The following is blog #1 in an ongoing series about how to Overcome Pricing Objections.
We conducted a series of interviews with 20 hairstylists.
During these interviews, we asked questions about blog posts that stuck in these stylists’ memories, posts that they would like to see and overall anxieties and frustrations about being a hairstylist.
What we found was that one of the biggest overall anxieties is when potential customers object to the price of the service. Here is what they had to say…
One of the best tools to overcome price objections is by storytelling.
We understand that you talk to potential customers in a number of different places: on a phone call, text message, email, social media post and during in-person consultations.
However, for this post, we’re going to focus on how to use storytelling during an in-person consultation. But don’t worry, we will address the ways to deal with price objections through phone, email, text message, and social media later in the series.
For a moment that you are a hairstylist. Over the past few months you have researched ways to get your future customers to notice you. You’ve read blogs about how to maximize your exposure on social media to get those customers. You started an Instagram page, created great content, and gained a lot of followers. Now you’re at the point that your customers are interested and some have even reached out to get information about the services you offer. This brings you a lot of excitement as you think “finally people are wanting my services!” A potential client from Instagram reaches out to inquire about your prices for putting in extensions. You confidently send over the prices and await a response. The person replies and you are shocked the person wrote “your prices are too high! I’m going to get more quotes” and you never hear from them again.
What happened? Well… It might not be that your prices are too high. The issue may actually be that the customer did not understand the value of what you do.
We’re all customers at some point. Think about the last time you went shopping for a handbag. There are plenty of options out there. But there is a reason why you choose Louis Vuitton over a handbag from Target. You understand the quality and craftsmanship that goes into their handbags. When you buy a handbag from Louis Vuitton you know that you are buying from a high quality company who stands behind their products.
Now you might be thinking… “How do I make my customers understand the value in what I am selling?”
Simple: tell a story! You want to convince them that they’re not buying “Target,” they’re buying “Louis Vuitton.”
Think of a time when you had to defend your price or someone started bargaining with you for price. You probably said something like…
“If I give a deal to you I have to give a deal to everyone.”
“It’s an investment!”
While these are certainly common responses, they don’t really add any value to what you do!
But, through storytelling you can put your potential customer in a situation where they have no choice but to notice the value of what you do! Once they see the value, they’ll be much more open to your price.
Here’s How To Tell A Story:
*NOTE: Before you come up with your own stories, you need to have a very clear and defined objective! Basically, what do you want your potential customer to learn from your story?
Here’s an example of what your story should look like. For this example, our objective will be to tell the potential customer that “you get what you pay for.”
Once you’re finished reading the story, I’ll break it down so it makes more sense to you.
Let’s set the scene. In this story, Jennifer (the stylist) senses that her client is hesitant about the price, so she launches into a story about one of her previous clients named Tiffany… when you read it, pretend you are Jennifer and you are telling the story about Tiffany to a potential client.
What did you think about that story? It sounds as if it actually happened. But it didn’t, it’s a fictional story. It was crafted specifically for the purpose of teaching the potential customer that “you get what you pay for.”
Step 1. Hook the audience in! - You must provide a hook to get your client interested in the story. You do this by creating a relatable first sentence. Here you want to start with saying… “There was a client of mine in a very similar situation as you.”
Step 2. Give them some context! - Tell the reader when the story took place, who is the main character, and what did they want.
A few years ago … a woman named Tiffany ... went out price shopping to see who had the best deal for applying individual hair extensions.
Step 3. Entertain them! - This is the part of your story that describes the struggle or obstacle or challenge that the character faced. *Notice how we used words like “panic” and “painful.”
Tiffany did some research on the internet and settled on a guy who offered her what she thought was the best bargain. Two weeks after she had the bargain extensions installed, she came to my salon in a panic. Frustrated and crying she explained that she was getting married the next day. She begged me to remove her hair extensions because they were painful and itchy. I thought to myself “why in the world would the extensions be painful? - Improper application?” Tiffany was close to tears hiding her mane under a baseball cap.
Step 4. Add in some emotion! - This is where you give the audience some more details to really make your story memorable. Your audience should think that they are in the story! *Notice how attached we start to feel towards Tiffany. We start to care about what happens to her!
I sat her down in my chair and started to inspect her scalp. I noticed her hair extensions placement was horrible and the cheap packaged hair used was a dead giveaway. The sectioning was sloppy with straggler strands coming from different rows. And to top it off, each section was gigantic, causing too much tensions on the follicles on the exterior of each section. This resulted in pain and a potential for hair loss. No wonder the poor thing was in pain. Her hair was matted from from improper sectioning coupled with the poorest quality pre-packaged hair. Her hair looked like doll hair- dull and dry with no luster. It looked horrendous and ‘tubey.’ Each poor strand improperly installed and cut bluntly with a shear, made it look like spaghetti. After a few days, a careless brushing and Tiffany would most certainly rip out several extensions right from her scalp.
Step 5. Conflict - This is the part of your story where a difficult decision has to be made. The key word here is hesitation! *Notice how Jennifer 1) told Tiffany what she had done was wrong and 2) told Tiffany that she’d have to pay double!
I explained to her that professional extensionists usually don’t install the extensions in this way. I explained to Tiffany that I could fix the problem but it would cost double the amount she paid initially.
Step 6. Resolution - You need a good resolution to your story - tell your audience how you saved the day! *Notice how we start this part of the story with “luckily…”
I removed and disposed of the poor quality hair extensions. I meticulously installed a brand new set of the finest Indian hair extensions. I taught her how to properly maintain her luxurious set of high quality human hair extensions.
Step 7. Moral of the story - This is the last part of your story. This is where you give the audience the lesson that they should learn, and how you want to help them from making the mistake of choosing someone else. Remember, you need to know what your objective is for telling the story. In this case, you wanted to tell them that you get what you pay for. *Notice, that we made Tiffany say your lesson word-for-word!
I knew that I was not the cheapest option, but had Tiffany been quality shopping as opposed to price shopping she may have chosen me at first. This would have saved her time, money and frustration. In the end, you get what you pay for.
So what is the point here?
Again, the point of this story is to convince the potential customer that “you get what you pay for.” When you pay a higher price, you get higher quality service - no painful extensions, no hassle, you actually save money in the long run because you avoid having to do it all over again!
The story above is completely fictional, but it packs a powerful punch for defending the all-too-common price objection.
Use a story from your memory or create a new one.
True stories are always better than made up stories.
But, if you can’t think of any stories, feel free to use the story above about Tiffany!
Now it’s your turn.
Think about what lessons you want to teach your customers about quality and the bad things that can happen when you base your decisions on price alone.
In our example, the stylist used a story to show her customer what can happen when you simply bargain or price shop.
The lesson in our story was again you get what you pay for!
Write out 3 stories that you can use to defend a price objection. Keep them in a notebook at work. Periodically go back through the stories to refine, and sharpen them. You can gather a lot of information about how effective your stories are by testing them out on your close friends.
This is just one of many ways that you can tell stories to add value to your products or services.
For more information be sure to visit www.leadwithastory.com/resources for more resources from the author himself.
Do you have a story about a time you had to defend your price?
Let us know in the comment section below.
Know someone who might benefit from reading this? Share it with them on the right!
Thank you for reading!
#HairCompoundsA special thanks to our customers @Priscillaj_hair and @stunning_strands_md for the inspiration and feedback for this blog post!