I’m so pleased to present my ninth guest post of the year.
I’m very honored to have that very handsome man from Norway as my guest today, Jens-Petter Berget.
Jens has such a way with words and is writing his first novel so I hope you’ll enjoy what he’s sharing with us today.
Take it away Jens…
The sun was finally up and the weather was fantastic. I was just walking and enjoying the hot weather in Norway, and I wasn’t planning to get my hair cut.
But, as I was walking, I noticed a sign for a new hairdresser, and watched as a man got his hair cut.
The door was open.
I walked a few more steps, and passed by the window. I stopped and looked at him again. I was thinking about when I looked in the mirror this morning and what my wife told me yesterday.
You need a haircut, she said.
I know I do. But, I always get my hair cut at a different hairdresser. And I don’t really want to switch, because my hairdresser is different, I remember the touch of his magic hands. But, as I was watching this new hairdresser, I was thinking, why not give him a shot?
I’m standing right here, and it’s time for a haircut. The thing is that I love talking to people, but it’s hard to keep a conversation going when somebody is cutting my hair. And, some people just make me uncomfortable. But suddenly I see that this guy is smiling at me, waving, and he invites me inside as soon as the other customer walks out the door.
It’s Not Really About My Hair
He called me chief as I walked inside. His first words were, what’s up chief? I’m fine, I said. And then he started talking about the fantastic weather. Suddenly, it felt like I was at a friends house, and not about to get my hair cut. He kept talking, and smiling, and it was like it was all part of a daily conversation with someone I had known for a very long time.
And then he shows me the mirror and asks me for feedback.
My hair looks about the same as always. And the price was about the same as always. But, the experience was different. This man understood the importance of building relationships, and how much a relationship can help his business.
He made me feel comfortable. I was talking about myself and what I’ve been up to lately. And he sort of made me ask him questions about himself, and he answered all of them without even thinking about being personal or not. He is from Iraq, and even though he is now living in Norway, many of his relatives are still back home in Iraq.
His story was fascinating and he even let me take a picture of him.
I believe he could have sold me anything. It didn’t matter if he was cutting my hair, or if he was selling me a book, or flowers. I would have eventually bought it – because I believed what he was telling me, he made me feel comfortable and I started to trust him. My hair would look exactly the same if he didn’t talk, but then, he would be just another hairdresser. And I might not have returned. Now, because of the relationship, I’ll be returning to him every time I need a hair cut.
13 Steps To Relationship Marketing Success
My friend from Iraq has taught me some of the most basic things about relationship marketing, and even though he didn’t actually say everything, I figured them out for myself just by watching him and listening to him talk.
1. Smile and be friendly
The first thing he did was smile and wave, and just by looking at him, I understood that this man was friendly and that I would have a good time talking to him.
2. Ask questions
He started out by asking me questions. I answered them, and then he asked more questions. It was the right questions to ask, and I felt that he really wanted to know more about me, and that he was interested. His questions made me ask him questions.
3. Share personal facts
He asked me a lot of questions, but I asked him just as many. And he answered them all. He shared many personal facts with me. I felt comfortable asking him the questions, because he kept sharing his personal story.
4. Deliver quality
He was delivering a quality haircut while he was talking to me. I wouldn’t have been as friendly if I wasn’t satisfied with the service.
5. Establish authority
I asked him how long he had been cutting hair and he told me that he had been cutting hair for 16 years. We talked a lot about different types of hair and different products, and it took me just a few minutes to understand that he had authority. He wasn’t just a man with scissors.
6. Be excellent
He didn’t brag. He didn’t tell me that he was doing a great job or that his customers was lining up to get him to cut their hair. He just did a great job and then he asked me if I wanted some free hair wax.
7. Be consistent
We talked about his customers and all the various types of hair he’s been cutting and he told me the importance of being consistent when it comes to the quality. He has to deliver a high quality hair cut every single time.
The reason he asked me if I wanted the free hair wax was because he really wanted me to try it. It was brand new and he thought it would be perfect for my hair. He didn’t sell it, at least not yet, he just offered it to his customers for free.
We talked a lot. But he was always focusing on his job. And most of the conversation was about the job and related to his work cutting my hair. But he talked like we were friends and I felt comfortable. It was not to be mistaken for a “real” friendship.
10. Remember and share what you remember
Just before he finished cutting my hair, another man walked inside. He said Hi and the man cutting my hair replied, Hi (his name) and how are you, I haven’t seen you in a while? They started to talk about that the other man having been sick. He remembered his name and that he hadn’t been there for a while.
11. Keep in touch
I could hear them talking as I was leaving, about the customers’ summer vacation, and his kids and his work. And I remembered when we talked about the importance of keeping in touch and that like a dentist he would call up his customers and tell them when it’s time for a hair cut. He asked me how often I usually get a hair cut and if it was ok for him to call me and remind me. I told him that it was okay and that it would be better for him to remind me than my wife. We both smiled at my comment.
12. Grow to meet client needs
We had talked about the importance of selling related things to his business. He had offered me the free hair wax and he was selling shampoo, hair wax, and other related products to his customers. This way, he is not only earning more money but he is actually helping his customers to get better products.
13. Use first names
He called me chief as I walked inside, and now thinking back at him talking to his other customer, the reason he said chief to me was that he didn’t know my name. It was my first time as a customer, and I remembered that he said the first name of the other man. Using first names is personal. And remembering the first names shows the customers that you care and that your business is at a personal level.
Did You Enjoy The Lesson
See how Jens is able to incorporate his time spent with his hairdresser as an opportunity to teach you about marketing! That’s how to get people to want to listen to what you have to say.
Sure, Jens may be a really great story teller and is even writing his first novel but that doesn’t mean we can’t take what we know and weave that into our own stories as well.
I’m sure if you have any questions about how to do this yourself, Jens will be more than happy to answer those for you. Just remember, Jens lives in Norway so for those of you who are in the states, don’t be surprised if he doesn’t answer your comment immediately. I’m just thrilled we do have his undivided attention!
Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by today and I want to especially thank Jens for sharing this post with us. He is such a great story teller and I’m honored that he has shared his expertise with us all.
We are both looking forward to your comments and hope you’ll be sure to share this post with your friends as well.