Notes From The Road: Open House
Last week I had the opportunity to attend an open house at Swift Greenhouses, where I grew up. Swift is a big supporter of Darwin Perennials and Kieft Seed genetics, so I was proud to be there to support their program.
Me and Hans Stokes, my successor at Swift Greenhouses.
An open house can be a tremendous amount of work, but at the end of the day it is well worth it. Especially in this age of electronic orders and digital communication.
My father was a salesman for Levi Strauss for many years and he said his job became much less enjoyable when computers got involved. He felt like his relationship with his customers suffered. And that is what he loved.
An open house is a great opportunity to strengthen those relationships. An opportunity to get to know your customer, spend some time with them, treat them to a meal, and to just say thanks for being your customer. In return, they get the opportunity to meet other customers, talk plants, share ideas, tour the facilities, and to create new relationships.
Coreopsis Double the Sun (left) vs Coreopsis Early Sunrise (right)
This is also an opportunity to show off! Quality, technology, processes, employees. Everything you do to ensure they get the best quality and best genetics shipped to their door – accurately and on time. All of this, of course, leads to strengthening relationships and increased sales.
Look at these 288s ready to ship!
Coreopsis Super Star (left) and a sign indicating key crop scheduling.
Swift’s open house did not disappoint. Attendance was good, the food was good, and the finished perennial crop was just about at its peak. As a bonus, industry experts Vaughn Fletcher and Dr. Dave Koranski were in attendance to mingle with customers and support the program as well.
And let’s not forget about an additional bonus to having an open house — it is an opportunity to do some deep cleaning!