Building Better Birddogs
Any hunter knows a good bird dog is a very valuable companion. Every haircutter knows that a birddog client, one who is constantly bringing in “fresh meat” (new client referrals) is a highly valuable relationship. Knowing who your birddog clients are and taking good care of them is a key to building a $100,000 haircutting business. Back in my days behind the chair I had just a few clients who sent most of my best referrals. It is the 80/20 rule. 80% of your referrals will come from 20% of your best clients.
Here are my top tips for managing a kennel full of active, happy, productive birddogs.
1. Know your best referrers. These my not be your best clients or those who spend the most money with you. They send the greatest number of new people. They send new client referrals more often. The referrals they send are higher quality, longer lasting clients.
2. You have heard the expression, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”. This advice applies here. Your best birddogs might not be your favorite clients. They might not even be people you like or enjoy serving. Keep your eyes on the prize. Recognize them for what value they bring. Put aside other issues.
3. If you do not have good birddogs you can build a few. Know how to identify good birddog candidates. These people share the following characteristics:
a. They are well connected. They seem to know everyone.
b. The love to talk. They talk about anything and everything.
c. They have strong opinions (even different from yours).
d. They work, live and play in high profile places. They are grocery store cashiers, PTA moms, church deacons, realtors, etc.
e. They are eager to talk you up. You will know this because they are talking up others all the time.
4. Take good care of your birddogs. Keep them happy. Keep them talking. Load them up with product samples. Reward them with FREE haircuts for sending referrals (never discount them). Keep them in the loop with sneak peeks at new items, new services and your latest news.
5. Ask the for what you want and need. Be direct. “Send me some new clients” will be seen as direct and specific marching orders. They will be eager to help you.
Do you know who your best birddogs are? You should. They will help you earn big in haircutting.
How do you support these valuable business builders? Let me know. Let’s share strategies and tips. Comment below.