Can an open house help you get new customers in the door – and is it worth the effort?
The open house has traditionally been associated with home sales and school events, but did you know it can also be used as a marketing tool for audiologists?

Just ask Jeff Klyczek, who has been putting on open houses for hearing consultants for the past 12 years. He says that audiology open houses are so successful that sales can average USD 50,000 for his customers.

“You advertise in a different way than the usual” he says. “You’re aiming at a patient base that is outside the practitioner’s current customers.”
Choosing the theme
So what is an open house and how can you arrange one at your audiology business? First you need to pick a theme. Open houses can be categorized into four types:

1. Medical: Consider an open house about a specific hearing theme that you would like to promote – like earwax or tinnitus.

2. New product: Is there a new behind-the-ear hearing aid or tinnitus management device you would like to promote? Use the open house to explain this new product.

3. Technology motif: Potential customers may be intimidated by all of the technological options available to them. Invite customers to an event where you explain the pros and cons of each type of technology you offer.

4. Promotion: Are you offering a new service like earwax removal or tinnitus management? Use a promotion to get new customers in your door.
The advertisement
Once you have picked a theme for your open house, it is time to promote it. Klyczek says there are several ways to get people to attend open houses. Here are some of the most popular:

1. Direct mail: Target direct mailings to the people you think would most benefit from your products – like those who are 65+. This can help you reach people who may have never even heard of your business.

2. Newspaper and TV ads: Consider offering a “freebie” or promotion in a TV or newspaper ad. For example, you could offer a free hearing test at the open house to anyone who mentions the ad.

3. Social media: Seniors are increasingly turning to social media for information. Create a Facebook event and invite your existing customers and fans. They may share it with friends who they believe could benefit from your services.
The payback
Klyzcek says that when done well, you can sell more during one open house than you normally would in one or two months. But aside from sales, they can help you position yourself as a knowledge leader in your community. By providing the public with information, you are showing them that you can be trusted to take care of their hearing issues.

“Open houses are worth the time and effort because they motivate the owner, personnel, and patients to think outside the box,” he says.
After attending, patients generally feel a motivation to take action to correct their hearing problem
- Jeff Klyczek, owner of Better Hearing Consultants
By providing the public with information, you are showing them that you can be trusted to take care of their hearing issues.

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