Myth Busters

In reviewing more than 4,000 mystery shops and working actively with wineries every day, we’ve heard some remarkable myths out there. Most of the myths we hear are about why it’s a challenge (or ‘impossible’) to sell wine, sell the wine club, or ask people to join the winery mailing list. Since as humans, most of us tend to remember our failures more vividly than we remember our successes, we dwell on all the reasons why we can’t sell. More often than not, we just have to get out of our own way and brainstorm ways to counter the objections,… Read more »

Managing an Outbound Calling Program

Phone Sales

We all recognize the value and profitability of calling our wine club members and customers. It is a very personal and powerful touch point that amplifies the ever-important relationship with our customers. What may not be obvious is that a carefully planned and developed outbound calling program can yield profits at up to 30-40% of sales revenue. The catch is that the effort requires good management and oversight… unfortunately, this is the piece of the puzzle that is so often overlooked, ignored or unfunded. To develop an outbound calling program within your winery, here are ten areas that should be… Read more »

Keeping Up with the Jones’

Napa Trends in Wine Tasting Experiences

A lively conversation among WISE instructors was triggered by a recent article about one of the hot trends we’re seeing – the changing interests of visitors to wine county. Although this article targets Napa specifically due to the number of visitors that come to this progressive region, it can be argued that the volume is a good indicator of potential Napa trends in wine tasting experiences that other regions might soon recognize and prepare for. This trend is showing that Napa, in its an attempt to combat extreme competitiveness, is offering more memorable, awe-inspiring, high-dollar tasting experiences that require more… Read more »

Getting the Guest Count Right – WISE Best Practices

Data is King. Every marketing guru out there is shouting that from the mountain tops. What is a small winery with limited resources to do to understand their data? It all starts with quality and consistency of data capture. Let’s dive into a few best practices that wineries of every size can employ starting today to measure DTC conversion. Make it Easy In our industry, it all begins with the guest count. When it is easy to capture, you will find that your frontline staff will be more likely to consistently and accurately track the information. While there are several… Read more »

NEW – Join our String-Bean-of-the-Month Club

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… Read more »

10 Tips for Successful Wine Clubs

Wine clubs are the lifeblood of our direct-to-consumer program. We can’t let them just run on autopilot if we want to keep our members. Here are 10 tips to consider that will strengthen both our wine club and our relationships with our members for a successful wine club program. Customize our club One size does not fit all. Traditionally, we expected our club members to take the wines we want to sell, and that was that. Nowadays, every business is customizing to let customers get what they want and we need to do the same. If we want to keep… Read more »

10 Ways to Surprise & Delight

In the past 5 years, we’ve seen a trend with our mystery shopping and the experiences wineries are providing. It used to be the exception, not the rule, when we would see a host surprise and delight a guest beyond their expectations. In the past, we used the ‘bonus pour’ to wow our visitors. But today’s consumers are getting more savvy and have higher expectations, so our new goal becomes to surprise and delight every guest beyond that extra splash. WISE Best Practice: Exceed every guest’s expectations on every visit by formally choreographing these elements of surprise and delight into… Read more »

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. – Staying Motivated

We are often hear: “How can I stop checking out on the job halfway through my day?” Or essentially: “How can I keep myself on task and motivated through my work day?” Often times people working in winery tasting rooms begin to experience a bit of burn out and no longer look at guests as warmly as they once did. Self-motivation takes practice. It is a skill we need to develop and practice daily. The master motivator Zig Ziglar would hear often that “Motivation just doesn’t last.” His reply was always, “Well neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it… Read more »

10 Tips for Successful Tasting Rooms

With the arrival of Daylight Savings Time, we know that it’s just a matter of weeks now until busy season starts. Let’s get ready to shine with these 10 tips. Great Greeting We only have one chance to make a great first impression, so we need to make sure that our greeting is exceptional. Studies show that if guests aren’t greeted or acknowledged within the first 15 seconds, they typically rate their experience lower. Your first impression is an important one, and recovering from a bad start is almost impossible. Start off every experience on a positive note. If our… Read more »

Storefront Tasting Rooms Best Practices

Storefront Tasting Rooms Best Practices Is your brand in a holding pattern, waiting for a destination winery to be built? Perhaps your brand makes wine in a warehouse district with little organic foot traffic. Maybe there is a mountain range between your winery and where your target market is located. Whatever the reason, more and more “storefront” tasting rooms are popping up across the country – retail spaces in downtown areas acting as a tasting room for wineries/brands that are not easily accessible (or not yet built). One of the biggest challenges of these storefront tasting rooms is that guests… Read more »