8 | JULY 2017 | OHIO STYLIST & SALON |WWW.OHIOSTYLIST.COM
services for them; volunteering your time at a charity
they are passionate about or positioning your service
as a benefit they may pass along to their clients.
Here’s an example of how a strategic partner-
ship might work: One of the potential strategic
partners for hair professionals I mentioned is a
realtor. Realtors know everyone moving into and
around your area. They spend lots of time with
their clients and establish trusting relationships.
Moreover, they are always looking for more
clients so they’re most likely open and eager to
establish strategic partnerships for referrals. Iden-
tify the agents with the best reputations in your
town. Approach one and offer complimentary hair
services if they put your information in all of their
“welcome to your new home” packets, including
your card, brochure, and a $20 gift certificate. Of
course, you’ll also keep your ears open to any of
your clients looking to purchase or sell a home.
Minimal work with unlimited potential for return.
A strategic partnership works better than just a
referral program because it’s a business agreement
(even if it’s just a verbal, good-faith arrangement)
that carries weight even if just on one’s conscience.
That realtor is going to think twice every time they
need their hair done or one of their homebuyers
is excited about the gift certificate in their packet
if they know they haven’t upheld their end of the
deal to refer their clients your way. On the other
hand, your regular clients are under no obligation
to ever refer a single person to you no matter how
many times you beg.
Don’t just sit around hoping your existing cli-
ents will tell some friends about you. Take control
of your business and establish some strategic part-
nerships with well-connected members of your
community who have some skin in the game, so
to speak. They understand how hard it is to grow a
business and will appreciate the cross-referral net-
There is no golden key to building a clientele,
but strategic partnerships are worth their weight
in silver. Just keep working your magic behind the
chair and watch those strategic partnerships do
your marketing for you.
Ali Davidson is the Director of Membership for Associated Hair Professionals (AHP), which provides
advanced education, business resources, marketing materials, career support, and liability insurance
to hairstylists and barbers. For more information visitwww.associatedhairprofessionals.com or e