Commentary by Tom Columbia
Chapter Four - A Scissors Edge
A Stylist’s Desire to create the perfect haircut is highly motivating.
Can the blades edge be correct, yet wrong for the stylist?
The significance of the blades edge to consummate the cutting process as being the most essential aspect of a scissors function is indisputable. However, it is the combined contribution of all the scissors parts that makes this possible. In addition, it will always be the user that works harmoniously with these parts that gives dominance to the scissor’s sharpness and reputation. The stylist that believes that it is solely the blades edge that makes their scissors perform is a challenging customer indeed.
The competent skills of a stylist utilizing Basic Career Disciplines can be identified easily. Complementing these abilities is a conversation starter. Haircutters craving an efficient and precise scissor can choose from exclusive edges that are designed to react to the hair in its own unique way. Fortunately, the details for the most suitable blade edges were pro-actively revealed during the process of identifying and exploring the handle and then choosing the blade length. The valuable information that was volunteered by the stylist has establish the methods and techniques for the scissors intended use.
Now, it should take a simple explanation of which types of edges match these cutting methods that will solidify and complete the process. When a stylist has been made aware that specific edges respond uniquely with the hair, they can make a qualified decision according to their needs.
Many of the probing questions that stylist ask are to confirm what they understand to be accurate information, there will be situations when they know the correct answer and are willing to challenge your knowledge. This is a wide-open opportunity to step forward and detach yourself from the unambitious competition by verifying the belief or explicitly rectifying it if there is any distortion of fact.
As an illustration, examining the radius of a scissors edge is not proprietary, it is information that can be assessed and replicated. It is obvious that the haircutter has become more astute, they will reach out to the vendor that openly provides the actual specifications of their product and services. This elevates the sellers perceived value by the buyer, instead of presenting a scissor for only its specific cutting capabilities, but also, explaining why and how it performs will add a recognizable advantage to purchasing your products.
There are only a few unique convex edges, each developed for specific cutting techniques, and the choices should complement the many cutting methods applied in each haircut. Using an assortment of blade edges is not considered to be an advanced cutting skill, as utilizing the relevant edge to match the cutting method is viewed as being efficient, it also validates the stylist desire to excel.
For the purpose of eliminating any conflicting theories on the sharpness of the blades edge, all the edge types will be deemed “razor sharp.” There must also be a full agreement that the product quality, the manufactured performance level, (good, better, or best), has a decisive influence on the performance of the blades edge. Finally, stylists that exemplify the importance of using Basic Career Disciplines will always be the ones that benefit the most when using scissors with specific edges.
A Simple Clarification Delivers.
Do not mistake this as a disclaimer that the ideal scissor is unattainable, it is the opposite. The reality of matching the performance of a scissor to the creative skill of the haircutter becomes plausible when all the components have consistent classifications that are clearly understood by everyone.
Undeniably the physics of a blades edge should decisively stand on its own to complete the process of reaching the goal of an ideal scissor, the only unknown entity is the user. A choice of scissors that are suitable for every cutting method would include specific edges for the stylist that have identified their techniques and it will match one or more categories.
The majority of stylists will respond positively to a variety of descriptive terms to help them identify a scissors edge and then match it to their needs, such as Universal Cut, Blunt Cut, Dry Cut, or Slice Cut.
Not every haircutter will ask specific questions or be aware of the details that differentiate the capabilities of each type of scissors edge. However, this information is infatuating, enlightening, and will empower them to make correct decisions when choosing scissors. A satisfied buyer is one that chooses a product, gets the expected results, and has no surprise glitches.
The customer’s expectation is that you are knowledgeable regarding your product, and it will be necessary to pass on the functional aspects of a scissors edge to the buyer as part of every sales presentation. Yes, it takes a moment of effort to be informative, to many stylists it will be illuminating, and more importantly it will confirm your level of understanding to the buyers that are already well informed.
The inquiring mind of a stylist needs these questions answered, even if they do not ask.
What are the actual capabilities & limitations of the scissors edge?
Does this scissors edge’s radius have a specific function?
Is there a specific angle that the edge needs to be positioned when it is contacting the hair?
Will the edge hold the hair in place while cutting? Why?
Is it normal that some hair pushes forward while cutting? Why?
Is it normal that some hair rolls backwards while cutting? Why?
Is the blades width with this type of edge typically, narrow, medium, or wide? Why?
Does the scissor blade have a unique feature or curve? Why?
Does the scissors overall weight, lighter or heavier, have an impact on the edge’s capabilities when it cuts the hair? Why?
When using the scissors recommended tension setting, what influence does that have on the edges’ ability to perform? Why?
Does applying little to no thumb pressure have a positive or negative influence on the edges’ ability to perform? Why?
Do Not Hesitate To Offer Bundles
The buyer will not consider it presumptuous for the seller to offer a promotional bundle of all the scissors that they have logically chosen that not only fit their hand, but for the assortment of blade lengths, and the range of essential edges that will be necessary for a normal working day. All the earlier segments have led the conversation to this juncture.
When buyers can sense the opportunity to solve multiple needs with a single decision it is very appealing to them. This is not a spontaneous conclusion by the buyer; it is the outcome of a well thought out presentation by the seller that has a prepared offer for the purchase of several scissors. This last step is achievable for scissor dealers that not only preemptively have adequate inventory, but they also believe in their products value, and made the vital investment to assure a successful business. Sticking to a pre-planned pricing strategy when offering a combination of scissors for a single purchase will preserve profitability and at the same time satisfy the buyer. Unquestionably by not straying from the original marketing plan eliminates an impulsive price reducing catastrophe. Good marketing reduces confusion for all the participants, allows for stress free decisions, changing what is typically called sales into a natural buying process for the stylist.
It is essential to recognize when the natural buying process is complete, the need was identified, all the solutions were explored, and now the buyer will select the appropriate solution by purchasing at a bare minimum a single scissor, a portion of the bundle, or the entire package. When the seller listens to the needs of the buyer and then offers the appropriate solutions, they will perpetually hear their customers say, “What forms of payment do you accept?” Congratulations the sale is closed.
Way too often, I have heard from discouraged salespeople and sharpeners that when talking to stylist it is challenging and they are sometimes rebuffed when offering their input because they do not cut hair. Within the scissors industry very few individuals including the product designers, manufacturers, craftsman, distributors, salespeople, and the sharpeners are not licensed in haircutting. Yet here you are, immersed in a scissor business providing products and services to haircutters. Assuming that you have invested and prepared yourself with quality education, perfected your trade, created a good business model, that means there is no one more qualified to set the standards and discuss how scissors function than you.
“A Stylist Desire To Create The Perfect Haircut Is Highly Motivating,” a title that illustrates how the buyer perceives the roll of their scissors. All four chapters portray precisely how I have talked with stylists for decades, utilizing this approach made them comfortable when making buying decisions. It is a fluid procedure that both the buyer and seller can easily maneuver within the conversation. It is intended to be informative and inspire more conversation, perhaps only to make a clarification, or when it is necessary to refocus the dialogue. However, it is a composition of real face to face-selling routines that I have used and perfected over the last 30 years.
Setting aside the haircutters world that orbits around embellished marketing, colorful appearances, and bewildering pricing strategies, every scissor is still expected to perform perfectly. The definitive assessment of any scissor is revealed by the quality of its manufactured performance level and verified by three irrefutable themes, correct tension, upper hand control, and having a proper edge. It is these three topics, Basic Career Disciplines, which structured all my sales presentations or scissor classes, and it was always well accepted by every level of haircutter. More often than not I would hear from stylists, “I never knew that about scissors before today.” There is plenty to talk to stylists about.