When I first starting looking into this business (The Traveling Vineyard is an approved member of the direct Selling Association which has one of the most rigorous approval processes of any association), I really liked the idea that it was linked to wine because I noticed that wine was a growing industry here in the USA (over 300 million cases sold in 2011 and growing). I felt that it was important to have a business dealing with a product or service that was on the upswing. As it is, when most people start a new business, my thoughts were to learn as much as I could about wine, learn the selling points and use this information to continually increase sales.
When I first started with The Traveling Vineyard, I tried to cram as much information about wine as I could into my head. I watched all of the videos, several times (The Traveling Vineyard features over 60 trainng modules for new consultants). I read the information available to us on our back office about each of the exclusive Traveling Vineyard wines. I then set out to set the world on fire with my newly gained knowledge.
My first several free home wine tastings were ok, but not great. My hosts and their guests seemed to be having fun tasting the wine and listening to all of the great information about wine that I was sharing with them, but something was missing. I was working hard to get people to order wine. I practiced my presentation to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I discussed the accessories and even played a game or two. Still, something was missing. Going over it all several times in my head, it finally came to me what was missing. I wasn’t having any fun. I was working too hard and missing all the fun. So I set out make a change.
The first thing I did was to change my presentation was to include the phrase “Ladies (and gentlemen), I plan on having fun tonight. I hope you will join me.” Somehow making that statement was a commitment to my guests that fun would be had by all, including me. I began having fun. Next, I began to focus on enjoying the company of the people in attendance after all The Traveling Vineyard has a 98% satisfaction rating with hosts and guests. It was no longer about me trying to get them to order wine and accessories. It was about enjoying the event, each other’s company and the wine. Once I took this attitude, I was having fun, yes, but there was an unexpected but wonderful side effect. My event orders started to increase. Understand that they haven’t gone through the roof…yet. And I know that this new attitude is not the magic pill to get me those high dollar events we all strive to achieve. However, I think that it is a large part of it. It has also allowed me to be aware of other changes that can be made to add a little here and a little there to increase my event sales. The best part is that it is an easy and enjoyable change to make.
I came into this business looking at it as I would any other business. But this isn’t any other business. This is the in-home wine tasting business. This is a social event where those who have fun benefit the most. This is a business where wine sales are a byproduct of people tasting wine, interacting with each other and having fun. I have found that by taking on this new attitude, the worst case scenario for me is that I will make new friends and have fun, and for me, these are the two most important of the 5 f’s. And by achieving these two f’s, the other three will follow close behind (Editor: The five F’s are Fun, Friendships, Fulfillment, Flexibility and Financial Reward) .
I leave you with one caveat, however. When you are having fun at a wine tasting, never forget those who make it possible for you to be there. The hosts and their guests. Make sure that you share your fun with them and you will be rewarded with increased event orders.
Doug Rohde. is an independent Wine Consultant with The Traveling Vineyard. To book a Free Wine Tasting with Doug, you can visit her website at http://www.myttv.com/20183/.
Chrisann Regan is an independent Wine Consultant with The Traveling Vineyard. To book a Free Wine Tasting with Chrisann, you can visit her website at http://www.myttv.com/20119/.