Secrets of Master Sommeliers
A sommelier is also, by definition, a wine marketer. It is the sommelier’s job to create a fantastic experience for the customer so that they purchase more wine.
They have a sales process that can be extrapolated to selling something other than wine. What follows is one sommelier’s process:
1) Shape the customer experience – The inventory of wine at a restaurant needs to work with the food that they are serving.
2) The Personality of the sommelier matters – People buy from who they like. Often, the sommelier is the face of the restaurant.
3) Don’t tell people what they want – There are over 600 varieties of grapes, you can’t possibly guess what they like. Ask questions – get to know their tastes.
4) Know how your customer is going to drink their wine – Will they be sipping before the meal and drink water with the meal? Or will they drink their wine with the meal?
5) Make the most of your terroir – Terroir consists of the soil that the grapes are grown in,
the moisture content, the weather and the orientation of the vineyard to the sun. In this case, terroir is the restaurant, the food it serves and the personality of the place.
One of the best wine experiences I had at a restaurant began with a sommelier that had a good personality. He appeared to enjoy his work and he went out of his way to make sure we got a bottle of wine we would like.
Like other sommeliers, he asked if we would like a wine suggestion. Unlike other sommeliers, he said that he would bring us a taste of any of their wines. This allowed him the opportunity to see what kinds of wine we like and allowed us the freedom to choose a wine that we would enjoy.
The Sales Process
Every sales representative has figured out what works for them to get an order. They may or may not think of it as a sales process – but it certainly can be expressed as a sales process. Just like any other process, they will tweek it over time to make it better.
The wine story is a process that works and there are elements that may work for you.
That is just my opinion, I could be wrong.