Starting a new tea program for your customers can be overwhelming. How do you get it off the ground? How do you make sure your patrons love it (especially if they’re not used to drinking tea)? How do you justify the startup costs and make sure it’s profitable?
We totally understand where you’re coming from. And as a wholesaler for thousands of shops, stores, and fine establishments, we’ve learned a few strategies that have had powerful benefits for our clients.
Read on for a few quick and easy tips to help you seamlessly launch — and expand — your tea program so your customers fall in love and start asking for more.
Taste Your Tea Often
It’s simple, but oh-so critical for your establishment.
Why? Because the more familiar you are with your tea and the more familiar you are with its flavor profiles, the better. (In fact, your mouth and palate actually change throughout the day depending on what you eat or didn’t eat so it’s important to test.)
Tasting your tea more often will help you and your team become more confident. That way, when you find the teas that you really really love, you’ll be able to explain it better to your customers.
Imagine someone walks in and asks, “What do you think of _________ tea?”
Now you can say, “Wow, it’s got [this kind of] flavor profile, it pairs really nicely with [this kind of food], and I absolutely love it.”
(That’s WAY better than saying, “Oh… it’s good.”)
By getting jazzed and excited about it, you become an authority — you can further influence what the buyer will gravitate towards because you’ve established that trust. It’s not only because you’re wearing a uniform and standing behind the counter, but it’s also because you see them everyday and you’ve built that relationship.
By understanding the rich flavors of your tea, you can confidently tell your customers, “You’ve got to try this new tea!” And even if they’re not accustomed to drinking tea — or trying unique tea blends — they’ll join you for the ride.
Build A Community
Another way to grow your budding tea program is to include your clientele in the process.
For example, make your customers feel like a part of your “tribe” in a deep and meaningful way by asking for their opinions. You’re becoming inclusive — you’re asking for their feedback and opinion — and you make them feel valued as a customer and an advocate.
You can say something simple like: “I see you love our Earl Grey Crème! We just made a new drink with it… can you tell me what you think? I would love your feedback on it! ”
Now your tea becomes more than some leaves and water…
There’s a story behind it and everyone in your tribe has a part in it.
At Art of Tea, we make this even easier by offering free samples to our clients. That way, you can share it with your customers to ask for their feedback AND you can share it with your team to help them become confident tea drinkers who can speak about each blend.
These two super simple tips — that require no extra investment — can reap massive benefits on your business. Try them and let us know how they work! You might just make new customers for life.
Art of Tea is an award winning purveyor of specialty and organic teas, based in Los Angeles, CA.
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