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5 Steps in Planning a Successful Open House

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Most dealers throw an open house at least once a year. Open houses are a great way to bond with existing customers and show your appreciation, as well as build some buzz around your dealership to bring in new customers.
It’s important to plan your open house right, however. A poorly planned open house can result in a mediocre turn out and a loss on your investment. An open house that’s planned well, however, can land new accounts and get your business some great exposure.
So what do you need to do?
    1. Advertise
    You need to tell everyone on your customer list that you’re throwing an open house. Use your power sport store software to send out a mass email telling customers the date and time of the event. Advertising in local newspapers, and spreading the word online, is also a smart idea.

    And, make sure people know the benefits of attending, which leads us to number two…
    2. Give Incentives for Attending
    Just inviting your customers to show up isn’t going to do the trick. So, sweeten the pot and make it really exciting. Raffle off products. Have a sale. Offer free gifts with purchase, or free financing on large items. Make sure there are food and drinks. Hire a clown or pony ride for the kids. You could also think about having your area rep out for product demonstrations.

    Do whatever you can to make your open house interesting, and make sure your customers know the benefits of attending.
    3. Pick the Right Time

    Summertime is usually the busiest time for powersports dealers. Often, the best time to host an open house is in mid to late spring. The weather is just warming up enough to get people thinking about fun summertime activities, but the season isn’t in full swing enough to where they’re too busy having fun to show up.
    Conversely, if your busiest time is winter (selling snowmobiles) then have your open house in late fall.
Valued Customer Sign
Photo © by icathing
    4. Remember Why You’re There
    Open houses can be a great way to make sales, land some key accounts, and generate some buzz about your dealership. But it’s important to remember why you’re really there: to show appreciation for the customers that keep you in business.

    Make it a point to thank every customer that walks in the door for their support throughout the year. Customers don’t hear “thank you” near enough, and it will show them that you recognize and appreciate them. That can go a long way!
    5. Remember the Details
    Often it’s the little things that can make or break an open house.

    Make sure there are plenty of garbage cans available for trash, and assign one employee to continually clean the store during the open house.  Have a host at the front door to greet people as they come in.
    Also, make sure your store is decorated with flowers, plants, balloons…it needs to look festive!
Hosting an open house can be a great way to show your customers how much you appreciate their support. It’s also a fun way to build some buzz and find new customers. With plenty of time and some good planning, your open house can be a great success!

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