Seven Ways to Boost your Pet Business this Summer! (Part Two)
Booster Number Three – Referrals
After pricing and upselling, the next easy way to boost your profits, is to get your existing clients to promote your amazing service for you.
I don’t mean you need to ask your clients to give out leaflets for you in the park. Nooo…
But, your clients are obviously dog lovers who value the great service you give them. And they no doubt have friends, family and colleagues who also own dogs too.
You can often get an influx of new clients by asking your existing clients to recommend you to any other dog owners they know.
There are lots reasons why referrals are so effective, here’s three to get you started.
- After your existing clients, referrals are the easiest people to sell to. When someone refers you they are saying ‘I trust this vendor and I trust him to do a good service for you’. That’s powerful. The ‘trust factor’ is the hardest to achieve with people who might want to use your services but don’t know enough about you. Well, the referral from your existing client ‘fast-tracks’ that trust-building process.
- If your clients LOVE your service, and I’m sure they do, then they will be happy to help you out by referring you to their friends. You can make it easy for them to do this with a referral card, or a newsletter that they can pass on to any dog owners they know (We’ll come to newsletters later in the article series).
- You are creating ‘word of mouth’ promotion for your pet services. Everyone knows word of mouth is one of the best ways to get clients, but hardly anyone does anything to stimulate word of mouth advertising. Asking for referrals speeds up the rate that dog owners in your town find out about your services.
I won’t lie to you, if you haven’t asked them before then getting your clients to start referring you can be difficult at first. It’s not because they don’t want to, they just didn’t realise they were supposed to refer you until you tell them, and just like you they are busy and forgetful. A referral card or newsletter will remind them to refer.
One thing is for sure, if you consistently ask your clients to refer you, and you reward them with thanks (and maybe a gift) when they do refer you, then pretty soon you’ll have an army of ‘raving referral partners’ out their activity recruiting new clients for you.
And that’s something everyone should want!
To get more examples of referral postcards then make sure you take part in my Free Pet Business ‘Profit Kickstarter’ Seven day Summer Challenge which starts on July 17th.
You can grab your place, join in the fun, AND learn how to make more money by clicking on the link below now
Booster Number Four – Be the Expert
A giant ship’s engine failed. The ship’s owners tried one expert after another, but no one could figure out how to fix the engine.
Then they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he was young. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom.
Two of the ship’s owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed!
A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for 10,000 dollars.
“What?!” the owners of the ship exclaimed. “He hardly did anything!”
So they wrote the old man a note saying, “Please send us an itemised bill.”
The man sent a bill that read:
Tapping with a hammer………………….. $ 1.00
Knowing where to tap…………………….. $ 9,999.00
That’s a much-told but very cool story which demonstrates quite nicely how you can charge almost anything you want, when you are considered the expert.
Why experts are special
Experts are considered the leaders in their field. Their opinions are sought after and written about, and their time is considered more valuable than that of just a run-of-the-mill practitioner.
Their fees are generally a lot higher than non-experts too, and that is one of the main reasons you need to acquire expert status.
Experts get paid more money.
But how do you become an expert?
Well, I’m assuming you are already pretty good at the ‘thing’ you do. By that I mean the dog walking, dog training, dog grooming etc.
I bet if you are reading this article then you suck at (and need help with) the ‘marketing’ of your service.
And as we leave lockdown and enter the mother of all recessions, it’s even more crucial that you position your pet business superpower as being different and better than your competition.
You never want to be seen as just another dog walker/trainer/groomer. You want to be seen as a leader, and an expert.
I.e. The ‘Top Dog’.
This is even more important if you want to attract ‘affluent’ dog owners as they will be more impressed and will seek out the service provider who they perceive to be ‘the best’.
There are a number of factors that you can influence to elevate your status and make you appear more ‘expert’.
One is to write a book, and don’t laugh because writing a book should definitely be on your medium term pet business plan. I’ve written seven books in five years, and all I’d written since I left school were shopping lists and crossword puzzles…
The other is to harness the power of the press and get your face (and business name) in the local media.
One way to do that is to come up with some kind of quirky service offering, or do an event that taps into stories that are already circulating in the media. We are currently coming out of lockdown and social distancing is a BIG thing (and will be for some time) so running some kind of ‘How to enjoy safe social distancing dog walks’ would be easy for dog walkers and trainers to run.
Lots of my private coaching clients (including groomer and walkers) got media coverage by contacting journalists about their new ‘online’ service offerings.
Lots of them, including me, also wrote ‘lockdown’ related books which they also got coverage with.
Doing something different like an event or writing a book and getting press coverage on the back of it creates a buzz around your pet business and will get local dog owners’ eyes on your services.
You can build on this by creating your own ‘paper and ink’ promotional materials that further stimulate word of mouth, and help cement your expert status.
And that’s what we will be covering in the next section.
To get more pet business tips and advice you should sign up for my FREE Pet Business Report HERE
In 2011 Dom Hodgson revolutionised the pet service industry with his first business Pack Leader Dog Adventures, the UK’s first, award winning ‘dog adventure’ company. Now a respected dog trainer, author, speaker and mentor to pet business owners, Dom’s calling is to help dog walkers, trainers and groomers to excel with their marketing, so they can help change the lives of more dog owners with their amazing skills.
Take that leap today. You won’t regret it.