In this article, leading Sales Expert Andy Preston explains what sales lessons we can learn from a barber shop…. and we can do to implement the learning to improve our own sales figures….
Recently I needed to get my hair cut. Those of you that know me know that I like to keep my hair fairly short, and therefore go to my local village hairdresser about every 2 weeks or so. On this occasion, the hairdresser wasn’t able to fit me in, and as I was travelling all around the UK as normal, I needed to find a hairdresser in central London.
So what do I do? Use the internet of course! I knew I wanted more of a barber than a hairdresser, as I’d heard horror stories of central London prices for a simple cut like mine being £50 or more.
Starting The Search…..
Therefore I searched for barbers in the London postcode that my hotel was in and looked at a few. A few of those were eliminated straightaway as they didn’t have websites – there’s a lesson there about being accessible! I was only looking for simple information – opening hours and pricing, but if I can’t even get that, you’re unlikely to be winning much business from that source.
Anyway, I managed to find a barbers that I liked the look of, was local to the hotel that I was staying at and was able cut my hair for £35 – not bad in central London I thought. Therefore I made a note of the address and opening times, and decided arrive there the minute they opened to get my hair cut and make the rest of my appointments for the day.
Now, before I tell you any more, there’s something really important here. £35 is nearly 3 times the price I pay for my haircut at my local hairdresser at home. Why was I willing to pay nearly 3 times as much for perceivably the same service?
Andy’s Sales Lesson No 1 – Be Convenient
Firstly, I was willing to pay a much higher price, because it was convenient! I was able to get the information I needed in order to make a buying decision. How many of you are preventing your customers from making buying decisions right now?
How convenient are you to your customers? If they need you out of hours, can they get essential information on your website? This was the first lesson – in the example above, some barbers that were more local to my hotel missed out on my business because they didn’t have a website! I wasn’t looking for anything fancy, just some basic information.
If they didn’t have that, they missed out on my business. How much business could you be missing out on right now by not being “convenient” enough to your customers or potential customers?
Andy’s Sales Lesson No 2 – Demonstrate Value
Secondly, I was happy to pay a much higher price because the barbers I chose were able to demonstrate value. Whilst I was looking for the basic information on price and opening times, the look and feel of the website was able to demonstrate value to me.
Classic yet contemporary, I immediately felt I was not just going for a haircut, but more of a time to relax and unwind. They’d obviously spent time thinking about their target customers and what they wanted and this was evident when they’d had their website put together.
How often do you demonstrate value to your customers or potential customers? Or is your website just a list of your products and services?
Andy’s Sales Lesson No 3 – Motivate Your Buyers
Thirdly, I was happy to pay a higher price because the barber shop got me motivated to spend my money! Once I’d been on their website and seen what they were about, I actually became more motivated and excited about spending my money with them.
I was motivated by their company brand as well as what they offered in terms of products and services (they also sold shaving and grooming products).
How often do we think about what would motivate and excite our buyers? How often do we include this within our core messages, whether that be from our salespeople, our marketing or our website?
If we’re looking for our buyers to be excited, motivated, and enthusiastic we need to help make them that way! If they’re bored, tired or disinterested when they examine our products and services, is it any wonder they don’t buy, or don’t buy as much as they could?
Andy’s Sales Lesson No 4 – First Impressions Are Vital
Fourthly, think about how crucial the first impressions of your business are to your customers or potential customers. The first impression of your company may come from one of your salespeople, your website, your marketing literature or even perhaps their first “inbound” phone call to your business.
It is imperative that you get this right – that is if you want to maximise your potential new business opportunities. If you don’t create that positive first impression of our business you may be missing out on business that you didn’t know existed – from a lot of potential customers that have chose to “walk away” rather than spend their money with you.
And this unfortunately was where the barber shop fell down. They managed to do the other 3 points really well, but failed to impress on this point which will result in them losing business.
The barber shop in question opened at 9am, so I decided in my wisdom that I’d turn up at 8.50am in order to get my hair cut, then get on with the rest of my appointments for the day. Finally at 9.25am, just as I was beginning to wonder what on earth had happened (no one was answering the phone either) a guy came to unlock the door and said “do you have an appointment?”
Was I The Inconvenience?!!
What on earth was he thinking? Talk about destroying most of the “goodwill” and any positive impression the shop had already built up with me! He arrived 25 minutes late and was asking me if I had an appointment, as if it was my fault!
In one sentence (added to the fact he was late) he managed to destroy most of my positive impressions and potentially lose future profitable business. I did proceed with my haircut, but left feeling a little deflated and like my expectations hadn’t been met.
Which lead me to wonder….how many of you do that to your potential customers? People who actually want their problems solved? People that are actively looking to spend money with you on a regular basis and you do something that prevents that from happening?
You can also ask any questions about this article or sales in general, by contacting Andy here
Follow the tips above and watch your sales soar! I look forward to hearing how you get on……..
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