The Grapevine

Wine Shop Marketing Tips: Conversation Starters

June 25th, 2014

Today’s marketing tip for wine shop owners focuses on what happens in the shop. It’s worthwhile to acknowledge that what happens in your shop can be more powerful than the rest of your marketing combined. Here’s how to make the most of the great opportunity you have for marketing and branding each time a customer walks into your shop. [level-members]

As I was reading an article in The New York Times on wine- and spirits-related books, it occurred to me that one of my favorite shops has a small but noticeable bookshelf right behind the counter. These books aren’t for sale – that’s not allowed in the state where this shop is located – but they do let you know that the shop owner is serious about his wine and cares enough to continue to educate himself.

NYTimes Books on Booze

That sets a tone right away. But it can also offer a way to open a conversation. “I was just reading about some great wines coming out of California. Are you more of a new world or old world fan?” A knowledgeable customer will have an opinion. Someone with less experience offers you a great opportunity to educate. (As long as you don’t embarrass them …)

Keep this in mind when it’s slow in the shop and you’re tempted to switch the computer over from the PoS system to Facebook or YouTube. Having a book open is a great way to establish your shop as a shop worth visiting and to open conversations with customers you don’t yet know.