WHY YOUR COMPANY SHOULD HAVE AN OPEN HOUSE
We have a lot of customers who order promotional products for their yearly open house. If you are one of those customers, we would love to hear from you.
We researched some helpful ideas to help you have your own open house. In an article from Wells Fargo, they said “Open house events can be effective promotional tools for small businesses that offer products and services…..They can also be a practical option for businesses that rely heavily on word-of-mouth referrals”. Let’s face it, we are all in the business to make some money. Open house events are a great way to bring in potential customers. They are also a great way to give a little back to the customers you already have and keep them coming to you. So how do you get started? Well, you already have. Just being open to the idea of an open house is step one in the process. There are a lot of articles on line about how to do this.
Here are some suggestions to help you have a successful open house:
What is your purpose for having an Open House?
Do you want to promote a new product or bring in new clients? No matter what your goals are, be sure that you incorporate them into your planning stages. You employees need to be available and knowledgeable to show off your product or answer questions for new customers.
Set the date, time and budget:
Seems simple enough but you may want to check out the community schedule. If your local sports team is going to state in the next town, you may not have a good turnout. Use your Facebook page to create an event. That will track the number of people interested or attending. If Facebook doesn’t work for you then you can send out an invitation via email using Eventbrite. (we have no reason to promote these two businesses. It’s just what seems to work for others we know)
We suggest name tags for your employees and also for your guest. Building customer relationships is important and forgetting their name after they have told you does not help build your relationship. Seeing their name with their face as you talk to them helps you remember who they are. Be sure to have them register so you have their email for your next event or sale.
We strongly recommend you find something you have in common with your customer. (not just at your open house but each time you meet a new customer) Small talk isn’t everyone’s strong suit but it’s extremely important to communicate well so the customer doesn’t go to your competition. They are at your business because they are interested in your products so find out what specific items or colors stand out to them. If it’s something that is your favorite, let them know. Or find out where they are from, how many kids they have, or if they are married or single. It just takes a couple simple questions to find common ground and build a relationship.
Mix and Mingle:
The owners and/or managers need to be available to talk to each person. Have your staff show the customers around or even give a tour to keep them engaged after you greet them so that you can be sure and meet the next customer with a smile. When people are left standing around it makes them uncomfortable and they may just head for the door. Don’t let that happen.
We recommend you don’t put the registration or prize table at the front door. In fact, put it toward the back of the room and make sure there is plenty of room around the table. This will allow the customers to see your inventory as they make their way back to the table and decrease the chance of a bottle neck.
You can have the event catered or just have some cookies, coffee and bottled water. You choose how much you want to spend and then find something that fits your budget. Try and keep refreshments away from the prize table so that traffic will keep flowing. Have plenty of trash cans around and if you have servers, be sure they wear gloves. If you are having your event when it is still a little chilly, then maybe have chili…or a soup bar. Don’t forget the crackers or cornbread. Or hot dogs and hamburgers. Those are simple. You can cook them ahead of time and put them in a crock pot or food warmer then your staff will have more time to mingle.
Yep, that’s right. It can be your cousin’s brother-in-law on guitar or just some music playing in the back ground. For dealerships, we recommend some good ol’ rock and roll or country and be sure the lyrics are the “clean version”. Some type of music that makes you want to go out and DRIVE.
It’s a great time to organize, sweep, mop and dust. Let’s face it, with vehicles coming in and out, sometimes the facilities get a little dirty. Wipe down counter tops, check for cobwebs and scrub that bathroom. We have a local cleaning company that will come in and do one major clean and they are quite reasonable in price. You also want to be sure your client and financial files are tucked away securely.
Decorations and promotional items:
Keep the decorations simple. A few balloons out front so people know it’s your special day. Maybe even a banner that says “OPEN HOUSE SATURDAY” and include your website. One cost cutting measure would be to not include the date so you can use it for future events. And then of course, order your promotional items from MAVERICK ADVANTAGE! Putting your name in front of your customers all year long helps them remember who to go to when they are ready to buy. Key chains, knives, coffee mugs, insulated tumblers or any of our other items are great ways to advertise and boost your business! Look for some information in the near future about some wonderful promotional packages we are designing to help your open house be a huge success.