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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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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. […]

Preparing for the Future

Preparing for the Future

A few weeks ago, Rob McMillan an EVP with Silicon Valley Bank and founder of their wine division wrote, as part of his blog about his prediction for the slowdown of growth in wine sales starting around mid 2018 and into 2019. He continues to say that while sales probably won’t decline, he expects zero […]

By September 27, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Easy Ways to Increase Sales

Easy Ways to Increase Sales

If you want to increase your sales quickly and simply, good customer service is your biggest asset. It will increase customer good will, willingness to buy and return visits. We talk a lot about sales skills, but if customer service is not the major part of sales, the sales skills are not going to help […]

By September 20, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Take the Time to Do Some Research

Take the Time to Do Some Research

One of the things I like most about the work I do is that it involves a fair amount of research on different topics. I use the information I find to create handouts at seminars and for my weekly blogs. While the Internet has certainly simplified research, it also means that there is much, much […]

By September 13, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Tips for Keeping Your Brain in Top Form

Tips for Keeping Your Brain in Top Form

I have been catching up on my reading lately and have come across some great articles. Today’s blog is all about. “Why the Modern World Is Bad for Your Brain” which is an article by neuroscientist, Dr Gabija Toleikyte. In this day and age many of us are continually jumping from one task to another […]

Warmth, An Important Skill for Leaders

Warmth, An Important Skill for Leaders

I found a great article in the Guardian online with information from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University. The article is all about how showing warmth to co-workers, employees, etc. is an important part of being a boss. This article led me to another article by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman entitled “I’m The Boss! […]

Seeing Things Differently

Seeing Things Differently

Today was a red-letter day for me. As anyone who reads my blog knows I fractured my femur condyle on June 6th of this year (a day that will live in infamy). I have spent almost three months in a wheelchair without being able to put any weight on my left leg. I have to […]

Update Your Competitive Analysis

Update Your Competitive Analysis

We all know that part of a good business survival plan is a well-researched competitive analysis. Before you start a business, investigating your competition, their products, prices, marketing and public relations plans, customer service and more in paramount. For many businesses, once the original competitive analysis is completed the demands of creating and running a […]

How Effective Is Your Interaction with Customers?

How Effective Is Your Interaction with Customers?

Important points that many businesses fail to consider when they are sending out information to customers, whether that information is through social media, emails, text or even through the mail is: Will customers be interested in this? How much spare time do recipients have to focus on my interactions with them? Are they being overrun […]

What Makes Your Business Different?

What Makes Your Business Different?

To be successful, your customers and prospective customers have to know (and be constantly reminded of) how your business is different from other businesses in your area that are selling similar products.  Without differentiation consumers will have a hard time remembering your business. I work with a number of wineries and regularly talk to wine […]

Stop Before You Start

Stop Before You Start

Julie Pedroncelli St. John from Pedroncelli Winery sent me a great article by Barry Stuckey who has spent much of his career in hospitality. The article was about a waitress he encountered in a eatery at Heathrow Airport. I have pulled out some of the key points, as the article was too long for this […]

Social Media – External and Internal

Social Media – External and Internal

Are your employees following the company on social media? If not they should be. Social media is a great place for employees to get reminders of the information or offers that you are broadcasting to customers. In the days before the internet took us to worlds we had never anticipated, it was common in business […]

Assessing Customer Experiences

Assessing Customer Experiences

Last week this blog delved into statistics regarding customers who may have had a less than stellar experience when they visited your business. We discovered that the percentage of customers that you think were satisfied with their visit were not necessarily in line with the number of customers who actually were satisfied. Also we learned […]

You May Not Get Many Complaints, But That Doesn’t Mean Your Customers Are Happy

You May Not Get Many Complaints, But That Doesn’t Mean Your Customers Are Happy

I have been researching customer service lately and have found some interesting statistics from a number of different sources. The main thing that came through in virtually all the sites I researched was: Only a small, small percentage of customers who are dissatisfied actually register a complaint with the company. The rest of them don’t […]