The Grapevine

Wine Retail 101: Serve Don’t Sell

April 2nd, 2013

Whether you have staff or it’s just you in the shop, make sure your emphasis is on serving rather than selling.

Yes, it’s tempting to squeeze every dollar you can out of every customer, but that’s short-term thinking and it doesn’t build long-term relationships. And since long-term relationships are far more profitable than any one-hit transaction can ever be, you have to focus on developing them to thrive.

Here are some tips for making that happen.[level-members]

  • Ask customers, “What’s for dinner tonight?” and offer them three options (at three different price points) that pair well with what they’re serving.
  • When a customer asks for varietal x at $y don’t just point them to the appropriate rack. Ask whether they’re pouring with a meal or for cocktails and make recommendations based on that info.
  • Thanks customers as they’re leaving, but go beyond the rote, “thank you.” Try something like, “Thanks for stopping by. Please come back and be sure to ask for me. I’m Andrew.”

In short, show you care, show you’re invested in helping them rather than moving product. 

Remember that every customer who walks into your shop is giving you a chance to sell to them – not wine – but the experience of your shop. Don’t waste the opportunity by being pushy, impersonal or indifferent. [/level-members]