LESSONS FROM THE BARBER (by Kizito Okorowu)

It was a cool Thursday morning. I am sure you can relate with that ‘mirror hour’ when you just know you need to do something about your look. Off I went to get a clean cut but this time I decided to try a different barber (apologies to my long term barber if he’s reading this). I learnt a couple of lessons on this day  that I am certain would be useful to the entrepreneur in acquiring and retaining new clients.

1) BE MORE INFORMED THAN YOUR CLIENT: This new barber knew his stuff period. He didnt wait for me to complete a full sentence about my style of choice before he began peddling his knowledge about the various types of my particular style. As an entrepreneur , make your client know that you know. Present this knowledge in such a way that the client is at ease with your brand offering. Your knowledge reflects your level of expertise.

2) CREDIBILITY: It’s one thing for you to know and it’s another thing for what you know to be credible. My new barber didn’t just stop at giving a short lecture on style types, he added proof to his knowledge. His deft touches and manner of handling the clipper gave substance to his knowledge. Often times , entrepreneurs can’t seem to back up their talk with proof. Your client wants to see evidence of your talk. Show him !

3) ENGAGEMENT: What makes for a memorable shopping or purchase experience isn’t just the product/ service paid for. The seemingly little things have a role to play too. My new barber in keeping up with his growing ratings made me feel at ease. He engaged. From the story of how he saw me the other day whilst driving to his early morning drills before setting about his business, I was hooked. He had succeeded in creating a bond of mutuality. This is a key factor in securing referrals.

4)PRICING AND MORE: This is an issue! No issue trips the client up like pricing does. My new barber was certain to have me as a regular customer by this time. He offered basically the same service and even more for less the price than the former dude. He asked if I’d love to get my hair washed. Brethren, we are not ignorant of the current exchange rate. So I asked if it was going to be at an added cost. To that he replied NO. Clients are aware of prices and rates and WHEN you can, make yours competitive and don’t forget to add some more. Extras never run you out of business.

The effect of the above is sure to win you a happy client. In my barber’s case , I got to write about him. So when next you are in my hood( exclusive to guys alone, ladies don’t get angry biko) and you need a shave, be certain that I’d gladly show off my new barber to you. 

Ps: How do I look?

image

OKOROWU KIZITO is an entrepreneurship enthusiast with a bias for start-ups. 

Grace Anuforo (GPS)

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