The bad news is that there are five basic reasons a pet owner (potential client) will not hire you.
The good news is that as pet sitters, we can easily overcome the top two reasons.
Have you heard of Zig Ziglar? Simply put, he was (and will remain) the legendary motivational speaker and sales training guru.
One of his most famous quotes goes like this:
“Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no hurry, no desire, no money, no trust.” — Zig Ziglar
I received a note recently from a pet sitter who asked if I have addressed the “Let me talk to my wife” objection from a potential client.
This is that article 😉
As you see from the quote above by Zig Ziglar (he’s the godfather of sales), a person will say no – or stall – for five basic reasons.
No need, No money, No hurry, No desire, No trust.
Let’s look into each one a bit further as a pet sitting business owner.
As consumers, sometimes we will choose not to buy something simply because we do not need it. No matter how attractive the product or service looks, if there is no need, there is no sale.
This is rarely the issue in our field. If a pet owner makes contact with us, there is a definite need for our service. Unless you are making cold calls to your community, this will never be an obstacle.
Why do you suppose stores put out sales with a deadline? As in, “sale ends Thursday” “One day only” or “Offer expires March 1.”
It’s to create a true sense of urgency and to get consumers to take action NOW. If you know a sale is going to end, you are more likely and motivated to make the purchase.
Unless a potential pet sitting client is doing research many months out, this obstacle will not usually be an issue. More often than not, your potential client is looking to hire a pet sitter, and looking to hire one today.
Human beings love doing things on our own terms, and as we see fit. This is why we dislike pushy sales people. We only feel comfortable making a purchase if there is a true desire for the purchase.
This obstacle, like the two above, will not typically be the issue. Most pet owners will contact you because they greatly desire the best care for their pet while away.
Ahh, the money issue. Now we are getting somewhere!
This obstacle is as real as any, and is one the top two obstacles that are the most difficult to overcome. And one I’m sure you experience often.
Allow me to say at this point that not every client is a good fit for your services. Our gut reaction is to take on every client possible at whatever cost, but our prices are our prices and should remain so.
If a potential client balks at your prices, one of two things are taking place:
1 – She is not the right fit for your business.
2 – You have not properly or completely displayed the value of your service.
To expand on number 1, sometimes you can clearly display the value and benefit of your service over the other pet sitters in your area and the potential client will still not want to pay your prices.
This is a clear indicator that she is not a right fit for your business.
If, on the other hand, she may be the perfect fit (IE. willing to pay your price) it is your responsibility to relay the value of your service.
Ask yourself what you personally and specifically bring to the table. Why should she hire you over the next name on her list.
Suggesting that you are the best, most loving,or most caring pet sitter will not cut it.
Instead, think about:
- the 24/7 direct access to your cell phone
- the personal relationship you have with the local vet
- the pet CPR and first aid course you have taken
- the adorable hand written notes you leave every day
- the photos and video you provide with each sit
- the special password-protected page you create to show off her amazing pooch in action
- the way you go above and beyond the norm…etc.
Get it? Display your value and money will not be a factor.
And here we have the big kahuna.
This is the number one reason a potential client will not hire you.
If you have a pet owner on the phone with you, it is now your job to gain her trust. She is begging for you to do that.
At this point, the pet ower (typically) found your website and that worked well enough for her to take the next step and call (or make contact).
She wants nothing more, at this point, for you to put all her fears aside and win her over.
Remember, at this point, you are nothing more than a complete stranger who can easily be a crazy person. And nobody will let a crazy person in their home to care for their pet while all their possessions are out in the open.
(By the way, I know you’re not a crazy person, and you know you’re not a crazy person, but up until we prove differently, we are all a crazy person to the pet owner.)
“Let Me Talk To My Wife first.”
So now back to the original question: How do you handle the “Gotta talk to the Mrs. first…”
Why do you think someone would say that? Sure, any loving and healthy relationship will want to communicate with their partner about important choices, but when you hear this objection you need to ask yourself which of the five NOs above is occurring.
It will almost always be no money or no trust.
If it’s no money, there’s not much more you can do outside of lower your fees (not recommended) or show your value more directly.
If it’s no trust, go back to the drawing board and figure out how you can bond, connect and/or communicate with your potential clients more directly.
One suggestion is to make the conversation less “business like” and more conversational like you are chatting with a good friend.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their plans (“Are you going any place warm?”), about their pet (“How did you come up with that name?” “How did Fluffy first come into your life?”) or about their past pet care experiences (“What did you do for pet care in the past for Fido?”).
Then, share your own stories and experiences.
This is the fastest way to build trust between you and your potential client – who can quickly be a lifelong client and friend.
Now, It’s Your Turn
So, what do you think about the five basic obstacles? What objections (excuses) do you hear on a regualr basis? How do you overcome the big two: no money and no trust?