Sorry for the hiatus on Monday guys! As I mentioned on Instagram I was lucky enough to participate in V76's Master Class that included an opportunity to preview products that haven't even hit the shelf yet. But! I have been thinking about writing this article for the past week after a few people inspired me including a client at Barba ,Vaughn Acord of V76, and Sefiroh, the fantastic creator of the ScissorSalute™ Show. This won't be one of my longer posts but it is definitely straight to the point and will ensure that you can defend the price you are charging.
The Art of Conversation.
Not once nor twice but THREE times I have been told in the past week that I've surprised people with my conversation skills.
"It's tough finding good conversations nowadays."
"I don't normally chat with my barber, I'm typically quiet, but this has been a fun conversation."
I'm sorry, what? This is a very basic, yet lucrative, skill that we as Barbers, if not people, should be consistently working on. Yes, I only have my client in the chair for 25-30 minutes maximum including a shampoo, but they never feel rushed or awkward because we've had an entire conversation during that time. So I still get to charge the higher price of someone cutting for an hour or longer but don't have to worry about taking less clients.
I know we as Barbers can see up to 28 people in one day like @Mariela_The_Barber mentioned in her interview last week. That's a lot of heads to cut! So why not work fast but make the time pleasant for your client too?
There's no way to tell you how to be a great conversationalist, it is something that you just need to work on every day. What I can tell you is that you need to be genuine. If it's forced, awkward or scripted, you wouldn't buy it - so why would your client?
Aside from making more money, let's just look at the other benefits of this. You get to know other people and their stories. This is HUGE in my opinion because every time you listen to someone's story, whether good or bad, you are creating a bond and they have someone to confide in. I'm 99% sure a few of my guys come in for that more than a cut. My clientele is more likely to come in every 3-4 weeks rather than every week but I see a few of them every 10 days. They sit in my chair and they just TALK. But that's okay...because I listen.
According to Dale Carnegie who penned the infamous How To Win Friends & Influence People, there are several ways to be well liked but one of the biggest is to listen. I only read this book recently and I urge every person in the service industry to read it as well. Throughout parts of it, you will find yourself nodding your head saying "Yeah I do that! Let me capitalize on it" where in other parts you will say to yourself that you never thought of it that way.
Invest in yourself by working on your people skills!
I'm not saying every Barber is quiet and I'm not saying every Barber rushes because that is completely untrue. But even if you're not quiet and you don't remember what you talked about last time, or if you don't rush but you are on the quiet side...remember this: Ask a question that cannot be answered with simply a 'yes' or a 'no'. This will make it easier for you to listen if you don't have many questions to ask and it will make the cut enjoyable for your client who may have something on their mind.
If you have anything to add that you love to do while a client is in the chair, or any feedback at all, please comment below. I always look forward to hearing from everyone. Happy Thursday ladies and gents...now go make some money!
See you on Monday and Thursday at 11 AM EST next week.