Do you treat the person you have just been introduced to in the same way you treat your Mom? Well of course not, you reply, what a silly question. And yet, many wineries do that very thing without even realizing it.
The Buyer’s Continuum is a core marketing concept that begins with the premise that all guests or customers are not equal. In fact, each one is at a different stage in their relationship with your winery. Some guests are customers you’ve just met. These are your prospects. At the other end of the continuum are your raving fans and brand ambassadors, just like (hopefully) your Mom. The rest are somewhere in between – your first time buyers are on the continuum after prospects while repeat buyers lead to your VIPs.
Our first job in the Tasting Room is to determine where each guest in front of us belongs along this Buyer’s Continuum through asking open-ended questions. Then, as in all good relationships, we seek to deliver what each guest needs in order to feel comfortable about moving to the next stage of the relationship. Prospects need to know that buying from you is a safe decision. First time buyers thrive on recognition. Repeat buyers expect you to understand their preferences. Brand ambassadors revel in respect and rewards.
As the relationship deepens over time, so does the customer’s loyalty and lifetime value to the winery. Understanding how to move your customers along the Buyer’s Continuum, from prospect to brand ambassador, is very, very WISE.