I get my hair cut by a guy in town named Joey. Joey runs a small barber’s shop – just himself and a colleague – and I pay him more than half again what it would cost me anywhere else. And do you know what? I’m happy to!
Why do I do that?
Well for starters, he is really good at what he does and my hair looks how I want it every time I visit. He is also very, very consistent. But surely technical skill and a degree of consistency are expected when I part with my hard earned money? Shouldn’t that expectation apply whatever I’m buying?
What I’m happy to pay extra for is the experience.
At any other barber’s, I get what you’d call the usual service. I squash in with everyone else wanting a haircut on a Saturday. I get seen by whoever is free when it’s my turn and the job is done in ten to fifteen minutes. Inconsistent results from the same description of a haircut does not come as a surprise. And being British, I don’t complain.
Joey only takes bookings. You book and receive a full half-hour of his time. As the customer, it makes me feel valued and cared for – like all that Joey cares about for that half hour is giving you the best haircut he can.
Then there’s the atmosphere. Joey’s shop is small but a very good fun place to be. There is always a good bit of banter and great tunes playing. Sometimes there’s even beer.
For the doubters who think that being competitive is all about price, I’ll leave you with this: After being open for less than two years, Joey has pretty much every appointment filled every single week.
So think of that in the context of what you do. Rather than joining the price-driven race to the bottom with everyone else, what experience, what unique service or flavour could you bring to what you do?
What could you do to get your clients to pay 50% more than the market rate, just to have you work with them?
In short, like Joey, what is the difference that you bring?