Build a New Customer Base

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Wine can be either scary or intimidating to many outside the circle of friends with whom we associate.

Some interesting studies er reported recently in the Wine and Viticulture Journal. A better understanding of those concerns might help build a new customer base using some simple to implement ideas. . .

From the report: among US customers, in order of concern... with some suggestions under each to address their hesitations: :

I find it hard to select a wine

When someone walks into your tasting room, use the 2 questions we often site from the Ohio Grape Industries research: Do you like dry or sweet? Do yo like red or white? then try to guide them gently to find something they might like

I don't like the taste

Perhaps they are a sweet Vino-type person with more taste buds on their tongue and thus because of their physical make up, really, really do not like the very dry wines, foisted on them in the past [thanks Tim Hanni for all the research!]. So make sure your tasting room staff is not imposing their preferences on customers and/or making those who 'talk dry and drink sweet' uncomfortable with their natural palate preferences.

It gives me a bad hangover

Perhaps it is not that they get a hangover, but are sensitive to the histamines in red wines [a substance which comes mostly from fermentation on the skins] so have your staff suggest that they explore some white wines...and of course, consume in moderation.

My friends don't drink wine

Have a little fun with this one. Pick out a wine that is easy to drink [perhaps a sweeter labrusca??? and put on a neck hanger: "Perfect choice for the person who does NOT like wine." Or set up a coroner of your tasting room specifically designated "'A special place for those who do not like wine to discover their inner palate." You get the idea.

Statistics say a business loses 10% of its customers a year: they die, move away, develop different interests, get mad, etc. So it is critical that we ALWAYS look to grow the base of our customer pyramid. Or in 10 years, we will be in serious trouble!

About the author:

Donniella Winchell photo 2013 (002).jpg

Donniella Winchell, Executive Director of the Ohio Wine Producers Association...

Donniella Winchell