There are probably a lot of contenders running through your mind at the moment. What really is your wine shop’s most valuable asset? [level-members]
It could be your location or the real estate itself, if you own it. It could be your reputation or your expertise. It could even be your inventory, if you’ve got a big enough cellar. But it’s none of those things.
Your most valuable business asset is the relationship you have with your customers. You could argue that it’s the customers themselves, but what really matters is the relationship you have with those customers because it is that relationship that allows you to market to them.
Without that permission, you’re stuck selling. That leaves you competing on price and convenience, rather than any true value you can add to the experience. That’s why creating opportunities to engage with your customers without selling is so critical. This is what raises the value of the relationship above pure commerce.
We’ll talk more about that tomorrow, but from a business perspective, you need to guard those relationships as if your business depends on it – because it does.
This means creating a customer database that includes not just basic biographic information like name and address and birthday and their spouse’s name, but also preferences and habits and information you can use to tailor communications to their interests. Why send a general email out to everyone on your list when you can send a Bordeaux-specific email to those whose interest lies there and something else to folks who never buy French wine at all?
Your customer list is going to take many forms – records in your PoS system, potentially, as well as an email marketing list and lists of friends/followers/fans from various social media outlets. Tracking them all can be difficult but it’s something we’ll discuss tomorrow as part of our marketing post.