Memo to Our Employees: How To Make Personalization Matter

Personalization matters. As a manager of over a dozen employees, I find it necessary to emphasize the importance to each individual. The following is one of my attempts to do so…

How To Inspire Employees and Why Personalization Matters.

I recently read an article regarding the lack of emotional commitment people have nowadays when it comes to purchasing wines from the Old World, as well as the New World. The phenomenon, which seems to be a recent one within the last 15-20 years, is described as wine consumers who have lost their brand loyalty. It appears they don’t really have regional preferences like they used to, now having been inundated by the myriad of wine choices available to them.

This got me thinking. I feel the same thing is happening in our own backyard. There are about 400 wineries with tasting rooms just in Napa Valley alone, and a whopping 820+ within a short drive if you include Sonoma County. With so much competition in the ultra-premium brand arena, as well as the need to compete with grocery stores and their price-attraction to “weeknight wines” generated from off-the-shelf stock, the commitment to a particular producer has been lost.

I think smaller wineries whose proprietors have considerable face-time with guests and the larger wineries with high Parker scores still do well. But the edges are being eaten away and the core circle continues to become smaller. What makes the difference? You. You make the difference every time you make a call on behalf of our winery partners. Wineries are in a daily competition for market share and need their point of difference communicated to keep the emotional connection strong.

Find the Emotional Connection – The Art of Personalization

While wineries produce fantastic wines and offer memorable experiences at the winery, WE bring their customers back home. So it’s incredibly important to represent our partners correctly.

  1. Know the offer and know what to offer, based on customer preferences.

  2. Make your own suggestions–as you do represent the winery–and people do respect your opinion.

  3. Recapture the emotional connection that made them fall in love with the wine in the first place.

  4. Handle any issues that arise in a compassionate and timely manner.

You are all in a unique position to help our winery partner’s customers find the emotional commitment again. I can’t express to you enough just how incredibly proud I am of each and every one of you– and the respect I have for all the hard work you do.

When I look back on my career, I would have never thought that I would be sitting in the world-renowned Napa Valley, representing iconic brands, tasting amazing wines, visiting surreal landscapes and meeting heroes. I mean, come on…it doesn’t get any better than this!

When you are in a rut, please reflect back on these thoughts and find your second wind. Let’s do our winery partners and ourselves proud and find that connection. Have a great time doing it, brighten someone’s day and of course, sell some wine!

How do you inspire your employees?

Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Christian Mullen

Christian is the Director of Operations for Chatterbox Wine Marketing Services.

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