Let ’Em In
I have always been a huge Beatles and Paul McCartney fan. Growing up, one of my favorite songs for a while was "Let ’Em In," released when Paul was with Wings. That song got me to thinking about printers and open houses.
Have you ever had an open house or considered hosting one? Doing so is a very good idea, especially right after a new equipment acquisition, or if there is something NEW to tell your clients and prospects. Perhaps you just got a new certification or hired some new people. Whatever the reason, done right, an open house can really help you take your relationships with clients and prospects to a new level.
Here are some reasons why, in no particular order...
They are generally held at night, and drinks are usually served. For some reason, being able to relax and enjoy a cocktail with someone allows for a whole new level of relationship. I am not advocating getting your customers hammered, but you’d be surprised how a whole new side can come out, and a new level of intimacy can be formed in a more social setting.
Getting to see your operation is usually very illuminating for your customers — you will hear things like, “I had no idea you did this kind of work.” or “I am really impressed with your press area.” Even if you have told them 10 times that you have a digital press, they only hear what they need to hear, so seeing it in person really helps things sink in in a way that just hearing you talk about it will not.
Customers really like the opportunity to meet your support staff—like CSRs, estimators and managers—who they talk to all the time, but never get to meet in person. They enjoy getting to put a face with a name and will often spend more time talking to them than they do to you.
Open houses can be done very tastefully for a not too terribly huge investment. Hire a caterer, spiff the place up, and you can even have a staffer bartend. It’s also a really good excuse for a deep cleaning.
Have you had an open house lately or are you considering one? I’d like to hear your thoughts...