4 Ways to Increase Wine Sales in the Tasting Room

It’s simple: Wineries are missing out on opportunities to SELL.

rutherford hill napa valleyThere’s a theory in the wine industry that if customers don’t join your wine club or buy when they’re in the tasting room… they’re lost forever.

WRONG.

Here’s the truth: Tasting room staff could be doing a lot more to win customers over and generate future sales.

The key to generating sales is to engage with the customer. It makes all the difference in the world.

Here are a few tips to help guests purchase a bottle of wine or bring ‘em back for more:

1. Create a Great Experience.

A likeable employee paired with a great story can sell wine. There’s no doubt about it.

In fact, there’s no bigger turn off than tasting room staff that don’t even pretend to care. Why? Because the majority of people visit a winery for the experience. Whoever you have behind the counter needs to be knowledgeable about the wine and be able to sense customer needs. In other words, they need to know the difference between a customer who is looking to drink and a customer looking to taste.

Then, employees need to know how to relate and entertain. It’s their job to create lasting impressions, so make sure you hire someone capable!

As a customer, if I enjoy my experience, I will either return, tell my friends, or do both. Word of mouth is key in the wine industry.

2. Ask People to Join Your Mailing List.

Not everybody is ready to join your wine club or buy a bottle on their first visit. However, if you can keep in touch… your chances of making a sale (or several) significantly improves.

Do you have their information to keep in touch? If not, you’re missing out on big opportunities to SELL!

Each day, you should be signing up visitors for your mailing list and it’s easier to do than you think. Because your newsletter offers lots of secret insider information such as access to VIP parties, wine knowledge to impress your friends, and great deals… it’s a no-brainer that everyone would want to be on your list, right?

Well, it’s your friendly employee’s job, now that they are best friends with your latest customer, to sweet talk the benefits of being on the mailing list. Still having trouble building your list? How about trading in that “free” take-home wine glass for a customer email address?

3. Connect Online.

If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, make sure your tasting room guests know it! Post signs where people can see, add it to the bottom (or top) of your tasting menu, on the tasting counter, and maybe even the wine label.

Once you have that, make sure employees mention your presence. Why not offer a check-in special on FourSquare as well?

Instead of telling just one person how much they’ve enjoyed your winery, sites like Facebook, Twitter, and FourSquare enable your customers to tell hundreds (if not thousands) of people at the same time… all about your wines! Don’t miss this opportunity!

4. Offer discounts for a future visit.

They’re here now and you definitely want your satisfied customers to return. How about offering discounts on the next wine purchase? Or maybe a limited-time 2 for 1 tasting on the next visit? Of course, an email or mailing address would be a nice exchange, don’t you think? ;-)

Remember, it’s all about engaging, so make sure you connect with your guests before they leave the tasting room… so you can keep them as customers! It’s not difficult.

What does your winery do to increase tasting room sales?

(photo via Rutherford Hill)

Adegga: A Social Network for Wine Lovers

If you love wine, be sure to check out Adegga.com, a social network for wine lovers. You can post your wine tasting notes, share what you think, and discuss wines with fellow wine enthusiasts.

Adegga also gives you an opportunity to engage with wineries promoting their wine on the site. Ask questions, leaves comments and tasting notes, or simply stop by and see if they have any new offerings. You’ll also find dynamic video and news updates from many of the wineries.

Joining Adegga is free and a great way to discover new wines and become part of a close-knit online community who share one thing in common… great wine! Come find me on Adegga and check out our tasting notes. A few might not be listed here on TravelPlusWine. ;-)