Supercharge your customer relations

If you are looking to equip your customers with valuable knowledge and insight, then you can’t beat hosting an open day for maximum efficiency, argues Listers’ MD Roy Frost.

While reading the trade press over the last few months, one word has emerged more than ever: change.

Change itself is a positive force, and it implies modernisation, adaptation, and correction. But for many, it is also a word that suggests being out of date, not relevant, out of touch.

At Listers, we like change. We keep our ears close to the ground so we know what is coming, and we partner with the industry’s leading suppliers to make sure we are first in line with new products and technology. This is why we were a Sheerline launch partner, why we offer the most comprehensive Residence Collection range in the industry, and why we include Kubu smart technology on all of our products.

And we want to keep our customers fully up to date with our developments so they have the best opportunities to sell profitable products to homeowners. We also want to give them the marketing tools to make that selling process easier, which puts them ahead of the competition.

One marketing technique that we have found gives an incredible return on investment is the open day.

Meeting your customers face-to-face over a bacon roll and window sample may seem old hat in the modern world of Zoom calls and virtual showrooms, but gathering them together to convey news, advice, product details and business tools is arguably one of the best decisions you can make.

Last April, we held two open days – one at Tottenham Hotspurs’ new stadium, and one at our showroom in Stoke – which were designed primarily to help our customers prepare for the upcoming changes to the Building Regulations. We also added seminars that covered new product development and business advice.

They were a success, and the feedback was extremely positive. Why were they successful? Well, we managed to get almost 100 people through the doors, where we got their full attention, and we did this by promising them that they would leave the event in a more advantageous position that when they arrived.

Ultimately, of course, if our customers can sell knowledgeably and effectively, then Listers will benefit from increased sales.

For 2023, we are taking what we learned in 2022 and supercharging it, so that when our customers from across the UK attend our open days on April 25th and 26th, they will be presented not just with a single seminar room, but with a choice of events held over multiple locations at our base in Stoke.

There will be talks, demonstrations, workshops and factory tours. There will also be plenty of opportunities to network in our large canteen area where many of our suppliers will have exhibition-style stands and break-out areas – all while making the most of the free catering.

In fact, we will have more than a dozen companies supporting our open days, including systems companies, hardware suppliers, door companies and marketing consultancies. Our aim is to get them talking to our customers about new product developments and market trends, so they can confidently sell next generation technology to homeowners.

As I write this, we are putting the finishing touches to the programme, which contains a mixture of informative seminars, unmissable hands-on bootcamps, a mini exhibition, factory tours, and plenty of opportunities for networking.

And let’s not forget the obligatory freebies! Each registered visitor will take home one of our famous goody bags containing gifts from all our suppliers; the first ten people registered on the wax repair workshop will receive a wax repair kit worth £50; and everyone will get a free breakfast and free lunch.

I’m a big believer in digital marketing, and you can find us all over social media. But you can’t beat organising an event where you can dedicate a day to talking to your customers face to face. And you will be hard-pressed to find another comprehensive event, showcasing so many products and services, in such an intimate event this year.