Obtaining a competitive edge or advantage is one way to ensure success as a pet sitter. Referrals from happy clients can be one of your strongest tools to winning more clients.
However, word of mouth from vets, groomers and pet store business owners could prove to be your sharpest tool yet.
In my last article, I stress the importance of first developing a relationship with a vet’s office to increase the chances of getting your pet sitting business cards displayed on their counter.
I also challenge you to think outside of the box by asking, “What’s in it for them?” You should not walk in asking for the favor of leaving your business cards, but rather bring something to the table that could equally benefit the vet.
And finally, I make it clear that there just may be too much of a risk involved for the vet to vouch for a pet care provider she does not know.
As promised, we’ll now focus on the best ways to get your pet sitting business cards happily placed on a vet’s counter. And even more to the point, we’ll aim to go beyond the counter or bulletin board by becoming the pet sitter the vet will tell her clients about!
Going in with business cards alone and asking to leave them behind can only get you so far. Try adding any of these 5 suggestions to the mix and see the response. The goal is to establish a closer business relationship with the vet and become the pet care provider she tells her clients about.
5 Ways To Stand Out From Other Pet Sitters
1) Highlight Your Rave Reviews and Testimonials
You do have plenty of reviews and testimonials from satisfied clients, right? Perfect. Take your best 5 or 10 reviews and get them professionally printed on a stellar-looking flier, brochure or one-sheet.
Bring professional looking print outs of your best clients raving about your service. Get your top clients’ permission to list their numbers to use as a reference.
You can even use postcards if you wish. One side states something like, “We are so humbled by the kind words of our satisfied clients!” and the other side reveals the testimonials.
Feel free to add some photos of the clients and/or their pets for a nice visual effect.
2) Videotape Your Best Clients’ Feedback
Videotape your best clients (and their pets) giving you amazing kudos for the work you have done. Put it on a DVD and bring in a portable DVD player to present to the office.
You need not be a Hollywood filmmaker to pull this off. Just seat your subject in a comfortable seat, make sure the lighting is good and set your camera on a tripod.
Have some questions prepared that your client will respond to. Go over the list with the client before hand so she can feel comfortable.
Ask questions like, “Why do you choose to go with a pet sitter over any other choices?” “What did you most enjoy/appreciate about the service provided?” “Would you recommend this service to a friend?”
3) Offer a Phenomenal Guarantee
Offer the vet’s clients a phenomenal guarantee. Assure the vet that you are so confident in the care you provide that you will offer each client referred a 110% money-back guarantee!
You are confident in the care you provide, aren’t you? Offering a guarantee like this will bring you in more business than you otherwise would have versus the amount of people who will take you up on such guarantee. Just be sure to work out the details of the guarantee.
Many studies have shown that the amounts of people who are trying to simply take advantage of a guarantee are minimal.
If you’re not comfortable with a guarantee, you can offer a free trial walk or visit.
4) Stop Leaving Boring Business Cards
There’s more to a successful pet sitting business card than the look. If you want your card to stand out, try avoiding the typical information found on other cards.
First, add a page to your website listing “The Top 10 most interesting facts about dogs you’ve never heard of.”
Next, get some business cards printed up with one of the facts: “Did you know that 80% of dog owners buy their dog a present for holidays and birthdays?! It’s true. For more interesting doggie facts, visit [yoursite] to discover more.”
Now you are drawing qualified traffic to your pet sitting website in a fun and appealing way. And why stop there? Each and every month, you can drop off new business cards with a different fact printed on it.
You may begin to get known for this while the vet’s office and their clients start looking forward to it each month.
5) Follow-up Feedback Form
Create a specific feedback form that you’ll present to each client that was referred to you by the vet. Let the vet know you’ll be mailing back each feedback form to their office so she may see for herself the amazing work you provide.
Leave the form at the client’s home after your last visit with a progress report. Clients love to know how everything went and will appreciate the attention to detail you provide.
You can also increase the chance of getting the feedback form filled out by including a self-addressed stamped envelop for easy return. It’ll cost you the price of one stamp.
There you have it… What ways do you find yourself standing out from the crowd to attract new business? Please tell us with a comment below.