A Motivational Speaker says it all.


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Curly Hair Geek
Mar 17, 2007
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This is a long read but worth it!

This is from the motivational speaker Winn Claybaugh. Winn has changed my entire view of our industry..

Let's talk statistics...

Here's an interesting one for you. 20% of the people working in the hair industry serve 80% of all the clients. Let me repeat that.... 20% of the people working in the hair industry serve 80% of all the clients. Those 20% are the ones making 80% of the money! How do they do it? Are their haircuts better? Probably not. Here's another interesting fact... 85% of the reason a first time client returns is not based on how well the barber or stylist cut or colored their hair. The reasons they return are based on how they felt about the experience. So, your technical skill counts for only 15% of why someone returns! As you can see, it's not enough to give a good haircut, you've got to give good feelings. Think about this. In your opinion, what does McDonalds, the most successful franchise in history, sell? Your first answer is probably "hamburgers," right? Does McDonalds sell the best hamburgers? No way. If you want a great burger, you go to a sit-down restaurant or cook it on the grill in your back yard. So, then, why is McDonalds a wild success? It's because they sell happy kids! Think about it. How often do your kids want McDonalds? How much do they beg you for it? How much happier are they when you pull up to that drive-thru window? You see, McDonalds is successful because they make your kids happy and you have to return. So, what does your shop sell? Haircuts? Ask yourself this: How many of those places could a client go to get a decent haircut for around the same price you charge? Why do people come back to your shop? It's because you sell happy adults!

Those 20% of the barbers and stylists stylists doing 80% of the business are the ones who are selling good feelings! How do you get into that 20%? It's not as hard as you think!

Ask yourself this question: Are you making as much money now as you would like to be? Not a single person reading this would answer "yes" to that question. So what's stopping you? What are you doing in your life to get into that top 20%.
In his talk, Wynn gave the best definition of "insanity" that I have ever heard...
" Insanity is to continue to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result!"
If you want to make more money, continuing to do the same thing you are doing now is insane thinking! Many barbers and stylists make the mistake of jumping around from job to job trying to find more money, when the key is improving the level of service they provide in the shop they are currently in. A truly good barber or stylist can succeed almost anywhere. If you want to build a base of loyal, happy clients, which translates into excitement and prosperity, it is important to focus on every available opportunity. As professional barbers and stylists, we create the ideal experience to make this goal a reality. I'm sure you know several barbers or stylists who are incredibly skilled with a pair of shears. Yet, some of those highly-skilled barbers or stylists are still not getting anywhere. Why? Because they are lacking in that "85%" stuff that truly pleases a client.

Following are 9 OPPORTUNITIES to increase traffic and loyalty. Use all 9 and you're are almost guaranteed success. Skip any one, and your opportunities diminish by 10%. Fail to use all 9 consistently, and your opportunity for success diminishes even further! This is written specifically for salons and barbershops serving a male clientele. But can be applied to other salons as well

OPPORTUNITY 1: Making The Client Feel Welcome

A) The Three 3'S. Whenever a guy comes into the shop, he should receive three hello's, three compliments, and three "thank you's." But not from the same person. Remember, your job is to make him feel welcome and good about themselves. Everyone in the shop should play a role in greeting every client.

B) Greeting the client. Statistics show that most people form a lasting opinion of you in the first seven seconds. So, the way you greet the client is vital. You must always smile and greet him with a warm, sincere "hello." Shake his hand and introduce yourself - that's huge! And do it promptly. No one likes standing around.

C) Answer the phone correctly. How many times have you called a business and got a receptionist who sounded rude or hurried? What did you think? You probably thought, "those people don't want my business!" The emphasis here is on those people. It only takes one bad phone call for someone to form an opinion on everyone in our company! Make your phone calls count!

D) Pay total attention to the client. Never talk on the phone or carry on extended conversations with fellow employees or people not in your chair.

OPPORTUNITY 2: Satisfy the senses

There are five senses we must satisfy to ensure a client feels comfortable in our shops. The most obvious ones are sight and sound. Taste, smell, and touch can also be satisfied. Let's look at each:

1) Sight. We must keep our shops up-to-date and pleasing to the eye. Next we must focus on how clean our shops are. Many of our clients keep immaculate homes. If they sit down in your chair and there are neck strips and hair all over the place, you've immediately offended him. Also, always be aware of how you look. If you're dressed sloppily, the client will lose respect quickly. Remember, we're in the fashion industry! Our clients expect us to be stylish! A clean shop and station and professional appearance vital to satisfying the sense of sight. If you want to increase your men's business, keep the shop gender-neutral and avoid pinks and floral prints - and keep men's magazines in the waiting room.

2) Sound. From the moment a client walks in the door, they should hear the sound of pleasing music. Many barbers and stylists prefer to listen to upbeat rock or pop music because it keeps them "up." Remember, our goal is the total pleasure and relaxation of the client, so music or television should be selected to add to the client's enjoyment.

While on the subject of sound, make sure your tone of voice is positive, welcoming, and friendly. And use language which men are comfortable with. For example, when suggesting styling products, use terms like "matte, gloss, firm, loose," etc. If you want to give him a manicure, call it "hand detailing." Instead of "wispy" use "deconstructed," Keep the language masculine.

3) Touch. This one's a biggie! In a recent survey of 2000 shop clients, nearly every single one of them said their favorite thing about the experience was getting a shampoo. Ironically, it was also the barber/stylist's least favorite thing to do. What's up with that? When was the last time you got a shampoo? Before you leave tonight, have someone give you one to remind you of how good it feels. We should never deny our guys the opportunity to take the shampoo. Remember to approach the shampoo positively.He must feel you want to give him the shampoo. If possible, why not try performing the shampoo after the haircut? This will rinse away the loose hair and leave him feeling refreshed. When you say, "Bob, I'm going to give you a shampoo to rinse out all of that loose hair. It really feels great... you're gonna love it. Come on back!" He will follow. Not only will you see your tips increase, but the shampoo will also give you an opportunity to sell retail.

4) Smell. We satisfy the sense of smell by offering products that are pleasing to the client. Here's a hint... use it on your wrists. You've got your hands right up near your client's face, so this is a great opportunity to let him smell you!

5) Taste. What can someone taste in a salon or barbershop? Not much. But here's a hint... Offer to get your client something to drink. Put a nice, cold drink in his hand and he'll love you for it! Presentation is also important here. If your shop serves beer, don't hand it to him in a Dixie cup - use a nice glass instead! Coffee should be served in a mug, not styrofoam.

OPPORTUNITY 3: Sell Retail

Ooooohhh.... there's that dirty word. Retail! Guess what? It's not a dirty word! Selling your client retail can strongly enhance your professional image.

Why is selling retail important? Because tomorrow morning when Bob picks up that bottle of shampoo, he thinks of where he got it and who sold it to him. That bottle is his daily reminder of the great service he received. Want another statistic? Studies show that if a client buys a product, there is over a 90% chance that he'll return to the shop where he made the purchase!

All too often, I hear barbers and stylists tell me, "Well, I'm just not a salesperson!" That's a load of BS. Got kids? You're a salesperson! Every day, you sell your kids on ideas and encourage them to behave well. You're selling them your ideas. Selling retail is much easier than trying to get a kid to do homework! Here's how:

A) During the consultation, ask your client, "What kind of problems are you having with your hair?" Make the question open-ended (an open-ended question is one that is difficult to answer with a "yes" or "no"). Answer the problem by recommending the appropriate product. Don't hesitate. Know your product. How much confidence would you have in a doctor if he responded to your headache complaint by saying, "Hmmmm, let me see, uh, take an aspirin."
Never fail to recommend a product, but ask before you use it! Select a product and say, "Bob, this pomade is going to give you great control and shine. Do you mind if I use some in your hair?"

B) Put the bottle in the client's hand! Go get one off the shelf (or keep some new ones in you cabinet). Retrieving a product takes only seconds. Don't hand him the one off your station. Handing the bottle to the client gives him a sense of ownership in the product. You don't want to give him ownership in your half-empty, crusty bottle of Firm Hold Gel! Leave the bottle in his hand, let him read it and smell it (and carry it to the register!).

C) Show them how to use it! What is the biggest complaint people have after leaving the shop? It's that they can't do their own hair! Why? Because we haven't educated them! Whenever possible, get him involved and let him play with the product!

D) Close the sale. If you're client still has the bottle of gel in his hand, ask him to buy. He won't buy if you don't ask. Compliment him before you ask. "Bob, that Pomade really gives you a lot of shine! Would you like to take some home with you today?"

E) Guarantee It! Don't be afraid to tell your client, "Bob I personally guarantee you'll be happy with this product. If you're not, bring it back and I'll exchange it or give you a full refund!"

You might think that 10% commission on retail doesn't mean much, but it does. It can really add up! Selling retail also brings more revenue into the shop to enable you to do more things. Finally, it enhances your professional image and increases your client retention!

OPPORTUNITY 4: Call Your Clients.

Most barbers or stylists are scared to death of this idea for fear that they will hear bad news! Don't consider it bad news, consider it good information. You'll never know how your client feels about you if you don't ask. This is a good way go get positive feedback and solve any problems your client is having. Set aside some time to call a few clients each day (within three days of their last visit). How you place the call is important. It should be brief and positive. Don't ask "are you having any problems with your cut/product?" You can bet, they'll think of a few. Just say, "Hi, Bob, this is Dave from Clippers Haircare. I was just calling to find out how you are enjoying your cut/products?"

How often do people call you just to check and make sure things are okay? It just feels good. Wait! I've got another statistic! A client who is unhappy tells an average of 20 people about you! 96% of unhappy clients never call to complain. Don't you want to nip it in the bud before they tell those 20 people?

OPPORTUNITY 5: Have a Nice Day!

Effective immediately, your right to have a bad day is officially revoked! Remember, your number one goal is to make people feel good. You can't do that if you spend your time unloading your problems on your client. Leave your personal life at home. Additionally, make sure your client has a good time while in your chair. Never be afraid to make him laugh. Have a good (clean) joke handy and use it. Laughter goes a long way! Oh... and support your teammates. Be happy in each other's success and help each other out. If you're not busy and Becky is, sweep up for her! She'll do the same for you!


It doesn't matter how great your haircut or customer service is... if you're not at work, none of it matters. If you miss a day and have 12 clients come in and request you, chances are they'll be tempted to let someone else cut their hair. So, if you have to miss work it must be important. Plan your vacations well in advance and let your clients know when you'll be gone so they can plan around it.

OPPORTUNITY 7: Give Your Client a Card.

If you've got a client who is just thrilled with the service you've just given him, (and that should be most of them), hand him five cards and say. "Could you please pass these out to any of your friends who might benefit from my service?"


Decide where you want to be. "How much retail am I going to sell?" Set goals. It is also important to find out where you are.
Have your manager show you the reports weekly. It's hard to reach a goal if you don't know where you are now. And tell others of your goal. This is a great motivator.
Why is Jenny Craig so successful? Because she makes you come in and let's the staff put you on a scale. You're more likely to meet your goals if you're embarrassed to tell someone you fell short.

OPPORTUNITY 9: Be Consistent.

Remember the pump? If you stop pumping, the water goes back down the pipe and you're back at square one. The key to getting into the top 20% is consistency. Don't "try" the things above! Make them a habit. You don't "try" to walk. You either do it or you don't. Same thing applies to offering your clients incredible customer service.

"One of the truly rewarding things about this business is that we get paid to make people look and feel great! What other profession can say that!? Okay, maybe a plastic surgeon. Remember, the only thing lacking in our lives is what we're not giving. We are the only one's standing in the way of our success! Keep pumping!"

Sassy Hassy

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2004
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Wowser that was long but well worth the read, and boy that is an interesting statistic. I think this is worthy of the articles section and thanks for sharing JD :hug: The other thing I hate is when you go into a salon and the receptionist says to the stylist "your 3 o'clock is here" or the stylist says to the junior "can you wash my lady?" and the junior has zoomed up to the backwash before I've even had time to pick my bag up... erm hello when I booked in I gave you my name so it would be nice if you used it, I'm not an o'clock and I'm definitely not YOUR lady, and it would be nice if you showed me to the wash area! It's little things that take no effort that make such a difference and cost nothing!


Curly Hair Geek
Mar 17, 2007
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Great points made! These are the things that we get in the "habit" of doing and need this type of feedback from the "otherside" to refresh ourselves back into being professional.
Thanks for adding those observations.

BTW: I had to cut this down by over 1000 words. The orginal is much longer and will post it in article section if you haven't already:lol:

The Geek

Grand Master Geek
Staff member
Premium Geek
Jan 9, 2003
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Leeds, UK
Words of wisdom applicable to hair, skin or nails. Those that make it to the top are not necessarily 'technically' better, they are those that exceed clients expectations and treat their salon as a business instead of a hobby.

Several of these items cross over nicely with the 8 steps we do at Eufora, others with E-Myth. IMO, E-Myth is the single most important book any salon owner can read. Its not overly long, nor complex - it just makes you look at your salon business through a new set of eyes.

Thanks for taking the time to share :)

Reminds me I have a couple articles to post along this vein. This could be a good article to add to the site too :)


supernatural geek
Jun 18, 2003
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cambridge,ON canada .. but originally from uk , lo
wow that has some really good points in there :green: it is stuff w all should be doing but i bet there are loads of us that dont do half the stuff in there :eek:


Well-Known Member
Mar 12, 2007
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Took alot longer for me to digest,but its food for thought,and we can all llearn from this.

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