What ‘Terry The Barber’ Teaches Us About Connecting With Others
This is the man who cuts my hair, he’s called Terry and epitomises the principal of connecting with others to drive profitability.
Terry has had his barbers in Bournemouth for 35 years and in that time I’m one of many customers that still sit down, chew the fat and have their hair cut (or what’s left of it in my case).
The Reasons Why Terry Is A ‘Cut Above’ (sorry!)
I moved office from the centre of Bournemouth during the summer last year and our new office location (in Poole) has at least four hairdressers within a two minute walking distance, but I still choose to drive to Bournemouth to have my hair cut with Terry. It made me think why:
- he greats me with a downbeat hello, not a fake smile (but that’s the way I like it)
- he has all the days newspapers (and a bit more besides) on a coffee table
- he always offers me a coffee, before the ‘what can I do for you today’
- when we talk, it’s interesting. Not once have we gone onto what I’m doing for my holidays this year
- when he’s finished he always takes my coat off the coat-hook and puts it on my back
- whenever I look at the clock, I am always in there for at least ½ hour (and there isn’t a lot of hair to take off these days!)
There are no ‘airs and graces’ with Terry, but that’s fine, he’s part of the old-school that genuinely has an interest in people and part of a profession where the world opens up to him within the four walls of his barbers.
Connecting With Others
Terry’s approach is something that we all need to check into from time to time, just to make sure that the conversations we have are always two-way. He has been doing this for decades and the way that he connects with others has meant that he has rode the wave of recessions and the increase in competition from the world of salons that have diversified over the past 10 years to more be akin to ‘well being’ centres. He hasn’t looked to jump onto trends and widen his offering, he knows what he’s good at and he’s kept to it with his own charm and interaction with his customers.
When we make our brands approachable, we start to stand head and shoulders (is that a pun in there) above the competition because that’s how others see us. We need to put the welcome matt out a bit more and by that I don’t mean being at the customers whim, by responding to every email within two minutes from arrival, but providing relief to the problems and issues that they have and almost represent that friend they want to talk to, in good times and during bad.
What We Need To Say As Businesses
As businesses we need to take the Terry approach and say ‘we knows there’s many of choices out there, but we understand you, we’re here for you and we’ve got a track record of doing it for others who keep coming back to us, because we care.’
Terry isn’t there for everyone, he’s an old school barber who encourages the right people to come inside, enjoy the time spent and in a way forgetting you went in there for a hair cut.
The brands that care, should never be about jumping onto new channels that can help self-promotion and dictate to an audience, but to sit side by side and on a par with customers.
Starting To Sum Up
Our brands, like Terry’s, need to have a personality that others can identify with and trust. When we’ve made this association it doesn’t matter how many other related products or companies are out there.
If there are people you know that deserve recognition, have built their own personalities and something for us all to learn from, be great to share.