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The Mystery of the Italian Wine Shop With No Customers

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Marketers Confuse Persistence with Stubbornness at Their Peril

If you know anything about wine you’ll know that the older they are the better they taste, and the more valuable they become.
Well there’s this Italian wine shop three minutes walk from where I live in Saigon (Vietnam) that must have some very valuable wine. Why?  Because no one buys it!   It just sits there on the shelf gathering dust, like an old book that never gets read.  What a shame.
The owner of the shop is a passionate Italian who clearly loves his wines, and knows them very well.  But he rarely gets a customer.  How come?  Well there are a number of reasons.  One is that the shop is not in a high traffic area.  Another is that his cheapest wine is about $35!
After making an inquiry as to why his cheapest wine is $40 his answer was that he will not stock ‘junk wine’, as if a $20 wine is going to be junk!  So what we have here is a great wine connoisseur, but a lousy marketer and business man.  He is also very stubborn.  Persistence is a trait to be admired but when someone persists with a strategy for a reasonable period of time without a worthwhile result and refuses to change, that person is simply displaying pigheaded stubbornness.
Home business online marketers can behave in the same way too.  They refuse to change their ways and then wonder why they aren’t making any money.  Examples could be persisting with lead generation strategies that don’t work, or promoting with ineffective capture pages and web sites.
So what can my wine shop owner do to get his business moving forward?  Well he’s the sort of guy who won’t take advice, but if I was running the business I would do a few things:

  1. Reduce the price entry point.  I wouldn’t offer ‘el cheapo’ wines but I would seek out brands that I could sell for less than $20.
  2. I would run specials and then promote the heck out of them
  3. I would promote the specials with a sandwich board at the front and via Facebook (to the several Saigon expats groups that already exist)
  4. I would have a web site and a blog and talk about wine and food related issues
  5. I would create a fan page and go all out to get lots of fans.
  6. I would collect email addresses and mobile numbers from shop visitors (which I would get by following  the above strategies)
  7.     I would have monthly wine tastings and promote them and the monthly specials to my my Facebook fans, the FB groups, the blog and my email subscribers.  And I would send sms messages to the mobile numbers I’d been collecting.

I DON’T own a wine shop and never will – it’s easier to make money as an internet marketing than slaving away in a wine shop 10 hours a day.  But the principles are the same:

  1. Diagnose the problem
  2. Do something about it
  3. Stop whining!

So if things aren’t working out for you in your business, maybe it’s time to seek some advice and make some changes.  Success is  a bit like baking a cake.  You need the right recipe and the right ingredients.  Get those two elements right, add a bit of passion, discipline and skill – and you’ll soon be making money.
Over to you.
 
 
 
 
 

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