Preface by Joshua Cary:
No matter what you find yourself doing in life, it will most likely be met with one of these three emotions:
- You get really excited and look forward to it.
- You have neutral feelings about the event or activity and understand it’s something that simply must get done.
- You cringe at the thought of it and can not wait for it to be over.
This could be anything in life from doing the dishes, packing for vacation, joining your spouse for a work event, or walking your new client’s pooch.
Let’s face it: Not all pet sitting clients are created equally.
Some we take on with a smile and would do so for zero dollars. While others we wish we didn’t take on for all the money in the world.
Imagine if you can successfully grow your business to the point where only the very best clients were on your list.
First, you would need to determine what “a very best client” looks like, and then you can focus on filling in the blanks to target those ideal clients.
Laura Capra shows us how to do just that.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could work with your favorite clients all of the time?!
Imagine how wonderful your life and business would be if each and every person met and exceeded your expectations. Stress: gone. Burnout: gone
But is it possible? While having every single client be perfect is probably a stretch, there are more ways than you think to get closer to that sweet spot.
First, Figure Out The WHO
The first thing you need to do is to figure out WHO your ideal client is.
- Do they live a certain distance from your home?
- Do they only have cats?
- Do they only feed their animals high quality food?
- Are they comfortable with your online software if you have it?
To do this right, you may have to ask some tough questions and you have to be honest in your answer. As pet sitters, we all love animals of course, but are you drawn to cats more than dogs? Do you want a client with no more than 2 animals….lay it out for yourself.
So now you should have an idea of who your best fit client is and, just as important, who your best fit client is NOT.
Next, Discover the HOW
Now you need to discover HOW to get your story to your ideal clients.
As an example, let’s say that your ideal client has indoor cats, frequents the smaller specialty pet store in town and lives within 10 miles of your home. What are you going to do?
Get to know the people at the pet store. Don’t go in, say that you are a pet sitter, leave 5 business cards and leave. Get to know them! Talk to them, write a blog about them, learn their names, recommend them to current pet sitting clients, link to them on social media. Be their biggest promoter so they will become yours.
They Ask, You Answer
We all know how our friend Marcus Sheridan coined that term and lives by it every day.
Why does he practice what he preaches? Because it works. Period.
Don’t believe me? Do it, try it, implement it. Watch what happens.
What are questions that people with indoor cats might have? Answer them.
- What is the best litter?
- What vaccinations do they need?
- Why do they need vaccinations if they are strictly indoor cats?
- What are the best vets in town for cats?
- What diseases can indoor cats get?
- Why do you need a pet sitter for your indoor cat?
- How do indoor cats get exercise?
- Should I declaw my indoor cat (no!)?
What answering questions does is to help you become a trusted resource and expert on indoor cats.
If I am a potential client and I have a question about my indoor cat, what am I going to do? I’m going to type my question into Google and see what comes up.
TADA – your blog article about indoor cat boredom is right at the top of my search query.
Who do you think I’m going to call when I go out of town? YOU. You’re the cat expert and I’m not going to trust anyone else!
2 Steps on the Road to Ideal Clients and Beyond…!
You’ve taken the first 2 steps to landing your ideal client – now you need to wait for the phone to ring, and ring it will!
What do you say on the phone? How do you close the deal?
Quick inside advice on exceptional customer service:
- After you get their name, your next most important question is to get the name of their cat(s). Write it down, in the course of the rest of the conversation, always refer to the animals by name.
- Get to know their story. At this stage, you are not trying to sell anything, you need to listen to their story to build a relationship with them.
- Be honest. Your prices are you prices. Your experience is your experience. It is all a part of YOUR story and why you became a pet sitter.
- On this first initial call, don’t sweat the small stuff. At this point, you don’t need to know that King Kong Kitty gets 5/8 cup of dry food with 1 Tablespoon of mashed potatoes. That information will come. Of course, they might tell you this information and that’s great, but you do not need to ask for it. Yet.
- Say “THANK YOU for calling”. “I appreciate your call” Regardless if they set up an in person meeting or not. 90% of the time though, they’ll want to meet you in person because you’ve already set the stage for WHO is going to call you – your ideal client!
A few things to keep in mind and the reason why the disclaimer (land your ideal client 90% of the time) is in the title of this article. You need to be a little bit flexible.
After you come up with your ideal client, put those qualifications on a spectrum, on a scale if you will.
What are the most important qualities to you? Distance? Type of animals? Online software use? Payment of credit cards only?
Do you have any deal breakers? These are important to know and set, too. What are your boundaries.
If Richard Branson calls and wants to fly you to Necker Island to pet sit his flamingos and will pay you $5,000 plus travel expenses (he’ll send the jet), BUT he isn’t where he can fill out the online form and he’d like to pay with a check – what are you going to do?
Over To You
Do you have an ideal client profile that you recognize? Do you have absolute deal breakers? What percentage of your client list is ‘ideal’ and what percentage are ‘meh’? Tell us in the comments below.