Skip to main content

3 minute read

Spider webs. Skeletons. Tombstones. It’s officially here. The quintessential October holiday has us carving pumpkins on our front porches, donning uproarious costumes and…learning business lessons?


Yes, it just might be that Halloween has a little something to offer besides a sugar high.


Business leaders could take a lesson or two from trick-or-treaters this Halloween. When you take your kids trick-or-treating (or open your door to these sugar-seekers) consider how you’re showing up for your current and future customers.


Acknowledge vulnerability

Walking up to a stranger’s door in festive garb after the sun goes down is a vulnerable act. (Try this on any day other than October 31st and you’ll see what I mean…) As leaders, remember that your customers are choosing to knock on your door. Make sure they feel safe amid their vulnerability.


Take their emotional state into account. They’re coming to you with a problem that needs solving, and they’re hoping (or maybe even doubting) that you just might be able to help. How can you “leave the light on” for your potential customers to encourage them to knock on your door? How can you establish trust and connection in that critical moment?


Exceed expectations

Halloween transforms kids into jungle animals and relevant pop culture icons that scour their neighborhoods for tricks and treats. But is anyone actually looking for a trick? Kids shout “trick or treat,” but who in their right mind actually expects anything other than a bowlful of candy and sweets to be offered? Most businesses out there aren’t intentionally trying to trick their potential customers, but it’s important to consider the expectations at play.


For instance, there are varying levels of “treats.” One house offers treats in the form of dental floss and carrot sticks, while the other dishes out king size candy bars. Both are “treats,” but only one exceeds a child’s expectations. Be a king-sized candy bar kind of organization. Be abundantly generous. Exceed the expectations of the customers that come knocking at your door.


Make it memorable

You only get a short interaction with door-to-door trick-or-treaters. In the same way, you only get face time with your customers for a limited window of time. How will they remember you? How do you make them feel? What are you doing to ensure that they’re telling all the neighborhood kids that your house can’t be missed?


I will never forget on particular house when I was taking my nephew trick-or-treating a few years ago house.  They opened the door dressed a skeletons …and then put forth a basket filled with “skeleton hands” as the treat – clear gloves filled with popcorn.  Creativity to its finest.   I still think of that experience …a good 4 years later.


It’s easier to go generic, sure.

It’s a lot less effort to lean into the fad that everyone else is embracing.

It’s simpler to be unoriginal.


Leveraging your creativity—surprising and delighting your customers—takes work. You have to be intentional about building an experience and interaction that will stick out in their minds. But it’s worth the investment. Find a way to make them smile. Find a way to make sure they remember you long after they’ve left your front stoop.


Of all the doors, they knocked on yours. Make it memorable.

Author Doreen Linneman

More posts by Doreen Linneman