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4 Ways to Pre-Screen Retail Prospects, and Increase Wine Sales

Aug 26, 2019 10:11:24 PM / by Cyrus Azari

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To live as a company, you must sell. To sell, you need opportunities. Not every opportunity is the same - how can you find the most qualified ones? Have you ever invested a lot of time and resources into a prospect only to find that they were never really interested or they led you on? That's a massive increase in your customer acquisition cost! (CAC) 


In this article, we will help you curate a strategy that will increase the likelihood that leads coming in are well suited for your business, therefore increasing profitability and driving down your CAC. 


Before we get started, here are terms you need to know:


MQL = Marketing Qualified Lead

SQL = Sales Qualified Lead


With that in mind, let's help you get better opportunities!


1. Long-Tail Keywords


A long-tail keyword is a particular type of search query. If you're a winery in Sonoma, then a long-tail keyword that a local wine distributor or consumer might query is "sonoma wineries near me" or "best sonoma wineries."


These are precise keyword phrases. You can cater your website, copy, and content to appeal towards queries that your potential customers are making. To find out which phrases to cater towards, use this Keyword Planner. You can also look at which keywords are trending here on Google Trends. 


Here's the catch. Long-tail keywords do NOT have a lot of traffic associated with them. The upside is that the people querying them are going to be much more likely to be a SQL, so make sure your content is geared towards picking them up. 




2. Create Content on Social Media that Attracts


Social media sites are great channels in building relationships with customers across the nation. (We have an in-depth article on using social media for social selling here.) The sales process is complicated in the alcohol space, so you want to nurture your prospects until they become customers. Social media is excellent for nurturing. You can do this by creating traffic campaigns to drive prospects to a piece of content that helps solve one of their pain points. 


This means creating relatable, valuable content for wine buyers/distributors/wholesalers. You have to provide some sort of value when on social media - be it marketing advice, industry insight, solving a pain point, etc. you should be creating things that are useful for your prospects. It has to reach out and engage them to click or interact - so think about exactly who you want to appeal to!


Over time there will be a lot of engagement from your prospects - and on most social media you can see who are your top engagers - those engagers are prime SQLs for your sales to engage with!


3. More Targeted Content


How does your product help solve a prospect's pain point? In the wine industry, many retailers are scared of Total Wine and More's ability to gobble up market share. You can leverage that to your advantage. 


Don't focus on what your product is (nobody cares about terrior, your painstaking winemaking process, or how you play your grapes Mozart every morning for better vigor) focus on how you can help provide these buyers a competitive advantage by buying your wine direct from the winery. (We can help that process, by the way) Talk about that in your content creation, on your website, anywhere someone browsing the web can see. 


Having practical industry knowledge and showcasing how your wine can help give a competitive advantage will better enable qualified leads to see you like a solution that provides a lot of value. Give your prospects a taste of how your products can better help their business, and they might give it to you.


4 Partnerships 


There are several companies in the alcohol beverage space that are partnering with producers to help create a competitive advantage. Foley Family Wines in Santa Rosa, California is partnering with Freedom Distillery in St. Petersburg, Florida, for example. It has allowed the two companies to expand on their strategic marketing and distribution.


How does this help you get more qualified leads and customers for your business? 


Partnerships will give you access to more contacts. Freedom Distillery undoubtedly has connections in Florida that Foley would otherwise fail to acquire without the partnership. These contacts are also pre-qualified to a degree. If they're doing business with your partner, odds are they will do business with you.  


In other words, two heads are better than one!


If you're still looking for ways to improve your business, I would suggest checking out our book on how to get started with a winery direct business program. The fever pitch of the Total Wine and More threat to wine retailers has never been higher, and there has never been a better time to get started! 



Topics: customer wine sales sales strategy social selling wine distribution wholesalewine

Written by Cyrus Azari

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