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Terry Hegarty
 
December 30, 2014 | Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Telesales | Terry Hegarty

Utilizing telesales to sell more wine

The end goal of any wine marketing strategy is to bring in more customers and retain current ones. This is especially important if you're looking to sell directly to the customer. The most common methods are through a tasting room, club memberships and an online wine store. However, there are more ways to reach wine lovers directly. One of these methods is relatively old-fashioned, but can still have a plausible impact on what you sell and how you sell it. By utilizing telesales, you can greatly strengthen your winery's brand overall.

It's all in one call
Telesales is what some consider an offshoot of telemarketing. However, don't let the latter name and its negative connotations fool you. According to SmallBizConnect, outbound telesales is essentially you trying to sell your wine directly to the customer over the phone. The entire selling process, from the pitch and discussion to the closing transaction, is completed in the course of a single phone call. This is distinct from telemarketing, which intends to generate interest in a product that can be used to create a lead, before handing him or her off to a sales staffer to convert into a customer.

Pick up the phone
There are a few advantages to telesales that can help benefit your business in running a DTC winery, as Demand Media notes.  It allows you to easily expand your business far beyond the reaches of the tasting room. The overhead costs of running a sales operation by phone can be a lot less expensive than using standard channels of distribution. When you consider selling wine online, you can use the telesales experience as both a stopgap and complement to other sales channels.

More importantly, when you sell wine direct to a customer over the phone, you have the opportunity to develop a relationship that grows over time. With their information, you may feel compelled to check in on them from time to time to see if they're enjoying the wine, and perhaps use that as an opportunity to restock or sell new blends. This can help boost customer loyalty.

However, there are some challenges to consider when dealing with phone sales. For one, if you do outbound calls, it's important to remember that many people are still uncomfortable with them. You should be prepared for some unfriendly reactions and be able to turn the rapport around in your favor. More importantly, by virtue of not being face-to-face, phone conversations tend to be awkward and take more time to develop a rapport to effectively make a sale. As a consequence, you have to provide more effective speaking and customer service skills to really get along with potential patrons of your winery.

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