Love Your Customers - 10 Creative Ways to Celebrate the VIPs in Your Business

By
Services for Real Estate Pros
partyYour customers are the lifeblood of your business. Periodically letting them know how much they mean to you will grow them into friends who follow your career, help build your business and, most important, celebrate life's journey with you. 

There are a lot of innovative ways to make your customers feel valued. Whatever you choose to do, make it joyful, be creative, and embrace the opportunity to "give back" to those who truly make a difference. Here are 10 ideas to get you started:

1.   Western BBQ

  • Encourage Western attire, with prizes for the best-dressed couple,
    best-dressed boy and best-dressed girl.
  • Serve ginger ale, root beer and sarsaparilla along with traditional BBQ fare.
  • Play country music, and hire a dance instructor to give two-step lessons.
  • Host a hayride, or offer pony rides.
  • Have a bonfire complete with s'mores.
  • Set up an area for a horseshoe toss.
  • Paint the word "saloon" on an old piece of wood, and hang it near the bar.
  • Decorate with wheat stalks and hay bales.
  • Take Polaroid pictures, and place them in photo frames made with your theme
    and contact information.

2.  Old Fashioned Family Picnicpicnic

  • Decorate with checkered tablecloths and plastic ants.
  • Have a watermelon seed-spitting contest, with prizes for greatest distance,
  • best effort, most seeds, etc.
  • Cater hamburgers, hot dogs and bratwurst with all the fixings!
  • Hold a pie-eating (or throwing) contest.
  • Have old fashioned picnic games such as sack races, horseshoes, croquet,
    bocce or a beanbag toss.
  • Rent an inflatable bounce house for the kids.
  • Hire a clown or magician, and offer face painting for the kids.
  • Have a make-your-own-sundae bar, or serve strawberry shortcake.

3.  Outdoor Movie Night

  • Reserve a pavilion at a local park, and rent a projector and a family-friendly movie.
    Either secure a white sheet between two trees, rent a giant screen, or project the movie
    onto the side of a building.
  • Provide picnic blankets for seating.
  • Serve hot dogs, popcorn, sodas and lemonade. For colder climates, warm donuts,
    coffee and hot chocolate are must-haves!
  • Provide novelty movie candy such as Junior Mints, M&Ms, Goobers, Bottle Caps
    and Twizzlers (www.candydirect.com).

4.  Special Screening

  • Arrange a special screening at your local movie theatre. Off nights offer the best value.
  • Roll out the red carpet as a walkway into the movie.
  • Have popcorn bags printed with your logo and a thank you message.
  • Provide candy, drinks and printed program souvenirs.

5.  Mardi Gras Magic

  • Hand out bead necklaces at the door.
  • Decorate with purple, green and gold, and play Zydeco or New Orleans-style jazz.
  • Order a traditional King Cake (www.kingkingcakes.com), and give a prize to whoever
    gets the baby.
  • Buy plain masks at a craft store, and provide glitter, feathers, sequins and glue
    for a mask-making contest.
  • Cater in Louisiana-style food such as jambalaya, étouffée or fried seafood.
  • Serve Hurricanes for the adults:
    • 1 oz. vodka
    • 1/4 oz. grenadine syrup
    • 1 oz. gin
    • 1 oz. light rum
    • 1/2 oz. Bacardi® 151 rum
    • 1 oz. amaretto almond liqueur
    • 1 oz. triple sec
    • 1/4 cup grapefruit juice
    • 1/4 cup pineapple juice

In order listed, pour all but the juices into a hurricane glass three-quarters filled with ice. Add grapefruit and pineapple juice, and enjoy!

6.  Beach Party/Luau

  • Encourage attire such as Bermuda shorts, Hawaiian prints, grass skirts,
    sundresses, flip-flops, etc.
  • Play beach-themed or Hawaiian music.
  • If you don't have a beach, sprinkle a dance floor or other area with sand.
  • Give everyone a lei at the door; give the ladies flowers for their hair.
  • Have a mai-tai and pina colada bar with all the fixings: pineapples, oranges, limes, cherries, mint and tiny drink umbrellas.
  • If outdoors, decorate with tiki torches, and have a bonfire complete with s'mores.
  • Cater slow-roasted pork, and serve tropical fruit kabobs.
  • Play beach games such as badminton, volleyball and bocce.
  • Fill beach buckets with your promotional materials, and give as favors
    when guests are leaving.
  • If you're at the beach, have a sand castle-building contest.

7.  Day at the Fair

  • Have a concessions company set up at a local park or in your firm's parking lot.
  • Offer traditional carnival food such as funnel cakes, foot-long hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy and giant soft pretzels.
  • Rent carnival games such as a dunk tank, ring toss, a karaoke machine, etc.
  • Rent bounce houses and inflatable slides for the kids.
  • Hire a clown to make balloon animals and paint faces.

8.  Take Me Out to the Ball Game

  • Arrange a day at a local minor league baseball game.
  • Host a tailgate party complete with grilled hot dogs and burgers.
  • Hand out team souvenirs such as jerseys, promotional items, hats and gloves.
  • Hold a drawing for an autographed jersey and/or ball.

9.  Bowling Party

  • Rent a few lanes (or the whole alley!) at your local bowling center.
  • Provide team T-shirts and shoe rental.
  • Serve pizza, sodas, beer and hot dogs.
  • Order novelty bowling pins with customers' names printed on them.

10.  50s Party50s

  • Get cardboard cutouts of 50s stars for some fun photo opportunities.
  • Decorate with cutouts of records. Put your customers' names on the labels.
  • Encourage 50s attire, and have a best-dressed contest.
  • Hire a disc jockey who is experienced in sock hops.
  • Burn CDs of 50s favorites, with your information and a thank you message on the label.
    Give them to guests as they leave.

Making memories and giving thanks are key to customer appreciation parties. Think outside the box to add a personal touch and creative flair to your events. If cost is an issue, consider co-hosting the party with your local mortgage broker, title representative or real estate attorney. 

Remember, in the words of Floyd Wickman, "People don't care what you know until they know that you care." Be sure to shake plenty of hands and give plenty of hugs while expressing sincere thanks for your guests' business and loyalty. Both are valuable gifts, especially in today's ultra-competitive market.

Most of all, enjoy your time together-celebrating your customers, your success and the opportunity to be the very best at what you do!

This is just one campaign system found in the ProspectsPLUS! Marketing Solution.  For more ideas on how to continuously build your business and impact your market, visit www.prospectsplus.com to sign up for our FREE Master Marketing NewsletterTM. This popular monthly newsletter is filled with innovative, creative ways to ensure your prospecting efforts are both fun and effective!

Also be sure to request our FREE Master Marketing ScheduleTM, a unique tool designed to guide you through 24 months of strategic marketing campaigns. If you have questions or ideas you would like to share, or would like to learn more about our systems, call Julie at 866.405.3641.   

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Rainer
15,015
Calvin Neely
FLI Properties - Lagrange, GA
Let's get you moving!
I love these ideas!  After reading about the BBQ, the picnics and sundaes I am looking forward to lunch.  Great ideas...thanks for sharing.
Feb 14, 2008 12:29 AM #1
Rainer
25,775
Scott Hutchinson
REAL ESTATE - Lago Vista, TX
Lago Vista Real Estate
great ideas! I will bookmark so i can remember all of them!
Feb 14, 2008 12:30 AM #2
Ambassador
1,110,728
Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com
Thanks for all the great ideas.  We have to be rememerable in this economy.  Thanks for the different ideas
Feb 14, 2008 12:34 AM #3
Rainmaker
83,385
Julie Escobar
Tampa, FL
Syndicated Columnist, Writer, Marketing Dir.
You are all welcome!  Sometimes it's fun to spark the imagination of what's possible.  Caring for those VIPs is a BIG part of our ability to stay in this business! 
Feb 14, 2008 12:35 AM #4
Rainmaker
100,900
Lisa Ryan
Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty - Montgomery, NJ
Selling Princeton,West Windsor and Montgomery Town
Great ideas Julie.  I'll have to go check out the newsletter website.
Feb 14, 2008 12:49 AM #5
Rainer
123,025
Julie Neerings~Lifting Hearts ♥ Building Dreams~
Agent Referral - Salt Lake City, UT

Good Morning Julie~What a great list of fantastic ideas to reach out and celebrate with our SOI.  Thank you for sharing what has worked for you. 

Feb 02, 2009 12:30 AM #6
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Rainmaker
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Julie Escobar

Syndicated Columnist, Writer, Marketing Dir.
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