Guest blogger: Michael Lynn Adams
About two months ago I went to Bigoudi Salon (Woodland Hills, California) where a wonderful woman named Natsu cut my hair. During the haircut our conversation turned to art and along the way I mentioned that I had a solo show opening on March 5.
She gave me a great cut. I paid. I left.
Last week, exactly a week before the opening, I received in the mail a little red envelope addressed by hand with a return address that said, simply, “Bigoudi – Natsu.” Enclosed was a folded card with a Japanese design and the word “Love” in white letters in the middle of tiny red rectangle on front. Inside was a handwritten note telling me that she had looked at my website, liked my work, and “wouldn’t it be great to have cool hair for the opening?”
Tucked inside the card were two $10 Bigoudi Bucks – a significant discount. (Frankly, the handwritten note without the gift was enough to persuade me to call.) I immediately made an appointment!
While Natsu was cutting my hair again I thanked her for the card and gift and asked how she remembered my opening. She said that although the salon has a computer database system for client records, she always makes notes about her clients on 3×5” cards that she stores in a little box at her station. The cards are organized by client name. She reviews them regularly and writes the personal notes for special occasions.
Although Bigoudi, a world-wide company, uses branded cards for general announcements to their clients, Natsu makes a special point to use non-branded cards for sending handwritten notes and gifts for a client’s special event.
Natsu’s act exemplified many of the lessons Alyson teaches–especially in the Cultivate Collectors class.
Lesson: Listening to others is far more important than telling others about myself. Because Natsu listened she was able to send a thoughtful message and gift that was perfectly timed and meaningful to the events in my life.
My Plan: I will listen and write down what is important in others lives. In a database, and in a simple card file to make recording and reviewing those notes simple, convenient and easy.
Lesson: Handwritten notes are more personal and feel genuine, authentic and from the heart.
My Plan: Always have on hand a few dozen folded cards with images of my paintings on the cover. I will use those cards to send handwritten “thank you” notes, and notes acknowledging special events in the lives of collectors and key prospects and supporters.
Lesson: Gifts that are meaningful the recipient do not have to be elaborate or fancy.
My Plan: I like the idea of sending gifts to key people, primarily collectors on special occasions. I think a discount certificate/card, perhaps 10% off of the next purchase, is good. Maybe the promise of a free hand drawn sketch with the next purchase would work.
I would love to hear your suggestions.