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APRIL 2013



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DAVE HARRIS Shares His Thoughts
About A Successful Dealer Open House

A Dealer Open House is a powerful sales and marketing tool . . . when done right. Now, what does that mean? The most effective open houses are in a dealer's warehouse or in a rented convention hall and done like a trade show where vendors are invited to come and set-up a table or be in a booth space provided by the dealer for them to show their own products and be available for buyers to physically see your products, converse with and train with an expert.

Success of an open house comes when it is advertised, not only well in advance, but with more than one medium. The possibilities are local radio station, emails, flyers carried by every salesman and by owners who make sales calls. Teasers are great to get customers to come to the event. Free food, live music, discounts on purchases made on the event days, free giveaways, etc. Participating vendors have giveaways. Sometimes you have to ask for them. Different people are motivated by different things so try as many as possible.

Demonstrate - Demonstrations are probably the best way to help consumers understand why your product is better and offers ample time to talk about pricing, discounts, and special offers.

Use the Crowd - Invite an attendee to help you demonstrate, wear, or try your product or service. Make it fun by connecting with the users.

Forget the Chips - Savvy people want wine and cheese and a variety of appetizers. Limit the amount of alcohol or if wine isn't your thing, buy flavored waters and unique beverages. As regards to alcoholic beverages, check with your attorney.

Don't Forget the Kids - It's easier than ever now to find people who provide specialty services just for kids at open house events.

Give Something Special Away - Offer free services, maybe a free service call. Hold a free drawing for something really special, but do that on the very last day or very last hour of the day.

ENGAGE EVERY SALES PERSON AND CSR IN YOUR FOLLOW UP CAMPAIGN.

Dealer Open Houses are be effective but only if you follow-up and connect with attendees after the event. BUT DON'T STOP THERE. When calls are made (telephone or in person) to customers who didn't make the event, bring them into the success of it and encourage them to be with you at your next open house. All this is called building loyalty.

Author: Dave Harris, Vice President and General Manager of ImageOne Impact, a manufacturer and supplier of Shop Tools, Safety Tools, Installer and Vehicle Wrap Tools and Sign and Banner Mounting and Hanging Hardware

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