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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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Lessons to Be Learned

Lessons to Be Learned

We visited the Department of Motor Vehicles last week. We had made an appointment as there are almost 500,000 people in the county in which we live and two DMV offices, so they tend to be busy. We arrived, twenty-five minutes early and got into the appointment check in line. By the time we got […]

If You Have to Assume…Make Positive Assumptions

If You Have to Assume…Make Positive Assumptions

“Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesperson – not the attitude of the prospect.” W. Clement Stone I am not sure that there is anything more frustrating than entering a business of any kind wanting to buy products and realizing that the salesperson has already decided that you are not a viable customer. […]

Keeping in Front of Mind Awareness

Keeping in Front of Mind Awareness

In today’s world, people are inundated with information, advertising and promotion about products. Without regular reminders of the benefits of your products or services, you may not have the top of mind awareness you need. There are many ways to promote your wines, events, etc. Some of these methods are costly, while others can have […]

The Importance of Your Logo

The Importance of Your Logo

Is your logo aging well? A good logo is a visual representation of your company’s identity. It provides information for potential customers and makes them feel comfortable doing business with you and appeals to their senses. A good logo can create many different emotions in your customers. One logo I particularly like is the Amazon […]

The Most Important Elements of Sales

The Most Important Elements of Sales

In many wineries, sales training in sketchy at best. So, this week’s blog covers some the basics of sales training that are often overlooked.  If we want to sell, we should listen more than we talk. Some sales trainers say customers should do 80% of the talking, some say 60%. This leaves either 20% or […]

What Your Guests Want From You?

What Your Guests Want From You?

The title of this blog, “What Your Guests Want From You,” is somewhat disingenuous. All businesses have many different types of customers, though in wineries there are even more variables. Coming through you doors you may have everyone from people who have never been to a winery before and/or don’t drink wine, to those who […]

Customer Differentiation

Customer Differentiation

As human beings we understand that in many ways we are all very much alike. We have the same basic needs for air, water, food, sunshine, etc. However, we like to think of ourselves as individuals and that we are unlike anyone else. In a word: unique. While many businesses, small and large, would prefer […]

Small Investment…BIG RETURN

Small Investment…BIG RETURN

The Facts It is going to be an interesting year for the wine sales in the United States. Reports are saying that wine production is increasing in the U.S. with more wineries opening every year and wine imports to the U.S. are increasing. A May 2018 report from the Wine Institute noted that wine available […]

More Tips to Boost Email Engagement

More Tips to Boost Email Engagement

Last week’s blog contained ideas to bolster email engagement. This week’s blog offers more ideas that can help. Before we move forward with more ideas, I want to add a little more information about personal stories and the subject line (the most important line in your email). Open Up to Customers In your subject line […]

Creating Emails Customers Want to Read

Creating Emails Customers Want to Read

Since the broad acceptance of email as the most efficient way to communicate, the medium has grown exponentially. According to an article written by Sharon Hurley Hall, more than 74 trillion emails are sent every year and the number continues to go up year after year. I remember as far back in the early 2000s […]

Thanksgiving – a Plethora of Emails

Thanksgiving – a Plethora of Emails

I received what seemed like a boatload of emails from wineries over the Thanksgiving and shopping extravaganza long weekend. Some wineries sent me up to five emails in a three or four-day period. Most were touting special pricing on their wines and/or low priced or free shipping. Offers included: 20% saving with $10 ground shipping Free […]

Working Through Guests’ Price Objections

Working Through Guests’ Price Objections

When a guest objects to the price of one of your products, don’t be discouraged. Many times an objection to the price is the first signal that they really want to buy the product you are selling. If guests were not interested, they would thank you and leave. For some people part of the fun […]

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

This is a busy week, both personally and in business, so I will make today’s blog brief. As Black Friday is the biggest sales day for most businesses in the U.S. (and even in countries where they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving), keep in mind that it pays to spend a minute or two focusing on the […]

Customer Engagement Reminders

Customer Engagement Reminders

Black Friday and the December holidays are quick approaching, which means you are busy, busy, busy for a couple of months. As most people seem to be rather stressed at this time, it helps if you go out of your way to be patient, polite and professional with all your customers. Here are a few […]

Are Your Employees Motivated?

Are Your Employees Motivated?

Business owners may spend a lot of time planning ways to motivate staff and managers. However, it seems that starting with why staff members are not motivated should be the first step in the process. If you know why your staff isn’t motivated, it is much easier to put into play the strategies that will […]