Have you ever considered the idea that pets might be a ‘hazard’ to the elderly?
Personally, I have not considered that absurd thought, but one article I recently came across revealed this intriguing fact:
“Over 86,000 people per year have to go to the emergency room because of falls involving their dogs and cats, and these fractures can be devastating for the elderly,” said Judy Stevens, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
I was going to present that as the topic for this blog post, but it got me thinking about something else you will appreciate much more.
Instead of debating the merits of that statistic in this article, I would rather offer you a solid actionable service that you can add to your website today and offer your potential clients to help grow your business.
(Something to help you grow your business is much better than trying to debate the value of pets, right?!)
Steal My Idea, Please!
While I was reading that wacky article above about how pets may be hazardous to the elderly, I thought about an idea pet sitters could use – specifically offering a service geared towards the elderly, retired, or senior community could do wonders.
First of all, what are services, in general? Nothing more than a solution to someone’s problem, yes?
So, what problem might the elderly have when it comes to their pets?
Perhaps they don’t have the strength or energy to walk the dog as often or as long as needed. Perhaps their dog doesn’t get to go running in the park anymore. Perhaps their dog doesn’t get to socialize as often as before.
See where we’re going with this?
Consider adding a page to your site highlighting this brand new service and addressing these issues directly.
It could read something like this:
And consider this: You can expect non-elderly pet owners to read about your new service and get excited on behalf of their friends, neighbors, loved ones, relatives, etc. (IE. “Oh, this would be PERFECT for my mother. I didn’t even think of it!”)
You can choose to end your service description with this:
“Make someone’s day! Do you know someone near and dear who can use a helping hand with our professional service? Click Here to share this page with them – or Click Here to print this page for them!”
Simply put, you are addressing the solution to someone’s problem.
Steal This Idea, Too! Offer Last Minute Service.
While this may not be appropriate for every pet sitter, on a similar path, plant the seed for pet owners who otherwise would not have a need for a pet sitter, to establish a relationship with you now for any last-minute, or unexpected emergencies in the future.
If a pet owner has a last-minute or unexpected emergency pop up, chances are she will not have the time to establish a relationship with a new pet sitter OR the pet sitter might not be able to accommodate the pet owner on such short notice.
So, what you do now as the pet sitter is offer the opportunity to get set up in your system – with no obligation – to get the ball rolling, to meet, to get forms filled out, so if/when the day arrives she desperately needs you, all it will take is a phone call.
It’s sort of like a built in backup plan, or insurance policy that you can promote this way:
Get the idea? You might even choose to charge a premium for this “When Life Happens” service.
In my own pet sitting business, we provide a similar “On Call” service and are able to charge a small monthly fee just for the opportunity to be able to call and have us arrive at a moment’s notice. (Look at the way we market our offer on that page.)
Again, if you can find ways to offer solutions to people’s problems, you will continually find yourself serving clients.
Find ways like the suggestions above to be there for your community and get your foot in the door. When someone takes action with you (IE. getting in touch, setting up the meet-n-greet, filling out a service agreement) even if they are not hiring you for a specific service right now, they are more likely to follow through and remain/become a client.
Take these ideas and run with it.
I hope these ideas get you thinking a bit. They are ideas for you to use and make your own. The bottom line is that the more solutions that you provide your potential clients, the more likely they will be to count on you as their lifelong pet sitter.
Are your wheels turning? What do you think? Share with me in the comments below.