Cigar smokers know that there’s a lot more to smoking a cigar than simply lighting one. Cigars are given as gifts to celebrate major accomplishments such as a new baby, a wedding, or a new business being launched. As a cigar retailer, you have the opportunity and expertise to interact with the aficionados as well as the new clients that express an interest in cigars. You are equipped to serve those familiar with cigars, but should also want to be helpful by providing information to those who are just starting out or buying a cigar as a gift. In addition to the experience of smoking a cigar, it is also an introduction to the social community and comradery it provides, which is often part of what draws in new cigar smokers.

Your business is in a position where you can be a reliable source of assistance to new cigar smokers, while acquiring new clients at the same time. Newly interested cigar smokers want to be enlightened about how to make the most of their experience. Sharing the following tips with your new customers or those buying a cigar as a celebratory gift will help ensure an enjoyable experience:

  1. Choosing the right cigar is the obvious first step. What a wonderful opportunity to showcase cigars that you would recommend to newbies—and have them come back for more!
  2. Explaining how properly cutting a cigar ensures the best flavor and prevents a mouthful of tobacco. Explain how cigar structure is important in deriving the best smoke from the cigar and cutting only the cap will provide the best flavor while also preventing tobacco from pulling through into their mouth. Explain the different types of cutters and the application for each type. If the cigar will be enjoyed the same day, offer to cut their cigar for them and explain why it’s worth investing in a very sharp cigar cutter if they plan to enjoy an occasional cigar in the future.
  3. Finding the right location. Cigar smoking is an experience that should be enjoyed in a setting that is comfortable. Cigar lounges are popular, as well as outdoor settings, or even a patio. The important thing is that it is something you look forward to as a mini-retreat or an anticipated break after a long day.
  4. Light it, don’t torch it. Hold the cigar at a slight downward angle, not straight out. Ignite your lighter, but keep it away at enough of a distance, so the flame does not touch the tobacco. The nearness of the flame is usually enough to begin having the cigar produce some smoke. Continue rotating the cigar until it is evenly lit. After it’s evenly lit, gently blow out the smoke accumulated from lighting it.
  5. Keep it light. Puff on it lightly, and enjoy the taste, your location, and the experience. Keep in mind that, unlike cigarettes, cigars are not inhaled. Gently draw on the cigar to fill your mouth with smoke. Savor the taste for a few seconds, then gently exhale. Any last bits of smoke remaining can be expelled through the nose. For beginners, start with a puff a minute, ensuring that the cigar burns consistently. Be sure not to burn the cigar too much as it could develop an unpleasant taste.
  6. Proper handling of a cigar is something commonly overlooked by beginner smokers. Many do not realize that the method in which you ash a cigar or put it out will affect the flavor.
    • The ash – Let it fall naturally instead of tapping. A long ash actually protects the cigar from overheating, which can result in a bitter taste on the draw.
    • Proper finish – A cigar can be put out and enjoyed again later. It should not be snubbed out. Simply place it in the ashtray and allow it to go out. This will prevent an unpleasant odor that occurs from crushing the burnt end and preserve the flavor for when you’re ready to relight and finish the cigar later on.
  7. Cigar smoking is a relaxing experience. Show your customers how they can simply enjoy it and have a great smoke. These are not only helpful tips for your customers, but they also demonstrate that you care about them and their smoking experience.

As a retailer desiring to enhance your customers’ experience, you should strive to provide each and every customer with a pleasant encounter with your business. While friendly customer service and sharing knowledge will help, another way is to make the checkout process easy by accepting credit and debit cards—the preferred payment method of most consumers.

Premium Tobacco Processing is a respected merchant processor specializing in serving the cigar and tobacco industry. As a partner of the Premium Cigar Association, PTP is proud to offer its members the lowest processing rates for the industry, with rates and fees guaranteed never to increase. There is never a contract or a cancellation fee. If you would like to begin accepting credit and debit cards at your business or you’re interested in what your potential savings could be by making a switch, call Premium Tobacco Payment Processing at (321) 972-9838.

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