Friday, February 15, 2013

3 Things to Learn from $800 per Haircut Beautician

I saw an outrageous story on Yahoo ( called, "Secrets to Your Success: Sally Hershberger."

She charges $800 for celebrity haircuts.

Obviously, there are cheaper places to get haircuts, and I am not looking to debate whether it is worth $800.  Most of us will come to the same conclusion, but there are some things to learn from her.

See the 2.5 minute video here...

Lesson #1: To get the best rate, you need to be the best in your field.

This hairstylist Sally Hershberger was obsessed with own hair as a child, and she wanted to learn every way to make HER hair look better.  Then she started working on people's hair on movie sets, and she (almost certainly) saw that big movie screens show more flaws; so hair perfection was in more demand than usual.  So Sally learned to be the best in her field at working with celebrities' hair.

You need to learn all you can about what you represent.  You do not have to know everything about everything, but you do need to know as much as you can about what you do.

There is a big difference between the amount superstars are paid and the next level of people.  Which would YOU prefer to be?

Lesson #2: Focus on the perceived value you provide, not the cost of the labor to produce it.

Sally Hershberger wisely focuses on the BENEFITS of getting your hair done well.  She describes the difference in the way we feel when we have a "good hair day" vs. a "bad hair day."  She reminds us that a good haircut can make us look 10 years younger (in some cases).

In Sally's case, we're not really paying for her haircut.  We're paying for our desire to feel good...and possibly even sexy...about ourselves.

Sally did NOT focus on the amount of time it takes for her to do our hair.  She did NOT mention anything about the cost of materials or hair tools she needs to use to cut our hair.  She focused on selling something many people LOOK GOOD (and therefore...FEEL GOOD).

Are you focusing on what you sell or what people want to buy?  Despite what people say, people buy value, not cost.  When you sell value, you often can charge more money, especially if that value is tied to a person's emotions.

Lesson #3: Put yourself around people who will appreciate that perceived value you provide.

Sarah Hershberger seemed to get lucky on this one.  She and her mom happened to live in or near Hollywood, but she wisely hung around people with money...the people on the movie sets.

Sarah started doing hair for everyone on the movie set, and she started to understand what was really important to them.  They wanted to feel beautiful and sexy.  The movie director wanted his cast of characters to look "just right."

Simply put, Sarah was in the middle of a whole bunch of people who VALUED what she provided...a haircut to meet their needs.

She built up a list of celebrity clientele and learned what is important to them.  She used these basic things and opened up her beauty shop.  She built up a demand for her and ran with it.

Even if you have a great idea and do awesome work, does it really matter if you are nowhere near people who will APPRECIATE what you have to offer?

You could have the world's greatest make-up products, but if you are stuck in the middle of an all-boys boarding school, do you really think THEY will appreciate what you have to offer?

Make sure that you are surrounding yourself with people who are thirsty from sitting in the sun watching that ballgame.  THOSE people can't wait to give you money in exchange for whatever beverage you are offering them, especially if it just happens to be their favorite.

Yes, $800 might be too much for a haircut, but I think it's more important to understand how she positioned herself to have people WILLING to pay her that much.  She reminded me of some really important lessons.

Did you learn anything?  How much are people willing to pay YOU?

Are you making yourself in demand as much as you can?

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