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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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Reviewing Your Customer Service

Reviewing Your Customer Service

The beginning of the year is a good time to review your customer service and your customer retention. How did you do at holding on to customers in the past year? Who has dropped off the radar and why? Most managers know how many customers they gained over the past year, though less of them […]

Making the Most of Instagram

Making the Most of Instagram

Instagram has been around since October 2010 and in only seven years it has increased it users to 700 million, which is more than twice the size of Twitter. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and judging form the pictures I have found on Instagram, I would say that is definitely true, […]

Engaging with Customers Lead to a Better Experience

Engaging with Customers Lead to a Better Experience

I have been doing research lately on how to genuinely charm and engage customers. For those of us who serve the public, being charming to our customers should be at the top of the list. Shown below are some of the ideas. Interest in People: During the time the customer is with you put them […]

New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

Another year is almost upon us. By next week it will be 2018. Hard to believe, but it’s time again for your New Year’s Resolutions. This year make it a little easier on yourself by putting in at least one resolution that you’re absolutely know that you can accomplish. One way to accomplish your goals […]

The Consumer Voice in Your Content Marketing

The Consumer Voice in Your Content Marketing

These days it is important to business to have new and interesting marketing content, telling customers and potential customers about the products and services they can expect. It’s not always easy to come up with the amount or type of content that consumers are looking for. We can easily get stuck in a rut of […]

Honing Soft Skills for Success

Honing Soft Skills for Success

I am hearing more talk these days about the importance of soft skills in the workplace, especially for those in supervisory capacities or those employees who deal with customers. “Hard skills are those that we are trained to perform. An example of a hard skill would be an accountant or a winemaker. Soft skills tend to be […]

Keeping Up with Research

Keeping Up with Research

Research is an important part of any business, marketing or customer relations plan. Even when a plan has been completed for a while it doesn’t hurt to do more research to find out what has changed and how to update your plans. Marketing, for instance, has changed dramatically over the last few years with the advent […]

Making the Most of Email Marketing

Making the Most of Email Marketing

Ah the ubiquitous email. Let me ask you a question, “How many of you don’t get enough email?” Okay I know the answer, none of you. Everyone gets more emails than they know what to do with. Well we do really know what to do, and we do it, we send many of them directly […]

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

As everyone is extra busy today, working hard and thinking about what has to be done to make this year’s Thanksgiving the best ever, I am going to keep things short today. Happy Thanksgiving…enjoy your day, eat a little too much and enjoy a good glass of wine or two with dinner.  Get to bed […]

Happy Holiday Selling

Happy Holiday Selling

Are you ready for holiday sales? It is only a week until Thanksgiving (where does the time go?) so Black Friday is almost upon us. After that December is looming. So far in my email inbox I have received a number of winery mailers offering me Thanksgiving wines though only one has even alluded to the December holidays. […]

Engaging Your Customers in Ways That Suit Them

Engaging Your Customers in Ways That Suit Them

I have been teaching a Wine Business class at my local Junior College in Sonoma County. This eight-week class, which has students ranging in age from 20 to 60 is about wine clubs. A couple of weeks ago we were talking about different ways of connecting with people and one of the ways was direct […]

What Makes Customers Happy?

What Makes Customers Happy?

There was an interesting article in a Marketing Profs email a month or so ago about customer service and what customer service issues annoy customers the most. I am sure that most of us can guess what they are, because they are the same ones that annoy us when we’re on the customer side of […]

No Longer Business as Usual

No Longer Business as Usual

I work with wineries throughout North America and have been amazed at the growth in the industry over the past decade or so. The growth is in all states and provinces and in some areas the number of wineries has quadrupled in fifteen years. This means that there is a lot more competition for consumer […]

Terrible Week (and It’s Only Just Started)

Terrible Week (and It’s Only Just Started)

Nature has a way shaking us up when we least expect it. Strong winds whipped up huge fires in Napa and Sonoma counties on Sunday night, which led to unthinkable devastation in the early hours of Monday morning and on through the day. Many people were evacuated (I was just outside the evacuation area), So many […]

How Well Are You Tracking Your Social Media?

How Well Are You Tracking Your Social Media?

While distributing information to your customers and potential customers through social media is important, it’s also important to know how the people that you are reaching are reacting to what you have to say. Are they paying attention to your posts or tweets and passing them along to others or do the posts just disappear. […]