Tips for Training Your Staff (and Get More Sales)

Whether you’re focusing on getting wine sales through your tasting room, restaurant or wine store, you can train your servers to naturally improve the sales. Here are five tips to get more wine sales that you need to know about!

Serve Your Servers

One of the most important training elements is having your servers understand what exactly you expect them to do. It is one of the most underrated tips to get more wine sales.

The best method to enforce this is by allowing the servers to put themselves in the shoes of guests, and you serve them accordingly. This training method includes the serving procedure, the conversation and the recommendations. Consequently, you allow your servers to understand how important it is to establish a sort of feeling of comfort and trust.

Another critical component in this play-pretend is allowing the servers to taste the wine. There is no better way to understand something than by immersing yourself in it. This can be for restaurant servers or individuals in your tasting room.

Pour your servers tasters and explain the wine to them in great detail. Help them understand what flavours they should expect, what food to pair with it and why the pairing works so well together. Again, do exactly what you expect them to do.

When it comes time for your servers to serve your guests, you can be assured that your servers will be confident and equipped enough to make excellent recommendations and answer most questions that the guests will have. Your servers will know which questions to ask to help understand what wine the guest would prefer. The result? Better sales with guests feeling confident and informed about their purchase.

ensure you focus the training on making informed and valuable suggestions. And if guests have an incredible tasting experience from the recommendations, you can be guaranteed they will be back for more.

Teach Them About Wine in General

While your servers must understand the specific wines on your wine list, don’t forget to sharpen their general wine knowledge. It is essential to understand basic wine terminology to reinforce that confidence as a tip to get more wine sales.

Considering the wine industry is vast, you can base this wine knowledge around the particular wines that you have on your list. For instance, talk about your Pinot Noir compared to the Pinot Noir produced in Burgundy. Discuss the winemaking process and how it differs for white wines, unoaked wines or vegan wines. Additionally, if you have wines likes Sancerre and Chablis, you can explain these in some depth and discuss the confusion often around these wines.

This is crucial in training anyone in the wine industry, from restaurant servers to wine-shop clerks and tasting-room ambassadors. Not only will this aid the conversation your servers have with your guests, but again, it establishes confidence in your server.

Teach Natural Upselling

The thing about making more sales in the restaurant or tasting room is not being pushy. Getting to know the wines on the wine list needs to boost confidence and allow informed conversations around your wines. In particular, the aim is not to push pricier wines on the guests. Experience and statistics tell us that guests can see right through pushy sales and is the most important tip to get more wine sales.

So, instead, ensure you focus the training on making informed and valuable suggestions. And if guests have an incredible tasting experience from the recommendations, you can be guaranteed they will be back for more.

Reinforce Constantly

Training your staff is not a one-time thing. You have to consistently reinforce, regroup and re-establish all the elements of the wine, menu and service.

The truth is, your servers will forget particular things, standards slip, or the menu could change. You must make it a regular practice and make notes of where there could be potential improvements. Are there particular wines that you need to focus on more? Are there specific questions that guests have asked that you should talk about?

Pro tip to get more wine sales: training is an ongoing process, and if you want long-term results, you have to put in the time.

Make it Fun

Although the training is an essential element of your business, it won’t stick with them if you’re training military-style. Make it an interactive event. Get their input, have a laugh and make the experience as memorable for them as you want for the guests.

When it comes to making more sales, the golden thread here is to build confidence in your servers. Make them comfortable with the wine, which in turn, will make selling it significantly easier. You have to work on their training consistently, so you can reap all the long-term benefits.

If this article on tips to get more wine sales sparked your interest, we suggest reading our pieces on:

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From our GOLD Partner Patricia
Fascinated by the many facets of wine and wine businesses, Patricia has spent years learning about wine, educating consumers about the product, as well as wineries about their business. She strives to bridge the gap between producers and consumers and help everyone to a better wine life.

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