Expert Advice

#5 in the Top 10 Things You Should (or Should Not) Say to a Male Client

Ivan Zoot | June 23, 2016 | 1:13 PM


This is number 5 in a 10-installment blog series of the top 10 things you should say, ask or tell (or should not) when consulting, selling to or interacting with a male client.


Do you want me to put some gel (or paste or wax or pomade) in your hair?  This is very different from last week’s question.  This is the ultimate retail sales killer in the guy game.  This is a HUGE don’t.  Do not ever ask a guy in your chair this question.  This question is a one way trip down a dead end road.  This is the question to ask when you do not really want to sell anything and wish to stop a sale dead in its tracks.


You know the answer before you asked.  And you knew the answer was a dead end.  Overwhelmingly when asked this question by their haircutter guys respond with the same 2-part answer.


Wait for it… you will recognize it when you hear it…


“No, thank you.  I am just going home to take a shower.”  That is it.  You are done.  Conversation over.  Now go up front and dust the retail product shelves.  There is nothing else to do.  No one is buying anything from you today.


This scenario is a combination of a classic “say-no” question partnered with a conditioned response.  A say-no question is any question that can be answered with a no.  These questions make for easy dead end conversations.  The prospect/customer/client can easily end the discussion with a simple no.  There is no need to engage further if they wish not to.  Why would you create this simple and easy out for them?


The notion of a shower immediately following a haircut is a part of American guy haircut culture.  Guys get their haircut, they go in.  Women get their haircut, they go out.  The vast majority of your male clients will jump in the shower within 45 minutes of the end of a haircut.  It is just how it works.  Some higher end haircut experiences will offer a rinse after the haircut to flush out clippings for comfort the rest of the day.  Even many of these clients go straight home to shower.


How about if we use this information and behavior to our advantage?  How about if we engage a question that takes US where WE want to go?  How about if we twist this in our favor?


Let’s say… “Since I know you are heading home for a shower I am putting this gel (or pomade, or wax, or whatever) in your hair so you can see how it works, how to use it and how it makes your hair just the way you want it.”  Do not ask it as a question.  Do not make it a choice.  DO make it about them and their hair.  Do make it a firm command.  If it is not presented as an option or a choice guys will go along willingly.


Our industry has told us for years that to make a sale a client needs to see, feel, touch, smell and otherwise engage with a product.  When this happens sales happen easily.  If you take away this hands - (and nose) on engagement it is much harder to make a sale. Don’t make things harder on yourself.  Don’t let the client make it easy for it to be hard for you.


If you can control the engagement you can control the outcome.


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