The value of training to a business should never be disregarded, not only does it have a lasting effect on your company and brand for that matter, but more specifically it can impact positively on your bottom line.

When it comes to service staff, particularly in the tourism and wine industry, a significant amount of focus is placed on product knowledge, service standards and customer relations.  These are all highly important and do indeed form the cornerstone of a service experience especially when it comes to dealing with tourists, local travellers or restaurant patrons.  The interaction with your staff leaves a lasting impression about their experience and thus translates to the value and memory they associate with your brand. 

The value placed on product training, customer service training, and front of house skills is, for the most part properly valued by companies within the tourism and service industries.  Staff receive the proper training either internally or at recognised training facilities.  There are excellent courses available within the wine industry, which provide superb knowledge and skills on product, service standards, and industry know-how.However, when it comes to equipping these same staff members with Sales Skills, the value of the training is totally under-estimated or in some cases not even considered.   The reason may be that some companies don’t see the potential in having highly skilled tasting room advisors who are also savvy sellers!  If the focus is purely on creating the experience, and increasing sales is not the key objective, then your training value is right on the money.  In other instances, companies take for granted that these same staff members, with their warm, friendly personalities, who are well versed in wine etiquette will automatically turn each experience into a purchasing customer.

Yes, sometimes the skill of selling comes naturally certain people and these sure fire naturals people need little or no training.  But in reality, this is not the case.  In most instances, the wonderful qualities that make for a fantastic wine advisor do not automatically translate into a ‘savvy sales person’.   Most of these staff could however, be creating that extra value for your bottom line if they were simply equipped with sales training to give them the necessary skills to make the sale but most importantly to give them the confidence and know-how of selling without “selling”.  After all – that’s the real art of selling and in the end the real value to your business.