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The Worst Best Haircut

& Why WHAT You Do Isn't The Most Important Thing For Your Business

This might surprise you, but offering a great overall experience and workout is not nearly as important as doing what you do the exact same way each and every time.

Let me explain.

There’s a story of a man who went to a new barber, and this barber gave the man one of the best haircuts he’d ever had. The barber insisted on using scissors only and never resorting to electric clippers.

The barber also insisted that he wash the man’s hair before starting- explaining that it would make the cutting easier. The barber even had an assistant that took a coffee order, brought him a hot latte, and even came back to refresh his mug.

The haircut was fantastic, as was the entire experience, so the man made another appointment.

However, when he returned the second time, things were different. The barber didn’t just use scissors but also used clippers about half the time. He didn’t wash the man’s hair and didn’t even acknowledge the fact that he didn't.

The assistant did bring him a latte but never came back to refresh his mug. Despite the differences, he still received a great haircut and decided to make a third appointment.

This time when the man returned, the barber did wash his hair, but only after a preliminary trim. He again used the scissors exclusively, but unlike the first two times, the barber’s assistant was nowhere to be found, and no coffee was served.

The assistant later appeared but only offered the man a glass of wine. The man still left with a great haircut.

As the man left, something within him decided not to make another appointment. It wasn’t because the haircuts were bad. In fact, they were some of the best he ever received! It wasn’t because of the barber or the assistant- both of them were really kind, pleasant, and relatable.

It was because of something more essential...

There was no consistency between the experiences.

After the man’s first visit, he didn’t just leave with a great haircut but also a set of expectations- expectations that were not met the next two times he came. As a result, he was never sure what to expect. Something in him wanted to be sure of what he was going to get every single time.

To the man, the barber was in control of the experience- not him!

It felt like the barber was running his business for himself- not for the man. By doing so, he was depriving the man of making the decision to come to get a haircut for HIS OWN reasons.

Because of the inconsistency, it subtly communicated to the man that it didn’t matter what HE wanted. It didn’t matter that he enjoyed the sound of the scissors, being waited on by the assistant, or the experience of having his hair washed before the cut.

But it also felt silly and a little embarrassing for the man to ask for those things because his reasons for wanting them were so emotionally driven. He couldn’t explain or justify why he wanted them. What the barber, in fact, did was provide a great experience, and then he took it away.

Just like the man in this story, your clients' reasons for wanting certain experiences are very emotionally driven.

Our day-to-day lives are so unpredictable that when we seek out an experience, our human nature desires to be able to count on what we get from it emotionally.

It all comes down to getting VALUE consistently and reliably.

There are a number of things that you have to do to ensure you're doing this for your clients:

#1. The first step is to get really clear on the specific problem you’re solving for a specific type of person. You can’t solve everyone’s problems and serve everyone’s needs, so decide whose problems and needs you CAN and WILL provide a solution for.

The barber from the story could and probably should decide that he’s going to give busy, burnt-out professionals who don’t have the time or luxury to do anything nice for themselves an elevated haircut experience where they feel important and valuable.

So they are pampered and waited on like royalty- because no person and no other experience in their life make them feel that way.

#2. Explain the value that you’ll provide this person in your marketing and messaging so your dream clients are more enticed to come in the first place because you understand that people buy based on feelings- not what you do.

The barber would be wise to stop focusing in his marketing on WHAT he does, which is providing great haircuts, and focus more on THE VALUE that he provides, which is feeling pampered and cared for... as well as walking away feeling recharged, confident in your appearance and overall better about yourself in a world that often can just beat you down.

He could go as far as to claim that when you feel like you’ve got great hair, you’re more confident, believe in yourself more, and, therefore, take more risks and chances on yourself.

Maybe his testimonials tell stories of how his clients attribute getting a raise, approaching a crush, or nailing a presentation to their great hair and how their great haircut made them feel about themselves.

#3. Customize and systematize the experience you provide to ensure it happens every single time.

Our barber obviously needs to develop some systems. He needs to decide what is it that happens every single time a client comes in, so they can count on the experience every single time.

What can he do to ensure his clients feel like they’re making the choice to come for their own reasons- which is how the experience makes them feel.

What this means for you is if you don’t have a set format for your classes, create one so the experience is consistent no matter what instructor your clients go to. Educate your team on the type of person you’re serving and the value they’re seeking by coming in so they can contribute to the experience in how they bring their class to life.

Systematize every touchpoint so that it happens every time, and dig deeper to provide greater value to the type of person you’re serving. For instance, our barber could provide greater value by choosing to offer straight-razor shaves, hot towel facials, eyebrow threading, foot massages, and more.

Remember, it’s not what you do that's important, but rather the consistency of the experience that is crucial in creating a positive customer experience.


P.S. If you want help figuring out the specific value that you provide for a specific type of person, book a FREE Sold Out Class Strategy Session. You'll walk away with a clear picture of how to position your business and build your experience for the one dream client you're meant to serve, so they come back over and over again.

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