Monday, March 2, 2020

Rant: Ten Minutes on Vouvrays? Promoting & Selling Wine

"And what was that 10-minute lecture on, what, Vouvrays?"
--Jack to Miles in Sideways

Last Friday, I helped Mirena and Win of Croatian Premium Wine Imports pour some Croatian wines at the Boston Wine Festival's Uncorked For A Cause, a charity wine event that benefited No Kid Hungry. There were five different wine stations, each accompanied by a food station that was created to pair with those wines. There were wines from California, Oregon, Italy and other better known wine regions. The Croatian wines were the most unfamiliar to the average attendee at this event, so people were curious.

At such a large tasting event though, most people aren't looking for a ten minute lecture on any wine. They primarily want to taste the wines, and continue socializing with their friends, sampling some of the various dishes, and maybe even dancing. So, you need to hook them on your wines quickly, to give them a brief highlight reel, to provide them the most compelling reasons to taste your wines. You might only have 30 seconds to promote your wine. What would you say in those 30 seconds?

This is very similar situation to working in a wine store, where most of your customers aren't there for a lengthy education. A number of them have only a limited amount of time in the store. They want to rely on your expertise though appreciate receiving just the top highlights of whatever wine you're recommending. And again, you might only have about 30 seconds to talk about a wine, so what would you say?

Obviously, you also need to tailor your comments to the specific customer, perceiving those people who actually want a more lengthy explanation about the wines. For example, there were a small handful of people at the Uncorked event who wanted much more information about Croatian wines. So, you could launch into a lengthier explanation, providing far more details than you would to the average consumer.

At a tasting event, you benefit from the ability for attendees to taste your wines, as those wines can speak volumes, providing the most compelling reason for why the attendees should seek out your wines after the event. However, you still need to persuade the consumers to taste your wines, and you likely don't have much time to convince them. At a large tasting event, they have plenty of wine options, and will probably end up sampling only a percentage of the available wines. That means you must be quite persuasive, in a short time, to ensure those consumers taste your wines.

At wine stores, if you aren't having a tasting, you have the benefit that the customer is there to purchase wine. However, then you need to quickly recommend wines for them to buy, without the benefit of having the customer taste the wine. It's a slightly different situation, but with plenty of similarities too. It's all about proper time management, of presenting your best arguments quickly and persuasively.

Few customers want to hear ten minutes about Vouvray. Be quick, precise and compelling.

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