In a recent Wine Business Editorial in the Wine Business Advisor, Elizabeth Slater wrote about the importance of names in the selling of wine. To be clear, we’re not talking about the name of the wine, which we all recognize as important, but Elizabeth makes an excellent point about the use of your employee’s names.
Elizabeth writes that: “If you want to sell something, the first step is to introduce yourself, and not just by saying: “Do you need help?” but by giving them your name, “Hello, I’m Susan, may I help you?”
She goes on to explain that: “The second step is discovering the name of the person to whom you are speaking to and using it occasionally during the discussion.”
I am sure that you have heard this before. It is one of those things we learn when we first start selling. Unfortunately, it is not something that many salespeople remember. It was recently Black Friday, so in a large amount of my emails that day, and the day before, was information on the Black Friday offers from wineries. Out of the ten emails I received offering me great deals on wine, only one of them included the names of any of their employees in the email. Some of the emails I received included a phone number with an option to call in for personal service. The idea that the customer could interact one on one with a real person would be much stronger if customers were encouraged to “Call our concierge line to speak to Anne, Michael or Catherine.”
Elizabeth suggests that one can: “Increase connections with customers by adding a small card in each customer shipment, thanking them for their purchase and signed by the owner(s), winemaker or both. The more we can personalize the service we offer; the more likely consumers are to return to our winery and/or purchase over the phone or online.”
Research has confirmed that more than 70% of customers expect a personalized service from the company they are interacting with. For younger generations, a personalized service is expected. According to a recent article in Forbes “…poor customer service is costing businesses more than $75 billion a year.”
Elizabeth concludes that: “Showing your customers that they are important to you is the best way to keep them engaged and encouraging them to continue to do business with you. While we would sometimes like to believe that it is all about the wine, there are too many other wineries out there not to make sure your customer service is as good as your wine.”
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