A True Influencer

Daniel is an effective influencer of style and change, but not in the contemporary influencer marketing method where the individual projects a one-way brand-based message void of any prior end-user consultation. A Senior Stylist at Willis York, Daniel is an artisan whose role is to craft hair in such a way as to have a lasting positive influence on the confidence and behaviour of his clients. The rudiment of Daniel’s craft however, and arguably more important than his ability to cut and colour, is his ability to listen.

“You could be an amazing technical hairdresser but if you skimmed over what they wanted and you didn’t really get down to what they’d like to see, they’re going to have a beautiful haircut that they didn’t want. That’s how people lose clients, by not listening. That first five or ten minute consultation is going to influence the next hour of cutting.”

For Daniel, as with all of his compeers, empathetic and active listening over the course of even just a one hour visit allows him to form a special relationship of understand with his clients. This time to actively listen ensures his clients leave with a hairstyle that matches the current landscape of their lives, and this indirectly acts as a reminder to them of how well he listens and truly understands what they need their hair to be able to do for them each day.

“Even if somebody comes in with a picture or with this really definitive idea of what they want they’ll finish by saying ‘but you know...’ and they really want your opinion. Or they acknowledge, because they’ve heard it before, that they want the version of a particular style that suits their head shape or their face shape. But I’m a lot more comfortable and confident directing someone away from that one image because once you’ve done someone’s hair a couple of times you know exactly what they’re like, you know who they talk to, who they meet with, and so you’ve thought of this different idea that fits everything they do and they might not have even thought of it themselves.”

Q. What percentage of clients would come in seeking your direction on how they should style their hair?

“At Willis York I’d say about 90 percent”.

Conversation with Willis York Senior Stylist Daniel James Cooke.