Remembering My Father

It’s been just over a month since I lost my beloved father. He was 91 and lived a good life filled with loving family, friends and faith.

He had a profound impact on me both personally and professionally.

So I thought I’d share a tribute I wrote about my father on the occasion of his 80th birthday. This is an excerpt from my column in a services marketing newsletter published by AMA in the 1990’s.

My father was a tailor. When I was little, I would visit his store to admire the rows of colored thread on shelves above the old sewing machine. And occasionally, I would accompany him while he picked up and delivered his customers’ dry cleaning to their homes. I didn’t realize it until now, but I learned a lot from my father amid the colored spools and chemical cleaning smells.

Customers loved my father. He spent as much time socializing with them – in the store and during deliveries – as he did sewing for them. Whenever a customer came into the store, my father would get down to business: with a warm greeting, followed by a concerned query about the customer’s health and family, and then the specifics of the customer’s clothing alteration needs.

He took a lot of care with customers as well as with their clothes. And they kept coming back, while referring new customers to him. My father was not only a craftsman when it came to sewing, he was a master of relationship marketing.

Now you know the term “relationship marketing” didn’t exist back in the 1950’s-70’s when my father ran his tailor shop. It was just an intuitive way of how he did business.

(I can now picture him in heaven reconnecting with his former customers and friends and getting the latest updates on their families … )

Thanks, Dad, for a wonderful legacy. I love you & I miss you.

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