A Sales Rep Cut My Hair

A Sales Rep Cut My Hair

One haircut turned into a top-notch sales lesson.

What can channel marketing and sales learn from a hairstylist? How is it possible that one simple after-school trip with my two boys could provide sales training and demonstrate a perfectly executed marketing and business loyalty program that increases both sales and cash?

For me (and probably most parents), a trip with the kids for haircuts has simple objectives: get to our local low-cost quickie-cut place and hope for empty chairs when we arrive. This trip started well—no line and a chair for all three of us. That’s when my marketing and business lesson commenced. The No. 2 clipper had barely touched my scalp when this half-hairstylist, half-senior sales professional hit me with open and closed probe questions including, How often we cut our hair? Do I like to save money? These well-scripted qualifying questions were followed by a pitch about their “exclusive,” “limited” time offer that, based on my answers, I could not refuse and would secure my business, my money and loyalty for the next year. BRILLIANT!

It’s simple, right? They wanted me to pre-pay for haircuts with an incentive of a discount. What is not simple was the execution of the program that could virtually guarantee the desired result. This program, run by a franchise haircut place using non-sales people, was one of the best-implemented marketing and sales execution strategies I have witnessed (as the prospect). They turned what should have been a $60 bill into taking over $500 of my money.  Prepay for a year of haircuts to save 33 percent. The sales pitch presentation delivery, objection handling was exquisite—so much so that a very talented hairstylist shaved not only my head but also my bank account, and I left feeling good about both.  

Any seasoned sales and marketing professional might read this and say, "Yes, simple and easy!" However, we all have seen and experienced a well-crafted campaign fail. These failures, when they occur, are usually deemed a bad idea to begin with, when the failure occurred at one step in the process. I am sure in this case there was someone at the head office who suggested the staff of hairstylists are not salespeople and further might have suggested an expensive direct marketing campaign instead.

There were so many lessons learned and reaffirmed for me with this simple trip for a haircut. I hope you can pull your own lesson, and hope you might share those, or provide another example you have seen.

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