Sell more wine by not trying to sell so much damn wine. Instead, give away great ideas. The wine sales will follow. [level-members]
That’s a pretty stark way of stating that marketing has to be more about your audience and their needs than you and your needs. The way to their wallets is through their hearts, and the way to their hearts is to talk about things they care about.
So ease up on the “Great deals! Stock up! Buy now!” promotions and focus instead on things you can do to help your clients enjoy the wine they drink more. Guide them, teach them, and give them opportunities to explore the world of wine without fearing embarrassment or expensive mistakes.
Some great ways to do that are with tastings. These can be obvious and boring, of course, of you can theme them in ways that interest your customers. What percentage can tell a cabernet from a merlot? So why do varietal tastings? Why not do tasting of great pizza wines or (in November) great Thanksgiving wines? Offer a cheat sheet that summarizes what makes a great accompaniment to pizza rather than uncorking 4 or 5 different Italian wines. No need to worry if you aren’t as up to speed on these details as you’d like. A few minutes searching the web will give you more resources than you can imagine.
Another way to bring food and wine pairings to life is with tasting dinners in partnership with local restaurants. Run specials on the wines you pour and your profit is likely to go beyond the wine sold that night.
Offer “exploration specials” – cases that let a customer explore a particular varietal or region or country or even taste profile.
Give them a reason to buy wine – something fun or informative or both – and you’ll find it’s a lot easier to sell more wine.