DTC Secrets: Success in the Slow Season
DTC Sales Strategies to sell titanic amounts of wine all year-long
What should a winery be doing in the winter? Selling wine of course! So how can you drive DTC sales in the months after Christmas, with your customers’ pocketbooks still recovering from the holiday buying-spree? Now more than ever you must use sound DTC Sales Strategies:
Sell the Memories, not the Savings
Promotions can be a great way to drum up incremental wine sales, but after the bombardment of specials during the holidays it’s important not to rely on discounts to sell your wine. Most of your customers have either visited your winery or had a spectacular experience with a bottle of your wine. Success in your sales conversations often depends on bringing your customers back to that moment that they fell in love with the wine. Ask your customer questions about their first visit to your winery, or their first experience drinking your wine. If you are a longstanding brand, remind them of the winery’s legacy that they as a patron get to be a part of; if you’re new to the market or a smaller producer talk about the exclusivity and limited availability of the wines available. The best sales conversations rekindle a passion in your customer first, before asking them to purchase.
Come prepared to handle objections
There may be a lot of reasons NOT to buy your wine at this time of year. Your job is to know these reasons, and to address them confidently. Here’s a few common winter objections to prepare for:
- I’m not buying wine right now: If your wines are selling well you should start to run low on the current vintage releases during the winter months. This can create urgency; “I understand, but I wanted to give you a call as we’re nearly out of stock of the 2012 Cabernet Reserve”
- Can you send me an email? If your customers keep asking for emails they are either blowing you off or are overwhelmed with the amount of information you’re giving over the phone. Only talk about one wine at a time, and have at least three “favorite things” memorized for every wine in your portfolio to prepare you to talk about any and every wine in depth.
- I picked up some wine over the holidays already: Frame wine shopping in the winter as “Replenishing their cellars” after the holiday celebrations. Ask about what wine’s they’ve enjoyed over the last few months, and see if you can use those experience to recommend wines stock up on. As their “wine guy”, it’s important that you hear about their holiday wine experiences while they’re still fresh, and use that knowledge to make thoughtful recommendations.
By selling based on benefits, not price, and preparing for common objections you can continue to move wine DTC in the winter and all year-long. For more DTC sales tactics and strategies find me @WineRelay or email Michael@WineRelay.com.