After receiving a crash course in wine sales through working with a local Wine & Spirits Distribution company as a head sales representative, I once again was ready for a change and was thrilled with the prospect of Chatterbox Wine Marketing. The idea of outbound sales may seem a little daunting at first, though by greeting customers with the same warmth, appreciation, and kindness as I’ve always strived to offer, I was pleasantly surprised how quickly I was able to adjust to this method of sales. We are given the tools, resources, and support to thrive and truly learn, improve on, and soon master our craft.
What we continue to learn is wine customers want to talk about wine, and they want it from the source. Which is why outbound sales continues to be such a powerful tool for any DTC program.
I interviewed Morgan Hale, she's relatively new to Chatterbox, but already making an impact on the outbound sales team.
Before we go further, lets answer the question, what is outbound sales?
In our use case, outbound is defined by reaching out to existing winery customers by phone to engage them in an opportunity to purchase wine. The salesperson uses ecommerce purchase history to understand their potential preferences and then calls with an offer structured around winery sales goals that month.
Lead cultivation and prospecting for #DTC tends to be the job of email marketing. And outbound is relationship management of an existing customer. But can often be confused as cold outreach.
Now, on to Morgan.
Hi Morgan, what do you think lead you to selling wine outbound? And do you have a favorite… inquiring minds want to know?
I have spent most of my working life in hospitality, and the common thread between the positions I’ve enjoyed the most has always been the people.
Through my time working at Little River Inn, we worked very closely with the restaurant even on the lodging side, and I gradually became more familiar with our wine list, which evolved into making recommendations to guests, assisting with events, and winemaker dinners. As a naturally curious person, I quickly wanted to learn more about the wines I’d come to love, which expanded to the desire to learn everything I could. Following the pandemic, I found that I was ready for a professional change, and our wine-buyer there at the time suggested that the world of wine sales may be a natural fit for me. The rest is history!
My favorite wine to drink is generally a great Sauvignon Blanc, although I have a soft spot for Pinot Noir, which truly comes with the territory of being raised in Mendocino County.
Some of my fondest memories include joining my parents on tastings and picnics in the Anderson Valley, even back when I could only enjoy the exquisite grape juice at Navarro Vineyards.
Music or podcast? What do you listen to keep you focused?
That truly depends on the day. I listen to a lot of both, but I find that I lean towards music when I’m jamming through a project and need a little help focusing. Podcasts are usually my go-to when I’m in need of a little inspiration, entertainment, or both! I’m especially drawn to comedy podcasts, as nothing boosts my energy and mood quite like a good laugh.
You talk to a lot of people a month, how are they? What’s the mood like? And why do you think they still answer when you call?
Since joining the outbound team at Chatterbox in October 2022, I have found that most people are doing just fine! I think after a highly unpredictable and unprecedented last few years, there is a somewhat new-found sense of excitement and optimism in the air, which has been a refreshing and welcome change of pace. People are generally quite pleased to get an unexpected call from their favorite winery. With that being said, I do think with the prices of many necessities going up, clients are prioritizing great value and great service now more than ever. With so many options out there, it is incredibly important that the buying process is equal parts efficient and enjoyable for the consumer, which we just so happen to specialize in!
Have you read any books or taken any courses that you found helpful to your job in wine sales?
I have taken and completed both my WSET level 1 and 2 through Napa Valley Wine Academy, which I found to be very rewarding and enjoyed tremendously. The staff and resources were incredible, and I’m eager to continue my wine education as I continue in my career.
You are new'ish to outbound sales, where do you have the greatest opportunity for improvement?
I would say that the area that I’m looking to improve on the most would probably be in regard to objection pivoting. Through my last sales position, I would visit my accounts in person often, so I was able to build relationships with my clients quickly and get a very good feel for what they were looking for. Since transitioning to outbound sales, I’ve found that timing is crucial, because you often have a very small window to make your pitch. Effective communication and truly listening to the customer go a long way but learning that sales often begin with objections has been instrumental in building my confidence and increasing my comfort in this area.
Ok, times up. We've got calls to make and orders to place. Thank you for joining our team and all that you do.
I’m so proud to be a part of our team. I look forward to continuing to grow along with the company and have never felt so strongly supported and encouraged by my colleagues. There is something so special about finding the right fit, whether it be in terms of career path or in finding the perfect Cab to serve with a special dinner, both can be so very fruitful.