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July 12, 2007 | Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Wine Club Management | WineDirect Admin

If you don’t know where you’re going, any bus will take you there.

I have a job that is specifically measured on how well my clients are doing. I am measured according to my clients’ progress, and for that reason, I am challenged with trying to help my clients help their winery increase their DIRECT online sales. Now, this may seem easier said than done, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to time management and planning. Most wineries are so busy with the overall business management that the person who is in charge of ecommerce is also in charge of fifty other things. In addition, the ecommerce tends to be delegated to the back seat of a winery’s DIRECT sales plan which often falls under hospitality. The romancing of a hospitality employee up-selling in a tasting room is much different than Internet commerce. Their expertise in face-to-face interaction and salesmanship does not translate the same way to a customer behind a computer screen. It requires a different mentality to gain sales and customers in this arena. So how do I do my job — help wineries to do their job effectively and more efficiently — based on these challenges?

The answer surprisingly came to me during a personal conversation I had with a friend at Starbucks. We were discussing what she would ideally like to do when she ‘grew up’. She described her short-term and long-term goals, but to my surprise, it wasn’t just her goals in some abstract, vague way, but her step-by-step plans to attain to her goals. As a wise person once told me, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any bus will take you there.” We often tend to get so caught up in our day-to-day lives, that planning goals, moving towards those goals, and continually reassessing them gets lost. The same can be said for business goals.

Getting the right people on the right track with our winery partners seems to be the main challenge — we need winery owners to see the huge potential for DIRECT sales via the internet. Once we have their attention, the wineries will need to translate their understanding of their business into attainable goals and then build the DIRECT sales channel from there. The key to this is in the planning and goal setting. (To reference a smart coworker, see Stephen Mutch’s blog on “The Six Steps to Goal Setting”.)

Once you know where the bus is going, you can help navigate the best way to get there. The first step to achieve your winery DIRECT sales goals is to focus on these five key areas:

  1. Effectively build your database
  2. Increase online orders month over month
  3. Build loyalty among customers
  4. Build your Wine Club membership
  5. Reprioritize your time to maximize Return On Investment

So, help me do my job well. Let me help you help your bottom line — get on the bus that is going where you want to be.

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