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Mastering Wine Sales at the Table

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Title: ASCEND Author: CSHM Last modified by: bdewald Created Date: 4/23/2004 7:31:43 PM Document presentation format: On-screen Show (4:3) Company – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Mastering Wine Sales at the Table


1
Mastering Wine Sales at the Table
  • Ben SalisburySte. Michelle Wine Estates
  • Ben Dewald
  • The Collins College of Hospitality Management
  • Cal Poly Pomona University

2
Ben Salisbury
  • Ben Salisbury is a twenty-year veteran of the
    wine business and for the last seven years has
    been the Vice President of Global Account
    Development for Ste Michelle Wine Estates a
    Woodinville, Washington based wine company.
  • Stimson Lane, a pioneer of winemaking in
    Washington State, produces and markets a broad
    portfolio of premium wines from acclaimed
    vineyards around the world.
  • The Ste Michelle portfolio includes Chateau Ste
    Michelle, Columbia Crest, Domaine Ste Michelle,
    Northstar, Snoqualmie, and Col Solare from
    Washington Conn Creek and Villa Mt Eden from
    Napa Valley California.

3
Ben Dewald
  • Associate Professor at The Collins School of
    Hospitality Management at the California State
    Polytechnic University, (Cal Poly) Pomona.
  • Prior to joining The Collins School in 2002, Ben
    taught at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
    School of Hotel Tourism Management.
  • Trained in the Dutch, French and Mexican
    hospitality industry.
  • Managed and opened restaurants in California and
    Hong Kong, including the Chardonnay at the
    Registry Hotel across from the Orange County
    Airport, Antoine Restaurant at the Meridien Hotel
    in Newport Beach, the Dining Room at the Rancho
    Mirage Ritz-Carlton, and the Pétrus restaurant on
    the 56th floor of the Island Shangri-La in Hong
    Kong.
  • Research interests include Food Beverage
    Tipping Training Cross Cultural Management
    Hotel Restaurant Management Tourism, and
    Educational Management.

4
Wine Consumer
  • Core wine drinkers, those who drink wine weekly
    or more often, represent just 12.5 of all U.S.
    adults, they consume 86 of the wine.
  • The remaining 14 of wine consumption is
    accounted for by the 13.9 of adults who are
    marginal wine drinkers, those who drink wine less
    often than weekly but at least 2-3 times a month
    and like wine.
  • The occasional wine drinker tends to like wine
    and might buy more of it if persuaded to do so
    (Moulton Lapsley, 2001).

5
Wine Consumer Segments U.S. Adults - 2003
(Percentages, ages 21 Plus)
Core 12.5
Non-Drinkers 43.0
Marginal 13.9
Beer/Spirits 30.6
Source Merrill Research Associates
6
Consumer Segments
(U.S. Adults, ages 21 Plus)
Sample
Millions
Volume
Core Wine Drinkers 25.4 12.5 86
Marginal Wine Drinkers 28.2 13.9 14
Beer/Spirits Drinkers 62.2 30.6 0
Non-Drinkers 87.2 43.0 0
TOTAL 203.2 100 100
Source Merrill Research Associates
7
How Likely to Order Wine?
(Percentages by restaurant category) East - West
82
77
61
44
45
42
Source Merrill Research Associates
8
Order Wine in Casual Chain Restaurant?
(Percentages by age group) East - West
53
52
46
46
43
39
39
38
37
29
Source Merrill Research Associates
9
Wine Consumer Segments U.S. Adults 2000 v. 2003
87.4
80.8
(Millions, ages 21 Plus)
63.5
62.2
28.8
28.2
25.4
19.2
Core
Marginal
Beer/ Spirits
Non-Drinker
Source Merrill Research Associates
10
Change in Consumer Segments 2000 2003
32
8
-2
-2
Core
Marginal
Beer/ Spirits
Non-Drinker
Source Merrill Research Associates
11
Selling Wine
  • During the on-going recession, many restaurant
    operators are struggling and the days of
    customers buying 100 bottles of wine is over, at
    least for the foreseeable future.
  • One point is clear, however, ignoring the
    potential of your wine program in tough times is
    a mistake.
  • Laverick (2002) suggests smaller but smarter wine
    lists that provide value to bolster wine sales.

12
Why (I think) most wine training for servers
fails
  • Too much information is taught that no one
    remembers.
  • Too much emphasis on tasting wine and wine food
    pairing.
  • Either the trainer knows a lot about wine but
    only little about table service or vice versa.
  • Very few wine people know anything at all about
    training techniques.
  • Trainers spend too much time trying to make
    servers interested and knowledgeable about wine
    instead of teaching them how to just sell it.
  • No transferable system that sustains a high level
    of wine sales month after month.

13
Teach servers five simple things
  1. How to know and understand six different styles
    of wine.
  2. How to read your restaurants wine list as it
    relates to these styles.
  3. How to initiate a conversation about wine at the
    table.
  4. How to ask the guest powerful questions about
    their wine preferences.
  5. How to make a wine recommendation that sticks.

14
Why this system works
  • Its simple therefore its easy to learn and
    remember.
  • Its effective because it places the emphasis on
    selling not wine knowledge.
  • Its transferable which means its great for
    multi-unit applications.

15
I truly believe the following
  • A server can tell you how
  • well a Ferrari handles even if hes never driven
    one.
  • cold it is in Alaska even if shes never been
    there.
  • rich and buttery a Chardonnay is even if he has
    never tasted it.
  • smooth a Merlot is even if she hates red wine.

16
Six Styles of Wine
  • 1. Light, fruity reds
  • Beaujolais
  • Gamay
  • Most Pinot Noir
  • 2. Medium, smooth reds
  • Some Pinot Noir
  • Most Merlot
  • Some Cabernet
  • 3. Full, tannic reds
  • Some Merlot
  • Most Cabernet
  • Most Bordeaux
  • Most Rhone
  • 4. Light, fruity whites and blush
  • Riesling
  • German wines
  • White Zinfandel
  • 5. Medium, fruity whites
  • Some Chardonnay
  • Some Sauvignon Blanc
  • 6. Full, dry whites
  • Most Chardonnay
  • Some Sauvignon Blanc

17
  • This list is oversimplified for illustrative
    purposes. Of course, if your wine list warrants
    it, we would plug in Italian, Chilean,
    Australian, and other French appellations as well.

18
5 Proven Ways to Initiate a Conversation About
Wine
  1. Are (any of you / either of you) wine drinkers?
  2. Have you seen our selection of wines by the
    glass?
  3. Will you be ordering a bottle if wine this
    evening?
  4. Are you familiar with our wine program?
  5. Have you had a chance to look over our wine
    list?

19
Qualify What the Guest Wants by Asking These
Powerful Questions
  • Would you prefer red or white wine?
  • If red
  • Do you like full-bodied reds or something on the
    lighter side?
  • Are you a Cabernet drinker?
  • If white
  • Would you like something rich and full-flavored
    or something lighter and fruitier?
  • Would you like to order a Chardonnay or
    something a little off the beaten path?

20
How to Make a Recommendation that Sticks
  • TECHNIQUE 1 (The Comforter Close)
  • If you like ______ , you would probably enjoy
    the ______ .
  • TECHNIQUE 2 (The In-Crowd Close)
  • We serve a lot of the ___________. It is
    ____________.
  • TECHNIQUE 3 (The Endorsement Close)
  • I really enjoy the ______________. It is
    ______________.
  • VERY IMPORTANT After making your
    recommendation, keep quiet, let the guest answer,
    dont try to bail them out by giving them another
    minute or by making more suggestions.

21
Other Tenets of Training System
  • Servers must memorize these questions.
  • Servers must memorize the wine categories.
  • Servers must memorize several wines from the wine
    list in each of the six categories (preferably at
    different price points).
  • It is not necessary to taste any of the wines to
    be able to describe them. This is an advanced
    skill.
  • It is not necessary to know what wines go with
    which foods. Most people will drink what they
    like no matter what theyre eating.
  • A server does not need to like wine in order to
    be able to sell wine

22
WARNING!
  • This training system is designed for one purpose
    and one purpose only to help multi-unit
    operators to sell more wine. If you are not happy
    with your current level of wine sales, you have
    come to the right place.
  • Do not worry about your servers being too
    pushy. If trained properly in the use of these
    techniques, your staff will become extremely
    adept at pleasing your customers by skillfully
    helping them select a wine they will enjoy.

23
Wine Knowledge
  • There is no question that you can improve the
    results of this training program dramatically by
    adding a solid foundation of wine knowledge.
    Staff turnover, varying levels of wine knowledge
    in your management staff, however, can make this
    a difficult goal to achieve. The sales training
    is easy to teach and easy to learn.
  • I would choose sales training over wine knowledge
    every time, but if you have the ability to train
    both, you should definitely do so.

24
ASCEND
  • a powerful new system for increasing
  • wine sales in casual restaurants
  • STIMSON LANE
  • Vineyards Estates

25
CONTENTS
  • THE NEED
  • Why Most Wine Training Fails
  • The Special Needs of Multi-Unit, Casual Dining
    Operators
  • Upselling is Out, Service is In
  • THE SYSTEM
  • The Ascend System Defined
  • The Ascend System Dialogs
  • How to Execute The Ascend System
  • Tips for Success
  • THE TOOLS
  • Training Sheet
  • Wine Grid
  • Help

26
WHY MOST WINE TRAINING FAILS
  • TOO MUCH EMPHASIS ON "WINE KNOWLEDGE Truly
    understanding wine takes a great deal of time!
    Wine is NOT a simple subject, it takes many, many
    hours to learn.
  • THE MATERIAL IS TOO COMPLEX, TOO MUCH INFORMATION
    Most
    wine training is "boring" because too much
    information is presented at one time.
  • FALSELY ASSUMES ONLY "WINE PEOPLE" CAN DO THE
    TRAINING
    Simple wine sales techniques can be taught by
    anyone, regardless of their wine knowledge.

27
WHY MOST WINE TRAINING FAILS
  • PRE-SCRIPTED "WINE DESCRIPTIONS" ARE NOT THE
    ANSWER
    Most servers dont take the time to
    memorize them and even if they did, the
    descriptions are useless if the server doesnt
    understand the terminology.
  • WINE VENDORS AND DISTRIBUTORS ARE NOT ALWAYS
    EXPERIENCED "TRAINERS Effective
    training is no accident. Casual operators know
    this.
  • TOO MUCH EMPHASIS ON "WINE AND FOOD PAIRING

    In casual dining, the reality is that people
    order the food they like and the drink they like.
    Thats it. If you must train on this, keep it as
    simple as possible.

28
THE SPECIAL NEEDS OF MULTI-UNIT CASUAL DINING
OPERATORS
  • Employee turnover is higher in casual dining.
  • Many servers are under the legal drinking age.
  • Training hundreds of units requires a different
    system than training one or two units.
  • Competition in casual dining is fierce.
  • Training programs need to be highly duplicable.
  • Training programs must make very efficient use of
    time.

29
UPSELLING IS OUT, SERVICE IS IN
  • Increased check averages should be the natural
    result of meeting guests needs.
  • You cant give the guest what they want if you
    dont know what they want.
  • Servers dont like to sell and guests dont
    like being sold.
  • The real art of selling is finding out what
    people want and then helping them get it.

30
  • THE ASCEND SYSTEM DEFINED
  • THE ASCEND SYSTEM -DIALOGS
  • HOW TO EXECUTE THE ASCEND SYSTEM
  • TIPS FOR SUCCESS

31
THE ASCEND SYSTEM DEFINED
  • The Ascend System is designed to address and
    overcome the primary reasons why wine goes unsold
    in casual restaurants
  • Servers are uncomfortable bringing up the subject
    of wine at the table.
  • Customers may lack confidence in their own wine
    knowledge, and in the absence of assistance from
    the server, may not order any wine at all.

32
Instead of squandering valuable training time
trying to teach servers wine knowledge and food
and wine pairing, the Ascend System focuses on
teaching servers how to
  • APPROACH
  • the table and bring up the subject of wine.
  • DISCOVER
  • what the guests wine preferences are (if any).
  • RECOMMEND
  • a wine that meets the guests preferences.

33
STEP 2 DISCOVER
  • Would you prefer red or white wine tonight?
  • IF RED TRY
  • Do you like full-bodied reds or something on the
    lighter side?
  • Are you a Merlot drinker?
  • IF WHITE TRY
  • Would you like something rich and full-flavored
    or something lighter and fruitier?
  • Would you like to order a Chardonnay or
    something a little off the beaten path?

34
STEP 3 RECOMMEND
  • TECHNIQUE 1 (The Comforter Close)
  • If you like ______ , you would probably enjoy
    the ______ .
  • TECHNIQUE 2 (The In-Crowd Close)
  • We serve a lot of the ___________. It is
    ____________.
  • TECHNIQUE 3 (The Endorsement Close)
  • I really enjoy the ______________. It is
    ______________.
  • TECHNIQUE 4 (The Puppy Dog Close)
  • If you dont like it, Ill be happy to bring you
    something else.

35
VERY IMPORTANT
  • After making your recommendation, keep quiet. Let
    the guest answer.
  • Dont try to bail them out by giving them another
    minute or by making more suggestions.

36
HOW TO EXECUTE THE ASCEND SYSTEM
  • Schedule a server meeting.
  • Review with servers the reasons why wine goes
    unsold in restaurants.
  • Hand out the Wine Grid for your restaurants
    wines.
  • Briefly review the selection of wines your
    restaurant offers in terms of color, varietal and
    style.
  • Hand out the Ascend System training sheet.
  • Review the three steps of the Ascend System with
    the group.
  • Bring up several of your best servers to
    role-play in front of the group first.
  • Then make sure EVERYONE gets a chance to role
    play. (If the group is large, break them up into
    two or three smaller groups and assign a leader.)
  • Chart the progress of each server in glasses of
    wine sold per cover (not dollars, because you
    will be putting the emphasis on check average
    instead of the number of satisfied guests).
  • MAINTENANCE Make sure new servers are introduced
    to the system and review with existing servers at
    least once per quarter.

37
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
  1. Done correctly, the seminar to train Ascend
    should not take more than one hour and it can be
    completed in as little as 30 minutes.
  2. Role-playing is an essential element for the
    success of this system because it gives the
    server confidence. Do not skip over this part.
  3. Any wine knowledge training that you choose to
    add will enhance the Ascend System, but it is not
    necessary.
  4. Recognize that no matter how well or often you
    train, 80 of your wine sales will always come
    from 20 of your servers. There is no perfect
    world.
  5. This system works best when wines on the menu are
    listed in ascending order of style, instead of by
    varietal.

38
TRAINING SHEET
  • STEP 1 APPROACH
  • Do we have any wine drinkers at the table?
  • So, whos the wine expert here?
  • Have you seen our selection of wines by the
    glass?
  • Are you familiar with our wine program?
  • Have you had a chance to look over our wine
    list?
  • STEP 2 DISCOVER
  • Would you prefer red or white wine tonight?
  • IF RED TRY
  • Do you like full-bodied reds or something on the
    lighter side?
  • Are you a Merlot drinker?
  • IF WHITE TRY
  • Would you like something rich and full-flavored
    or something lighter and fruitier?
  • Would you like to order a Chardonnay or
    something a little off the beaten path?
  • STEP 3 RECOMMEND
  • TECHNIQUE 1 (The Comforter Close)
  • If you like ______________ , you would probably
    enjoy the ______________ .
  • TECHNIQUE 2 (The In-Crowd Close)
  • We serve a lot of the ______________. It is
    ______________.

39
WINE GRID
  • Fill in this chart with the wines on your list by
    putting each wine in the appropriate category.

Light Medium Full
B
L
U
S
H

W
H
I
T
E


R
E
D

40
HELP
  • If you have any questions about putting together
    an Ascend training, or if you need additional
    materials or assistance, please call us at
    1-888-887-7457.
  • For more information about Stimson Lane Vineyards
    and Estates and our portfolio of award-winning
    wines, please visit our website at
    www.stimson-lane.com
  • Thank you.

41
Wine Sites
  • http//winemarketcouncil.com/index.asp
  • http//www.aboutwines.com/
  • http//www.wineanswers.com/
  • http//www.vine2wine.com/
  • http//www.erobertparker.com/
  • http//www.globalaccounts.net/CA_additional_docs/A
    scend-Web.pdf
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