How to Talk to Your Barbering Clients About Price Increases

A barber discusses updating cost with her client.

Barbering is a deeply personal business. Whether you’re cutting someone’s hair for the first time or the hundredth, it’s a one-on-one experience where trust, conversation, and interpersonal relationships are at hand. Many barbers end up making close friends with some of their clients because of this dynamic.

At the same time, barbering is your business. Your career and livelihood depend on the financial success of your shop. You have to adapt to changing economic environments, rising costs, and fluctuating demand.

This can occasionally create uncomfortable situations where you have to discuss money with clients. Unlike other industries where you may be insulated from direct contact with clients, you interact with yours face-to-face.

If you are stressed about the dreaded discussion about price increases, you’re not alone. This is a difficult proposition, but one that is essential to your ability to thrive as a barber.

We feel your pain and hesitation and want to help. So, we put our expertise and passion into action and came up with a list of our top tips for talking to clients about price increases. Check them out below.

Discussing Price Changes with Your Barbering Clients

Raising prices is never fun. It’s not your preference, but it is a necessity from time-to-time. Rather than letting this unfortunate need derail your relationships with clients or create tense, uncomfortable situations, consider the following ideas to make the conversation more approachable.

Be Preemptive

If possible, don’t surprise your clients with price increases. Instead, find a way to introduce the raised rates ahead of time. Social media, your website, and email campaigns are all suitable ways to get the word out before your client arrives at your shop.

When a client contacts you to schedule an appointment, take that opportunity to share the news with them and give them an opportunity to assess how they want to proceed.

Use Intentional Language

Increasing prices are not enjoyable for anyone. As the business in this scenario, it is vital that you break the news to your clients as gently as possible. To do this, you should be intentional with how you word things.

Be direct without being aggressive. You don’t need to obscure the fact that you are increasing your rates—that much is clear to your clients—but you should be gracious in your approach, willing to listen, and try to retain as much trust as possible.

Practice Patience and Understanding

Increasing your prices is rarely a result of greed. Instead, it’s a reaction to a changing economy, more expensive supplies, and other factors outside of your control. If you are experiencing these economic pressures, it’s likely your clients are, too.

One of the best things you can do when announcing your pricing changes is to be understanding. Some clients may be disappointed, upset, or unwilling to pay your updated prices. Practicing patience and trying to empathize with their reaction can keep things amicable and establish valuable common ground between you.

Have a Reason

One of the worst things you can do when updating your prices is to do so without an explanation. As a business, you don’t have to disclose the reason you are adjusting prices, but being transparent and honest can have a significant positive impact on the way your clients perceive the change.

While you don’t have to dive deep into the details, being frank with your clients about the increased cost of supplies, the higher cost of living, and the difficult decision to raise your rates to keep pace is often a better option than adjusting your prices with no explanation. Many clients will understand, even if they can no longer afford your services.

Provide Value Worth the New Price

There’s a strong possibility that the majority of your clients—especially your regulars—already understand and appreciate the skill and craft you bring to your profession. While they may not love the price change, they likely understand that your work justifies it.

If you would like to increase the value of your services alongside the price, consider adding new services or implementing a rewards program so faithful customers can benefit. Adjusting your prices rides a fine line between maintaining fairness and value for your clients and allowing you to make a proper living. Finding ways to give back to your clients while making a bit more money is a win-win.

Keeping pace with economic shifts and providing for yourself and your loved ones sometimes necessitates updated pricing. This process might not be pleasant, but there are ways to make it more streamlined and palatable. We hope that the tips presented here help as you communicate these changes to your clients.

For more barbering insights, subscribe to NAOB. You can also check out our blog, where we share valuable tips like those above on a regular basis.

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