Where to begin? Smart and simple leads to big results.

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Where to begin?

How many times have you asked yourself the question:

“Where do I even begin?”

If I had a penny for every time I’ve thought this…well, let’s just say it would be a lot of pennies.

In this busy, busy world we live in, with all its many and awesome ways to connect and communicate PLUS all the everyday things that must get done (go to work;  make breakfast, lunch, dinner; walk the dog; laundry; spouse time; kid time; personal time…the list goes on!) just getting started, on anything, can be overwhelming.

In this weeks issue, I share a story of potential overwhelm, just beginning, and how starting small (and personal) leads to BIG results.

Simple connection.

Doing this one simple thing today will create connectivity and increase engagement (which leads to sales!! I promise….) It also happens to be super easy and fun.

But first, a little history….

Back when I started my first real job in the wine biz, as the Consumer Sales Specialist for a successful but fast-growing winery, I showed a lot of confidence outwardly but INSIDE? I was questioning myself…. here’s the story:

I remember the first few days of excitement (Learning in-depth about all the wines! Meeting with the great staff! Walking through the vineyards!)…. So romantic and thrilling…and then:


I was in my cool office, with an outline of my “goals” for the first 30-60 days and I was like, “What the heck am I doing?” “HOW much wine do I need to sell and how will I do that???” I just stared at my computer screen for a bit and told myself to “CALM DOWN” and just think about what I was best at. One of the things I had always been very good at was connecting with people on a genuine, authentic level. I needed to come at my new position in the wine biz as I had with all of my past successes and CONNECT with people and this would lead my way. Then, my phone rang….my first call on my own! It was an already loyal customer of the winery, calling to say hello and welcome to me (my boss had sent out an announcement to the database, introducing me, with a little bio and photo-good idea) and introduce himself! How amazing! We chatted for a bit, I reviewed his purchase history while we talked, made a recommendation and before we got off the phone, I had my first official sale. Done and done, right?


After I finished up the sale in the computer, I begin looking through drawers for some note cards. I wandered down the hall to my (new) boss’s office and asked if we had any official note cards or stationary. We did. He asked why I needed it. I told him about my awesome call and first sale and that I wanted to send a personal note card to our customer, thanking them. He said, great, but I could also just shoot them an email. But I wanted it to be more PERSONAL and I personally love writing note cards (and getting them), so I was going to mail something to him. When I went to go get the card and envelope, I discovered we had boxes of blank cards and envelopes! Whoo hoo! I brought several back to my office and decided then and there that EVERY PERSON I interacted with for the first time, whether they bought wine or not, was going to get a card from me. At the time, I was spending time in the winery tasting room, doing some tours of our winery and interacting with customers on the phone and computer…lots of opportunities to meet people and follow up with cards presented themselves to me.


You know what happened? I started getting thank you cards for my thank you cards! I started getting phone calls INTO the winery, just to connect and talk (and those calls led to purchases!). The connection was so heartfelt and real and genuine. Not only did sending personal cards create that valuable connection with existing and future customers but also actively grew our database. Win and win.

Wine is personal. The winery story & connection to their terroir, grapes and process is personal.

Interactions and making REAL connections, (that create trust & loyalty) with your most valued customers should be personal too. THIS is the beginning of turning them from customers to “brand ambassadors”.

You don’t need fancy cards (even though, eventually, branded cards are great-remember, connection to YOUR story?). Just grab some stationary and pop your business card in there with a sweet note from you.

 Try this.

Before the end of your day, pull a report of people you connected with today and jot off a quick note, with your card and let them know how much you value them and appreciate the fact that they chose YOUR WINE or your winery. Today.


Print off your top customers list or wine club or some type of list from your database and just send out some cards, thanking them for making your wine a part of their family.

Personal connection is powerful. I guarantee it will pay off.

Just begin.

Weekly Wine Feature

What’s in my glass?


Hedges Family Estate ~ HIP Chardonnay (aka “the party wine”)

This wine is going to be featured in my upcoming series: “wine that doesn’t suck”. The first of the series is titled “not your Mother’s chardonnay”. Keep an eye out for that very soon.

So, here’s the story on how I found this wine. I knew I was going to be writing this series and featuring chardonnay first. I had several wines that I planned on featuring but they were all over $25 per bottle so I went on a hunt for a value-priced chardonnay that would fit the bill {of “not sucking” and “not your mothers chardonnay”} and this is what I found:

Hedges HIP Chardonnay (see the pretty bottle above)

It caught my eye in the bottle shop I was in because of the pretty label AND directly under the bottle, taped to the shelf, was a little hand-made sign that said “the party wine”. Well, that sounded fun! Also, at $14.99, I couldn’t pass it up. I took it up to the counter and the young guy who rang me up was very excited that I purchased this wine ~ he was the sign-maker.

2 nights later, I removed the HIP chardonnay from my fridge and tasted it for the first time. Verdict? Yummy. A perfect summer sipper! Light, refreshing, nice fruit and slightly zippy, it’s a delightful wine to enjoy as an apertif on the patio or with a light dinner.

Hedges Family Estate, from Washington state, says: “the House of Independent Producers (HIP) chardonnay is as close to a Chablis style white as you can find on the west coast. The wine sees no oak, and is a true definition of terroir winemaking, highlighting some of the more compelling vineyard sites of Sagamoor Farms. Click here to read more about Hedges Family Estate and their great portfolio of wines.

Food Pairing: I enjoyed this yummy wine with a crunchy gruyere & sweet onion tart and a huge, simple salad of fresh greens, avocado and toasted almonds sprinkled with parmigiano reggiano, juice from a lemon from my tree and grapeseed oil.

Lip-smacking good and an excellent value!

What’s in YOUR glass tonight?

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