You only get one chance to make a first impression!
Making a good first impression is very important in life; this is true whether you are a barber about to meet a barbershop owner or someone meeting a new client getting their first haircut.
You must approach each new client like a job interview; after all, you are applying to be their barber for hopefully years to come.
You are also applying to be their kid's and friend's barber because if you treat them well, they will trust you with the ones they love the most. That 1st haircut, no matter what you charge, can turn into thousands of $$$ over time if you get it right.
The following will provide some tips on making that first impression count!
1. Dress Appropriately
We are in our comfort zone at the barbershop, but that doesn't mean that you can't look neat and clean. A client wants a barber who cares about their appearance because if you don't value how you look, how much are you going to care about the way they look when they leave your chair?
2. Give a firm handshake
Having soft, loose handshakes isn't very barber-like. Instead, give a firm handshake that communicates confidence and forces the client to take you seriously.
3. Make eye contact while speaking with the barbershop owner or barbering client
this is simple, but it's easy to forget that your eyes can show how confident you are. A new client doesn't want a nervous barber cutting their hair.
4. Keep a smile on your face
They say "laughter is the best medicine," and barbershops are where jokes can be heard at any given moment. The barber should smile when greeting clients because it will put clients at ease and indicate that they have come to the right place for their haircutting needs. One way to keep smiling all day long is by not taking controversial conversations about religion or politics personally.
5. Be Enthusiastic
Enthusiasm is suitable for new barbers, but it's also something new barbershop owners want in their new barber hires. No one likes someone who doesn't seem interested in being there. You went to school to do what you love; now it's time to love doing it.
6. Be honest about your barbering skills
No barbershop owner or client wants to discover that they have hired someone unwilling to admit that they are new. Your honesty about your skills will show barbershop owners and clients that you are confident in your abilities and willing to learn more every day while giving them the haircut of their dreams.
7. Learn as much as possible about the culture and business of barbering.
It's always good to see a barber interested in learning all about the barbershop business and culture; still, it's even better when this information helps you connect with your barbershop owner or barbering client on a deeper level than just haircuts and shaves.
8. Ask questions throughout your barbering career
Suppose barbers are willing to learn new barbering skills. In that case, it's always good to see barbers asking barbershop owners or barbering clients for advice on becoming better at their profession, but don't forget the barbers that helped; you during your first few appointments as a barber! It will be good for them to know that you value what they have taught you, and it will also make them feel appreciated, which is something all of us want.
9. Listen more than you speak
Your new client knows more than you do about how they want to look, even if they are having difficulty communicating it. Ask them if they have any photos of their last "Great haircut." Ask them to show you several styles they like off the barbershop wall photos if they don't. Ask them what they think by giving them the mirror early and often. You have never cut their hair before, so make them understand that you are trying to learn their particular style. They will appreciate your effort and work with you until you no longer need to ask.
10. Don't lose your barbering spirit
It's good to have barbers in barbershops that love barbering so much they are willing to squeeze in an extra haircut on their lunch break because someone needs a haircut before their night shift begins. Knowing the barber is busy but loving what they do enough to help out fellow barbers is always a reason for new barbershop owners and barbering clients to look forward to coming in for their following haircuts with you.
Good Luck & Good Barbering!
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