Can You Hear Me Now?

Magical moments happen all the time during WISE Academy classes.  WISE instructors are privileged to hear the hopes and dreams and frustrations of our students.  While we hold these specific confidences sacred (what happens in WISE stays in WISE), we encourage everyone to share the general lessons.  With that spirit we want to share the key requests that we hear time and time again.  It seems sometimes that you all (tasting room team members and winery owners or executives) don’t talk to each other as much as you should to accomplish the goals you have in common, so we’re jumping right into the middle to facilitate.  No grapes will be harmed in this meddling process.

Here are the Top 5 Requests we hear from each side of the tasting bar.

What Winery Leaders Want their Tasting Room Managers to Hear:

  1. We have given you our wine, our precious baby, the result of years of work and worry. We spent many a sleepless night worrying about the weather, the pests, the competition, and the change in the economic fortunes of our customers.  We spent countless dollars to create this fine wine, and now we leave it in your capable hands to make sure it reaches our customers and makes them happy.  This is a sacred trust and we are counting on you.
  2. Our customer relationships start with you. You are in charge of developing these relationships, making people fall in love with our brand and getting new customers and club members.  Please see these interactions as a dialogue, not a monologue, find out each customer’s needs and fill them.
  3. Our club members are really, really, really important to us and we hope that you will recognize them when they visit, help them pick up their club shipments, and generally treat them like the VIPs they are. No matter if they are buying wine during their visit or not, please take special care of them so that they stay with us, as they are the lifeblood of our business.
  4. We count on you to rise above the daily duties and make time for budgeting, forecasting and reacting to trends. We count on you to communicate with us, keep us posted on what customers are saying and what you need from us to make magic happen in the tasting room.
  5. We know you can’t do all this alone, so we count on you to be a leader who will hire, train, motivate and retain great staff.

What Tasting Room Managers Want their Winery Leaders to Hear:

  1. We happily accept the responsibility to communicate our unique brand message to our guests. Could you please tell us what that message is?  We need communication from you, training, a wine club program that is easy to explain, understand and sell, and great collateral material to help us do that.
  2. We need to see you here once in a while so that we know that you clearly understand the challenges we face. Can you work by our side occasionally?  You, the owners, winemakers, vineyard managers, and wine club managers are our Rock Stars and our guests want to meet you.  Will you please come to our events?
  3. We work hard to get new list and club members. We count on you to welcome them by email, snail mail or phone, and stay in touch with them so that our efforts do not go to waste. Please develop a program to keep in touch with these customers to help keep them happy.  Invite them to visit us again and bring their friends.
  4. Please let us know what promotions are going out in emails, what is in the next club shipment, and when to expect that club members will be coming in for shipment pickups. We are embarrassed when customers tell us about something we should have heard about from you.
  5. Please pay our staff their incentive compensation and club bonuses on time, tell us how we are doing, and see us as partners in this great game of business. Help us grow in our positions and support us with the training and resources we need to excel and exceed your expectations.

Enough said?  We’ll let you take it from here, or please let us know if we can help.

Best wishes,

WISEly yours.