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We’ve all seen the data.

When wineries closed due to Covid-19, tasting room sales plummeted. Those that were equipped with online sales capacity saw sales in those channels take precedence. While online sales have proven to be profitable for those invested in the technology, there is still nothing that compares with the experience of meeting and greeting your guests to cultivate relationships, sales and lasting engagement.

Now that tasting rooms are back open, wineries can welcome guests again, albeit with some restrictions. It may be tempting to think that technology can take over tradition – but it can’t. There’s no online replacement for the warmth of your welcome and that human connection you create with your authentic hospitality. So, let’s talk about how you can make the most of each guest’s visit.

Here are 4 hot tips for your tasting room ambassadors to help them make the most of each visitor’s arrival, both in terms of your winery’s revenue and also the guest experience:

1. Use Hometown Info About Your Guest to get Conversation Flowing in Your Tasting Room

Many wineries are using reservation software to book tasting room visits. Use the data collected to confirm where your guests are coming from. Research the local weather, know the sports teams – even if none are playing right now – or some recent events that you can use to start conversation. They’ll appreciate the effort and your interest in their home town!

2. Leverage Guests’ Past Winery Purchases Data

Research their past purchasing patterns and preferences as well as any notes you have on file about their past visits – was it a special occasion celebration? A family holiday? A ladies’ wine retreat? What did they purchase? What did they love? If you’re not using any system to document your visitors’ purchases and other valuable customer intelligence notes, you’re missing out on opportunities to build rapport with your customers and sell more wine!

3. Use Monthly Emails About Your Winery to Continue Developing Your Guests’ Experience

The guest may or may not have joined your wine club during their visit. We’re seeing that customers sometimes prefer to select their own wines rather than receive the standard club shipment, or they may not want to wait for the quarterly shipment. If you are able to send them tailored email messages according to their past purchases and preferences, then you’ll have a very good chance of selling to them frequently throughout the year. You may even develop a more appealing, flexible format wine club option that you can eventually propose via email. Ensure you are communicating monthly with thoughtfully curated messages, offers and information.

4. Offer Unique Experiences that Double Down on Your Winery’s Brand Narrative

Talk to your team and awaken everyone’s awareness around your winery’s uniqueness, your story and what makes your brand special. Then take that to the next level! Beyond storytelling, today’s consumers (in particular, Millennials) are looking for the experience of a brand even more than just purchasing the brand’s products. What are experiences you can offer your guests that will go beyond the wine and cement the ideas of your brand you’ve been putting out there on social media so they will remember their visit to your winery and remain engaged customers for a very long time after they return home.

To talk more about how to customize these strategies for your winery, drop us a line. We know how to go Beyond the Wine to turn your visitors into engaged, loyal customers!