July 31, 2009
When ordinary people picture the winery business, their minds usually turn to pastoral fields of grape vines, dark cellars filled with well-worn aging barrels, and kindly vintners offering sips of their latest blends to interested tourists who just happen to be passing by. While those images are certainly a part of the industry, there is another side – one filled with hectic schedules, hastily arranged meetings, calls from demanding customers and the ever-present pressure to perform.
At the heart of this second group are the salespeople who regularly visit retailers to promote their brands. Despite all the progress that’s been made in communications technology, this is still primarily a face-to-face business. This fact results in a great deal of mobility among the sales force, which means they work remotely on a regular basis.
For those with a large support staff, being on the road is an inconvenience. Still, they have help staying in touch with all the customers they’re not visiting that day – people to forward calls, return calls that don’t require their personal touch, and alert them to any developing emergencies. For salespeople at boutique vineyards who have little (or no) support staff, however, it’s one of the most challenging aspects of their job. Particularly since customer expectations are that a smaller business will provide better service and responsiveness than a large-volume one simply because they are a small business.
There’s also the issue of how small is too small. While the boutique image often speaks to quality (versus the high-volume producers), taken too far it can lead customers to question whether the vintner has enough resources to fulfill its orders on a timely basis. Customers like the thought of small. They’re less enthralled with the thought of “unprofessional.” So it’s important to create an image, both in reality and in appearances, that is in line with what customers want and expect from their high-end wine suppliers.
Read more about:Agents
About the Author(s)
You May Also Like