As almost every woman and long-haired man can confirm, finding a good hairdresser is often harder than dating–it takes time, effort, and patience, and can have far more long-lasting repercussions than just a bad date. When I moved to Los Angeles, my hair was a mess of split ends and a growing-out ombré dye job. I was so overwhelmed with unpacking and settling in that I skipped my usually extensive hairdresser research period and took a leap of faith into the first salon I found that was near my apartment and had a good Yelp rating.
My haircut itself was uneventful, as haircuts go, and after some light motherly chiding from my hairdresser on my hair’s apparent lack of vitamin E, I went home and put the experience out of my mind. But about a week later, I received a handwritten card from my hairdresser, which thanked me for coming in and reminded me to buy vitamin E tablets. I was completely blown away by this, and I took it as a great lesson in the effect a personal touch can have in marketing.
The fact that my hairdresser not only followed up with me but included a personal detail from our conversation built a rapport and made me more inclined to become a return customer. The same is true in marketing—even professional services marketing. It’s important to keep in mind that clients are people too, and the effect of connecting with clients on a personal level is not to be underestimated. Taking the extra effort to send a handwritten thank-you after a proposal meeting, ask about a family member a client mentioned was ill, or forward an article on a subject a client is interested in can reward you with a client relationship that is strong, positive, and built on more than just the work you do for them. I’m living proof: I’ve been going to the same hairdresser ever since I received that card, and yes, I did buy vitamin E tablets.