What do you really sell?

Thursday afternoon. I just came back from the hairdresser where I had the sobering realization that cheap indeed means cheap sometimes.

What do I mean with that? Well, the task looked simple. I needed a haircut. Nothing easier than that! Let´s get a haircut. That´s at least what I thought. But during the process I found out that getting my hair cut was the smallest part of what I expected to get.

Here is the full story:
I went to a cheap place arount the corner from the subway station. Why? Because it´s cheap and it looked OK and seemed rather convenient. What I missed in that equation was the small little fact that I did not really get what I needed.
First off I had to get a number from a machine and wait until it was my turn. A number from a machine! Then I was told to walk over to the sinks to wash my hair. A girl came and washed my hair. She did not introduce herself. So I got up from my chair, shook her hand and asked for her name. She looked surprised. Then she told me to walk over to the cutting station. There another guy came and prepared his equipment. He did not introduce himself nor did he ask me how I wanted my hair cut. So I asked him what he would like to do with my hair. He looked confused and asked me what kind of hair I have. Ehm… isn´t that your job to find out and look at it? Imagine the rest.

It became very clear to me that what I wanted was much more than a simple haircut. I wanted the full experience. The cappucchino, the kiss kiss from the cute little hairdresser, a nice magazine, smalltalk, a head massage, an assistent who takes my jacket and all those “add ons”. And yes – I am willing to pay for it!

Having this very boring experience did not uplift my spirit. The people did not have fun doing their jobs. The hairdresser incident is just one of many situations where I thought: “Wow, you could do so much better.”

I once went into a vegan cupcake store. I saw the sign “vegan cupcakes”, walked into the store and straight up to the guy at the counter. The place looked amazing and I wanted to hear more about the concept of the company and the story behind this cool idea. So I asked the guy: “Beautiful shop you have here. Tell me more about the company. What´s your story?” And the guy replied: “What do you mean? We sell vegan cupcakes.”
Sad story. Sobering experience. That´s not what I came here to buy. A silly cupcake. I want the inspiration, the passion and the “add ons”.

I strongly believe this is true for every business. What is it you really sell?
If you get clear on your vision and your core values and you manage to communicate this to your clients you can give them the whole experience. And your clients will be happy to pay for it.