Hook ‘Em & Book ‘Em – Basic Sales & Closing Strategies

Expanding on my previous blog “Let’s Raise the Bar on The Pet Sitting Industry” I wanted to share some basic sales & closing strategies that have served me well in both the corporate and pet sitting industries. Closing a sale on the phone during the initial call is fast, easy and best of all alleviates having to sell your services at the meet & greet. Therefore the meet & greet becomes a much more relaxed experience allowing for a comfortable atmosphere to get acquainted and solidify your new business relationship. 

Earn The Right:

The first step in securing a new client is by earning the right. This is accomplished by being prepared and confident with yourself, your business and the services you provide. Most important is knowing the value of the service you have to offer and finding the words to convey that value to the caller. Be sure your main objective is on how you can help the caller instead of what you can get from the caller.

Begin with The End in Mind:

When you receive a call or email inquiry the client is yours to lose. They are contacting your business because you provide a service that they are seeking. Be sure to engage in conversation with the mind set that you have already secured their business. You already have a common bond which is their pet. This is a great place to start the conversation.

Every step you take should be leading towards securing the client and forming a partnership. In all correspondence keep in mind where you want to go and stay focused on moving in that direction.

Sell More Value:

In this competitive market it is important to exhibit more value than the quoted price of the service. Value is determined by the customer, not by the market. Your ability to communicate that your service has more value than the quoted price results in a new client.

Listen then Talk:

You are entering into a business relationship. Communication is a key factor. Let the caller know that this partnership is a two way street. Both parties need to cooperate in order to create a harmonious relationship. Listen and make sure you understand their needs and the needs of their pet(s). In return make sure they understand exactly what services you will be providing and also any policies that may be applicable to their situation.

Under Promise, Over Deliver:

It is wise not to promise something that you cannot deliver 100% every time. If you over promise you are setting yourself up to under deliver. It is best to stick with the basic services. This way you will over deliver on anything extra you do. The client will feel as if they are getting something special.

Respect The Competition:

Never speak badly of other pet sitting businesses. It puts the caller in an uncomfortable position and you quickly lose credibility. Instead point out the value in your own services and highlight what your business has to offer.

Wrap It Up:

You’ve done your work. You have conveyed more value than the quoted price. The information the client needs from you should have been shared. It is time to seal the deal. By now you will have gathered all of the information needed: location, services required, service period, number of pets, special needs, and general information regarding the client and pet.

Assumptive Close:

The assumptive close is the most basic of closing techniques and works extremely well in the pet sitting industry. After all questions have been asked and answered from both parties you ask a question that assumes the caller is about to sign on with you. Here are a few examples:

What is your availability this week for a Meet & Greet?

I have you penciled in. Please go to my website and enter your information so we can be sure to get you on the schedule. 

We can definitely take care of your pet sitting needs. Please verify the dates are you traveling so I can get you on my schedule.

I have you down for mid-day walks. Would you like service to start this coming Monday?

Stop Talking:

This is very important to remember. After the assumptive question is asked, the first person who speaks loses. Most people will talk themselves right out of gaining a client. Your nervousness or excitement put your mouth and mind into overdrive and you wind up saying too much, or worse you bring up something that the caller had not though about. New thoughts in a closing situation usually result in decision making delays.

Please use the comment section below and share with us your sales & closing strategies. 

Let’s Raise the Bar on The Pet Sitting Industry

The definition of professional is “following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain.” Therefore, by definition, any of us who pet sit or walk dogs as a means of livelihood or for gain are considered a professional. From my perspective, most of us in this industry define ourselves as “professional pet sitters.”

There is also another set of pet sitters who do this as a means of livelihood or for gain but for some reason the “professional” pet sitters have labeled them “hobby sitters,” by definition they are technically “professional pet sitters’ as well. Some have waged war against these so called hobby sitters although the hobby sitters don’t seem to be participating in the battle. There is also an underlying opinion that these so called “hobby sitters” are ruining our industry. I disagree. [Read more…]

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