Buying wine is a pretty complex decision for some of our liquor store customers. These are the people who are new to wine, or only drink occasionally. So we want to cut off the awkward part of buying wine. We do that by offering information in a variety of ways. It’s a specialized form of teaching.
Even asking these folks questions about wine can be intimidating for them, because it’s like asking them to show what they don’t know. No one likes to look foolish. That’s why we ask predictive questions. To find out how dry of a wine they may like, we ask, “Do you sweeten your iced tea?” If they don’t, they probably can take a drier wine. And that’s much less intimidating than, “Do you like dry wine?” for someone who doesn’t know what dry means in wine.
For those too shy to ask us for help, we offer self-serve information. Every wine shelf has a label with the varietal, the level of dryness, the amount of body, food pairings and serving temperature. We even include a one or two word description, like “rich” or “juicy” with a picture to help them imagine a flavor. And we manage to do that in a simple format, consistent on each shelf.
You have customers, both online and in person, who are new to your subject. How can you educate them? Think of your services or products like a retail store. How can you create predictive questions that help you find out more about them in a nonthreatening way?
How can you label or describe what you do that makes it easy to fathom? Can you use a picture or icon to make it clear? Have some fun with it!
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.