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Author Archive: Elizabeth Slater

A recognized expert in the fields of direct marketing and sales in the wine marketplace. Slater has taught more wineries and winery associations how to create and improve the effectiveness of their direct marketing programs and to make the most of each customer's potential than anyone in the wine industry today.

With the same humor and psychological insight she has used so effectively to understand the uniquely different challenges of wine businesses - large and small - Slater focused on co-creating WIN. Making it a direct marketing website that exemplifies everything she has discovered in more than 20 years in the wine industry and business-to-business marketing.

Quick-witted and original, Slater is a sought after speaker on winery sales, marketing, customer service, advertising and management topics. Wineries listen because she has the experience and creativity in the wine trenches to support her words.

After holding key marketing and sales management positions in national and international companies including the fast food, motorcycle, automotive, medical and computer industries, Slater turned her attention to wine in 1990 with the goal of starting her own wine marketing company. To learn the industry from the inside, she worked for two different wineries in four years. After developing and mastering the art of tasting room selling, she went on to handle all aspects of increasing their sales through direct marketing using the keen knowledge and insightfulness that she had used so successfully for other industries.

As the owner of the wine industry-consulting firm, In Short Direct Marketing, Slater has created marketing programs and events for the Russian River Wine Road including Winter Wineland and Wine & Food Affair. Under her direction, Passport to the Dry Creek Valley became one of the most popular, sought after and acclaimed events in the industry.

A born communicator, Slater teaches wine marketing courses at Santa Rosa Junior College and classes at Sonoma State, is the Vineyard & Winery Management marketing columnist, the program director of Tasting Room Profitability and a featured speaker at Wineries Unlimited. She lends her strategic planning expertise as a member of the Octagon Group in assisting different industries and businesses in rebuilding and improving their capabilities.

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This Week: What, How, Who, and Why Are We Not Selling?

This Week: What, How, Who, and Why Are We Not Selling?

Last week we looked at what to do, and this week we are looking at the opposite side of the What, How, Who, and Why of selling, which is: What are you not offering How are you not offering it (is our presentation unique)? To whom are you not selling? Why are you not doing […]

What, How, Who and Why of Customer Sales & Retention

What, How, Who and Why of Customer Sales & Retention

Before we even get on the sales floor, there are a number of questions (and the answers to these questions) that we have to know. If we don’t know the answers there is no way we can be as successful as we would like to be or convert one-time visitors into life long customers. Those […]

It’s Prime Selling Time

It’s Prime Selling Time

As we are in the midst of the summer visitor season at present, this week’s blog has some reminders about the importance of selling in the tasting room, at events, and anywhere else that it seems appropriate. It is always good to remember that customers make buying decisions through the emotional rather than the intellectual […]

Dangerous Assumptions That Undermine Profits

Dangerous Assumptions That Undermine Profits

I was recently asked to do an evaluation of a tasting room experience for a winery at which I had done some training. This meant I actually know the staff. Usually I would not go myself, but find shoppers they didn’t know and send them. This time I thought I would try something a little […]

Selling Luxury

Selling Luxury

In the past couple of blogs we have talked about the different categories that wines may fall into and the pricing for those categories. Last week I wrote about the four categories of Premium wines. This week the topic is the highest categories, luxury wines. The three categories are: Luxury $50-100; Super Luxury $100-200 and […]

What Does Selling Premium Wines Mean?

What Does Selling Premium Wines Mean?

Last week’s blog talked about the different categories that wine may fall into both by price and quality. The next few blogs are going to focus on what it takes to produce higher price, higher quality wines. Today we are going to talk about the Premium wines, which encompasses four categories; Popular Premium, Premium, Super Premium […]

Placing Wines by Category and Price

Placing Wines by Category and Price

It used to be that there were two or three wine price categories. The three were low priced wines, medium priced wines and high priced wines. That doesn’t seem to be the case these days. I was reading an article by Wine Folly and they show a chart of the different wine categories and their pricing. Extreme Value […]

It’s Not Only What but When

It’s Not Only What but When

Engagement with customers is not only about what you tell them, it is also about when. If you want customers’ visits to your winery to be remembered, when you give your customers information is as important as the information you give them. The other day I had an email from a winery asking me a […]

In the Tasting Room

In the Tasting Room

Most wineries call their customer space the “Tasting Room” for the very good reason that wine tasting does take place there, and it’s usually a room. I was giving some thought the other day to all the things that go on (or should go on) in the tasting room. By incorporating the different things you […]

What You See May Not Be What You Get

What You See May Not Be What You Get

I was checking my emails the other day and came across an email from LinkedIn with a request ostensibly from a woman in New York State wanting to connect with me on LinkedIn. I have a rule about connecting on social media. I never connect with anyone on any site until I have checked his/her […]

A Simple Way to Boost Sales

A Simple Way to Boost Sales

Not everyone who is ever going to purchase from your business will do so the first time they come into contact with you. Yet most of the time, businesses let these possible customers slip through their fingers and into the database of one of their competitors. So many businesses miss the very simple step that […]

Creating Brand Loyalty

Creating Brand Loyalty

I came across an article in Marketing Profs today by John Miller, the title of which caught my eye, “Brand Love is Bull****…So Now What Do We do? Five Things.” While I don’t agree with his premise I do agree with some of his ideas. I believe that consumers do get to love or be […]

Don’t Believe Everything You Think?

Don’t Believe Everything You Think?

Lately as I started some new projects, I have been thinking about whether or not I believe these projects are viable because I want them to be, or if I am just deluding myself, and they don’t have the merit that I think they have. It is typical of the human brain to validate the […]

Make Your Websites More Personal

Make Your Websites More Personal

I have lately spent some time going through winery websites. I do this every few months to catch up on what wineries in different regions are up to. I have been amazed at how many wineries have no information on their owners and staff. I know that tasting room and other staff members may change […]

Improve Performance for Loyalty or Rewards Programs

Improve Performance for Loyalty or Rewards Programs

Most companies these days have rewards programs for loyal customers. Though how successful these programs are varies considerably from company to company. In April, I came across an interesting article concerning rewards programs on Marketing Profs by Samir Palnitkar. One thing that struck me was his assertion that consumers are enrolled in an average of […]