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Sell More Wine in Your Tasting Room - Scott McCormick
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Sell More Wine in Your Tasting Room - Scott McCormick



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  • -Sales Manager @ Vin65-Been working with Vin65 for a little over a year nowVisiting wineriesSee a lot of people doing great thingsGet a lot of perspectives on the tasting room experience
  • With that being said, I am here to talk about the tasting room experience. So I am going to take you through a tasting room visit and the areas where you can improve your processes to help you sell more wine.
  • First off I want to talk with you about the permission ladder. Andrew touched on the permission ladder a little bit already but I also want to mention the importance not only to be aware of the permission ladder but also to understand it, to know where each customer lands on the ladder at any given time and to know how to move them up.Andrew also touched more so on the 3rd and 4th step of the ladder claiming that customers tend to stampede through your doors drunk from previous tastings and somehow still with padded wallets. And sometimes, that just might be the case…….. Sometimes you might have to work a little harder for that sale.So occasionally you may get a customer who comes in and buys and buys again and walks themselves right up the ladder – isnt that a dream, likely youre not going to get enough of those folks to support your business so you want to make sure your tasting room team is aware and has the right tools to walk these customers up the ladder.Getting a person to buy that 2nd order is the tough one. They’ve left the winery, they’ve gone home and its time to face the Visa bill. You have to capture their email address or phone number in the tasting room, you have to give them some incentive to buy. If they are from out of town, you’re likely going to have to lead them to buying online.Once you have them buying – they are hooked.
  • So lets start from the bottom of that ladder and see if we can work our way up, it starts with getting visitors to your tasting room. I’ve just arrived in the Okanagan, I know theres a tonne of wineries here and I want to see some, but how do I know which ones to see?Where are tourists going to find info for your area?-Hotels, events & other wineries – I know the Oliver/Osoyoos winery association is in the room today, Im sure you guys are promoting each other.-Tourism associations-Chamber of Commerce-Winery associations-Online advertising
  • - Know your brand and stay true to it. If you market a premium wine, you can’t be bringing people into the tasting room with huge incentives-Offers to partners who send you customers, hotels, limo companies etc…-Test various channels to see what works-Tracking referralsources and sales
  • I don’t want to touch on this too much because my friend Paul is going to be coming up to dive deeper into social media but these are all sources that are going to drive traffic to your tasting room.-Check-ins-Answering reviews-Handling complaints-what do your yelp and google reviews say about you-Google west kelowna wineries1. Westside wine trail2. Quails Gate3. Mission hill
  • Ok, we’re moving up the ladder, we’ve drawn some visitors to the tasting roomIncrease closure rate by 70%Do not let a customer walk away without asking them to buy something. A tasting is not good enough, you want these people buying the wine off your shelves.I know this is a roadshow series and we promised it wouldn’t be sales pitchy, and it wont, but I told you at the beginning, Im the Vin65 Sales manager, so if you come to me during the social and spend more than 30 secs with me, im going to try to sell you something.
  • Have it out for visitors and handy for staff to see, it is becoming a digital world and some things are getting a lot easier because of that. You know what you don’t want to make easier? A customer forgetting about your brand. Have some takeaways, something that’s going to get left in the persons car or in their kitchen or wherever they leave it and they are going to see it everyday until they finally throw it out. I know you’ve got some of these laying around in your personal space!
  • -Contact visitors after their visit, this is why we need to grab that contact information. If I buy and walk out and never hear from you again, theres a real good chance im not buying from you again. You asked for the first sale, now ask for the second, or just remind them that you’re there, be nice and say thanks for buying. Try to do this at least a few days after the visit once youre no longer fresh in their minds.-Be personable; ask them to review the wine they bought, or thank them for visiting-Send tailored action emails for personalized communication
  • -Have enough staff to accommodate all of your visitors-Train staff -Review sales tactics -Conduct training -Educate staff -Customize it (a 22 year old doesn’t know what lifetime value means)
  • Make sure you stay competitiveIf you want to know how to best serve the consumer experience, be a consumer, go visit your peers, do some tastings, see what they are doing and how it compares to the experience that you provide.Secret shopping your competitors is great but you should also be secret shopping your own tasting rooms. Too many times we sit down with some winery owners or execs and they assure us that their staff are doing ll the right things, getting contact info, upselling, talking about clubs so we go and shop their tasting rooms and get the opposite experience. And we do do this, so careful what you’re telling us, we may have already been in your tasting room!!!Companies like Earls spend hundreds of thousands per year paying people to secret shop their own stores, they then provide bi monthly ratings to all managers and their teams. This may be a much grander scale than your small business but this is the bar.
  • -Review sales tactics-Set monthly conversion rates (visitors to tasters, tasters to buyers, buyers to club)-Post metrics for staff to see, going back to that earls example, it is a full on competition between managers to see who can get the best secret shopper reviews, Earls posts a top 10 list of both individual managers and locations as a whole.
  • So we talked about the metrics, but make sure you are not strictly relying on ROI- Number of visitors over number of sales, number of visitors over tastings, tastings over purchases
  • So let’s get into the presentation – 10 ways to sell more wine on the internet. Today I want to give you something concrete – that you can take home with you – and you can apply.There are a lot of ideas here – I’m hoping that you can take one, two or three and run with those.
  • -Does it link to the web?-Can you recognize and sign up club members right in your tasting room?-Do you get instant social media notifications?- Is it mobile? This helps at events, concerts, and busting up long lines. Get your staff interacting with customers and out from behind the tasting bar
  • Make your experience the same for users across all channels, whether they’re buying wine in your tasting room, or online
  • Work for the sale, but don’t ruin the customer experienceIf a customer doesn’t want to buy, it doesn’t mean they will never buy. Make sure your customer leaves the tasting room with a positive experience, takes some collateral with them and leaves their contact information.You have a customer for life
  • Scott McCormick and I am the sales manager for Vin65.I am going to be honest with you here, I’ve been working with Vin65 for just a hair more than a year now and before this job I did not drink wine at all. In my 12 months with Vin65 I have learned quickly visiting dozens of wineries up and down the west coast and attended trade shows across north america. In the past 12 months we have signed up almost 250 wineries on Vin65 for combinations of websites, mobile POS and desktop POS, this process involves a lot of conversations about wine and how to run a wine business. Its also safe to assume I do drink wine today, on weekends, during the week, at the office, in a meeting, I’ve come to understand theres really no inappropriate setting for a glass of wine!


  • 1. Hello My Name is Scott McCormick
  • 2. In Your Tasting Room Sell More Wine
  • 3. Understand the permission ladder
  • 4. Active outreach and networking plan
  • 5. Drive the right traffic
  • 6. Monitor social media
  • 7. Ask for the sale
  • 8. Print collateral
  • 9. Collect visitor email addresses
  • 10. Staff
  • 11. Secret Shop
  • 12. 0 5 10 15 20 25 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Monitor and review
  • 13. The danger of reliance on ROI
  • 14. Use your POS as a tool in your tasting room Sell More Wine
  • 15. 4 Select as POS that’s customer focused
  • 16. Think of the customer experience
  • 17. Know when to throw in the towel… But don’t give up too quickly
  • 18. Actionable Items 1. Know where the customer is on the permission ladder 2. Get the customer information 3. Provide a unified experience
  • 19. Sell the Most Wine Online
  • 20. Sell More Wine