On a recent beautiful spring morning, my sister and I attended a local garden tour, a fundraising event for a nonprofit organization I support. As we were enjoying coffee and pastries on the garden terrace, a strolling barbershop quartet approached our table and serenaded us. The gentlemen of For the Moment were charming and we were delighted. After the song, they chatted briefly with us, then continued weaving through the gardens, sharing their music and sunny dispositions. They really made our day, and we both talked to others about our engaging little encounter with the group several times that weekend. But, it’s what happened a few days later that really made an impression on me.

I received a package in the mail from the quartet’s lead singer, whose day job is working as a local pediatrician. The package included a wonderful handwritten letter expressing his pleasure in meeting us, along with a booklet and a couple of essays. It turns out that Dr. Brent Prather, in addition to being a pediatrician and a singer, is also a writer who has authored numerous articles and compiled books on various parenting and children’s health care topics.

Dr. Prather recalled from our brief conversation in the garden that my sister has two middle-school-aged children, so he sent her his book on positive parenting. Remembering that my child is in college, he included a couple of inspirational essays for me. At a time when that little something extra, or lagniappe, is becoming increasingly rare, it was refreshing to see such a nice, extra touch, and done so personally. But, this is exactly the kind of gesture that will make Dr. Prather memorable; make me think, “That’s the kind of doctor I’d want for my child;” and lead me to refer him to a parent looking for a pediatrician. It was beyond simply marketing his services or public relations; it was establishing a genuine connection, which is the best kind of marketing.