What makes a successful pet sitting business owner? How do you stand out from the competition and become the obvious choice for new clients? Let’s look into what personal qualities and traits are vital to your success.
Running your own pet sitting business and becoming your own boss is a dream come true for most people. However, without developing the necessary personal qualities and traits, you may quickly find yourself struggling to get off the ground.
As a pet sitter, your personal skills will be tested. You are expected to be a good listener in order to take direction while becoming a good communicator, so you can build rapport with your potential clients.
Some of your new clients may never have heard of this kind of service before and could easily be the first time they are leaving their pet behind.
I recently spoke with Susan, a potential client of mine. Susan had two cats that meant the world to her and this was, in fact, the first time she ever had the opportunity to travel since adopting the brother and sister pair.
Susan was nervous. I discussed all options with her, tried to set her at ease, and put her in touch with one of my most maternal cat boarders, Ingrid.
Susan and Ingrid spoke, I sent out the service agreement and everything was running smoothly. That is until the day before service was about to begin.
I received a frantic call from Susan who sadly felt she wasn’t yet ready to travel and leave her cats behind in the care of someone else.
Now, Susan is an extreme example of what we are up against as pet sitters. Our job is dealing directly with ‘nervous parents’ who, rightfully so, expect a lot from their pet sitter.
The Fantastic Four
Let’s take a look at 4 basic qualities you’ll want to master to become a rock star pet sitter.
1) Become trustworthy
If you only hone one skill, this should be it. The bottom line is that if a potential client does not trust you, they will head for the hills quicker than you can say, “trust me!”
In order to fully become trustworthy, you must master and display an array of other personal qualities. Some of these qualities include being reliable, honest, genuine, ethical, responsible, mature, and level-headed.
The truth of the matter is that a client is asked to trust their pet sitter with their life. It may sound a bit dramatic, but as pet sitters we are gaining access to their homes while they are not there, and are responsible for the care and well being of their pets.
2) Be friendly and social
Thankfully, this industry allows for a friendly and light-hearted relationship with our clients. We’re not doing their taxes, or anything. The more upbeat, personable and outgoing you can be, the easier time you’ll have at increasing your client base.
We are dealing with puppies and kitties all day. You may be able to ‘fake it’ with a human but there is no fooling an animal. If a client’s pet senses something about you that he doesn’t like, he’ll make it abundantly clear.
Some people are naturally social and outgoing. Others have to work at it a bit. Whichever side you fall on, be sure to always make eye contact, listen and smile.
3) Display a neat, clean and professional appearance
Just because you’re working out of your home doesn’t mean you’ll never have to get dressed again. Remember the trust thing we touched upon earlier? Like it or not, people make instant judgments about us based on appearance.
This is why we spend so much time getting ready for a first date. We want to make the best first impression possible.
Make sure whenever you are meeting with a client for the first time, you take great care to present yourself in the best light possible. Consider your attire just like you would any other job. Take pride in everything you do.
4) Demonstrate your expertise and confidence
Like with any other service, your client wants to know you have the ability to perform the job at hand. The client also wants to be certain you have enough experience in your field to handle any unexpected situations or emergencies that may arise.
This display of knowledge will need to reveal itself at every level of interaction you have with the client.
First, we’ll make sure your website is top notch and immediately sets your visitors at ease and raises their confidence in your abilities.
Second, we’ll be certain your first discussion with the client ‘seals the deal.’ You’ll get the hang of what to say, what not to say and how to say it. You’ll learn how to build rapport with each client that allows her to feel like she’s known you forever.
In a later topic, you’ll have access to a handful of real initial client phone calls from my pet sitting business. These recordings will allow you to be a fly on the wall and give you the confidence you need to take your first phone call!
Finally, you’ll soon master the business skills that continually display your confidence and ability to serve.
The more you understand the mindset of each potential client, the better pet sitting business owner you will be. Throughout this course, we’ll continually touch upon developing and strengthening the relationship with your client base.
Running a successful pet sitting business is more than just knowing the ABCs of the pet-sitting world. It’s about becoming a business owner who is creative, adaptable and passionate about serving others.