View Full Version : Under Promise Over Deliver?

Haunts of Richmond
06-16-2010, 08:29 PM
Everyone has heard the old sales technique... under promise your service when you pitch something to a potential client, but then blow them away with your delivery and go above what you promised. This creates good will and the client is likely to resign with you the next month or the next year.

How does this apply to haunting?

Well, lets think about our advertising. We want to push over-the-top sets, giant monsters, amazing special effects, great actors, unique story-line... but what if your haunt doesn't live up to those expectations? Are you setting yourself up for bad reviews and low customer retention?

How do you balance it all out?


Jim Warfield
06-17-2010, 02:33 AM
Because right now I say..It doesn't really matter!
Maybe I feel like this because of a ignorant teenager that was here tonight.
Number one, he really didnot want to be here.
Number two, maybe he really was scared?
Number three the rest of the kids he was with sure seemed to be having a fun and good time being here.
Number four, there was plently of fearfull reactions being heard and witnessed from them, as a group.
Yes I tell myself eventually that I have seen a few of these types before and sometimes they return, after they have thought about all of the things I had here that I entertained them with.
I also can easily say he is just a kid and is woefully ignorant about a great many things because he has only been alive such a short period of time.(compared to my time here)
His being critical about how much money or time spent here putting this business together was Very stupid, he obviously has never built or worked or done a whole many things in this world yet, but then, maybe he never will? Or never have to?
Then I simply think about all of the incredible compliments I get here, stand them up against this small measure of grousing..and there you have it, he is completely out voted by a landslide.
You are wrong, kid.
From a first room with 25 different devices and effects all operated on cue to maximum effect. To the haunted history I take the time to tell which ellicts many reactions from belly laughs to fear and surprises.
Usually 90 minutes later after seeing this guided tour with heavy, almost constant narration. through six levels of this 1870 Italianate inn with cupola to the wine cellar,a thick jungle back yard maze, wrecked deathmobiles, Tricycle chainsaw,hearse, secret passages, hidden doors, curving tunnels under the ground, costumes and monsters of my own creation...he said something like, "Don't spend much money on this place do you?'
I guess "Puppy dog" Jim just has a need to impress everyone and get a compliment bone?
(As long as they don't anally insert it for me)

08-05-2010, 02:39 AM
Jim noting ticks me off more than teens or pre teens with attitudes like that! Everone gets them. I have kids around that age and I have to hear what other kids are saying. Around here if you are not the in crowd or have money ect they don't accept you and no matter how good you are or how hard you try, some kids is saying something negitive.

Jim Warfield
08-05-2010, 07:04 AM
To other kids. Maybe this reverts back to stone age mentality of abandoning the weaker to the wolves as the strong only survive?
"If you're not perfect..you are dead!"
Not fast enough, strong enough , have the best hearing, vision, your left to your own devices and nature will then dictate an early demise, sorry. (But not really!)
3 out of 5 elderly have very little money ..the other 2 took it! Inheritance, manipulation and other immoral practices fueled by unbound greed? "Enough"..is never enough!
"Well, Mr. Bingbong, if we operate and replace your heart and other organs you will be the only man to ever live to be 150 years old, do you have the 20 million dollars we need?"
"Yer dam right I do!"

So it goes.

Jim Warfield
08-05-2010, 11:19 PM
My place is very different from most other haunts and a new fan will be sometimes almost rabid in telling everyone they know about my place....of course not wanting to give anything away, they just exclaim it's great! And then their friend conjors up their idea of what this means, which can be totally different from anything I have happening here! = dissappointment or even complaining.
I am concerned about what every customer thinks of the place (unless they are drunk & surely) even though I have gotten tons of very incredible compliments from so many people, which inturn have gone the distance for me, keeping my doors open all of these years.
Today's tally on this was : One museum currator who was here 4 yrs. ago brought 3 other young women here. Later a group of 9 little girls, ages probably 7 to 12 all came here for a very special tour, all of them have been here before and insited of their parents that they could be here tonight!
As I type this I just realised, this has been an all-female customer day!

damon carson
08-05-2010, 11:47 PM
Jim here is something scary to think about .Ok think about this. Maybe the teenage kid is right. And all your other thousands of customers was wrong!!! Including me! Hmmm makes you stop and think doesnt it Jim. LOL!
Keep your head up! Ha ha!

Gore Galore
08-06-2010, 06:24 AM
that is a very good question.
One answer would be to deliver what you promise.
Just like all vendors should deliver what they advertise.
It is no different when you see a commercial. This was a real situation. I ordered a sandwich from Dominos because of their commercial. They show like a 1/2 lb meat with tons of toppings and it is huge. well in reality the real sandwich arrives and it looks completely nothing like their advertising. I think that is false advertising. I never ordered it again. It was a real disappointment.

The same goes for haunt vendors. We should be showcasing our production quality work at tradeshows. Not what was produced by your designer who isn't even painting your production work. Doing so is also a form of false advertising.

So how does that apply to haunts. If you advertise something you really should deliver what you advertise. If you advertise giant monsters, you should deliver giant monsters.
Deliver what you promise and you should be good.

Jim Warfield
08-07-2010, 09:01 AM
"We weren't scared."
"O.K., give me your address and one of these nights this November I will drive over to your house and scare you."
"Nevermind, forget it."
"Did I just scare you Big Boy?"
(Insert evil laugh here~)

08-08-2010, 04:17 AM
You can and should use terms that pump up the excitement of your haunt, but never, ever make outright false claims. We all hate it when others do that to us. We have a word for it: LYING. You should be able to back up any claims you make if challenged, and they shouldn't be silly excuses either, like "when we said you would piss your pants if you came here, we meant you would eventually do it if you were locked inside and handcuffed behind your back."

If your haunt is really any good, there should be plenty to hype without crossing over in the realm of outright fantasy. Terms like "Thrilling!" and "Chilling!" are always better than specific claims like "The Best Haunted House in America!" We had one poster (in 2003) that said "the most shocking Haunted House ever!" That was not a wise choice of words. When I wrote it, I rationalized that it was the most shocking haunted house WE ever did (since 1999). But that's not what it said. I'm lucky we had a good show that year and nobody challenged me on it, because my excuse would have sounded pretty lame. Since then, I try to avoid specific brags like that unless we have something specific to back it up. If you promise a giant spider, you better have one somewhere in the haunt. If you promise to remove someone's head, you better have an illusion that does just that. Neither has to be "real", but the claim has to have a real basis.

That's my opinion anyway, for what it's worth.