How not to answer a telephone.

How’s this for telephone etiquette ……..

I hosted a Private Tour for a couple  of interstate finance brokers  the past few days. One of the wineries they requested we visit is a leading Margaret River boutique producer. I called the cellar door  as a point of courtesy to double check opening times. Introducing myself as Sean from MRDC, I enquired about the closing time(being a public holiday) and tried to book a tasting. The majority of the cellar doors we visit appreciate the heads up we are coming and generally go the extra mile, in recognition the MRDC guests are typically high yield discerning travellers.

I was cut short in my enquiry with the response “What is the Margaret River Discovery Company?”

To which I replied “A touring business”.

The reply, “Not interested. We don’t take tours”.

As succinct and abrupt as that. No further questions, no enquiry as to the number of people. End of conversation.

Perhaps if I hadn’t been cut short I could have been a bit more explanatory, apparently he didn’t know about the personalised touring style of  MRDC and had no prior knowledge of the $5000+ my guests had spent earlier in the day (Fraser Gallop Estate, Cape Mentelle and Edwards will happily verify that). Nonetheless we visited his winery anyway. And he is now several hundred dollars better off than he was this morning.

Outside the scope of my Discovery/Best of the Best tour, I provide all my guests a list of the recommended Five Best of the Best Boutique Producers to visit during their stay in Margaret River. It’s a hard list to compile with so many great producers and ‘Abrupt Estate’ was on it, but I am delighted to refresh the list and finally include Brown Hill Estate. And if you have never visited Brown Hill out on Rosa Brook Road, go. It is one of the most delightful, genuine and delicious tasting experiences in the region.

Five Best of the Best Boutique Producers

Brown Hill Estate

Cape Grace

Graylyn Estate

Juniper Estate

Lenton Brae

And just a note to any winery, indeed any business, that operates with a similar level of arrogance. It’s 2009. The way you communicate with customers, and us with you, has changed.

Brown Hill Estate. A must visit!
Brown Hill Estate. A must visit!

About Margaret River Discovery Tours
Sean Blocksidge is the owner operator of the Margaret River Discovery Company, an avid photographer, blogger and South West WA ambassador. In 2010 he won Western Australian Guide of the Year and his tours have been rated the #1 thing to do in Australia on the Tripadvisor website for the past two years.