Today, I experienced the all too familiar transactional mindset.

My first contact with a new barber is always filled with many “Nos” to sales pitches.

Immediately I present my clipper, I can almost predict that the new barber would find something to complain about, before offering to either fix it, or provide a “superior” clipper at a “giveaway” price.

The only clipper that gets no complaint is the one bought for you by the barber.

When that doesn’t work, they bring auxiliary items that are supposed to ensure you do not have aftershave bumps or dandruff, even though I have neither had bumps nor dandruff with my kit before I got there.

Then they offer to wash and condition my hair, but again I make it clear I’m going home immediately after, to have a bath and condition my hair. Finally, they just focus on cutting my hair. Usually, they still do a good job.

In the end I have to always explain – “All I want is a good haircut. Do that and my patronage will be more profitable than the one-off sales jobs you are trying to pull-off. I leave a tip and exit.”

I think the first time you engage a customer, it is best to offer exactly what attracted them. If they are pleased with the performance of your primary service or product, you can build on that.

It is better to build a relationship on your primary service or product, than to initiate frivolous transactions at first contact.

I am thankful for learning quickly to be clear on what I want, before I go into any transactional environment.

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