As a pet sitter, you will have your own method of attracting clients. Many advertise in the local newspaper, put up fliers at the local vet’s or animal home, while others use their web site or social media to get the word out. Once you have an established client base though, should you chase clients for more work?
Let Clients Come to You
Some clients are quite pushy and will try to dictate how you run your business to the point where they will want to see your schedule for the next month and want to slot in time with their dog. As a pet sitter, you need to make sure you keep control of your availability. If you are available most days, that is fine. But if you have set days or hours you do not work, letting clients know you have a tight schedule can lead to them trying to “squeeze” themselves in to meet with their requirements, rather than yours.
Would clients treat you the same way if you were a plumber or an electrician? Remember that is a client’s job to contact you to find out when you can fit them in, not the other way around. You should not have to send a text or email each week asking a client for more work.
Chasing Clients Can Place Them in an Awkward Position
If you do approach clients for more work, you may find that you end up placing them in an awkward position. Some clients are perfectly happy to have their dog walked twice a week and do not want a dog walker for any additional days. Others cannot afford to pay extra, which is why they have not asked you to come by more often. A dog walker/pet sitter is still a luxury for many. Coming by more often can stretch a tight budget to the limit.
Let Clients Know You Are Available
Clients who think you are only available on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings will be unlikely to come to you, asking if you are free on Friday night to look after Fluffy. Let clients know during the meet and greet, or once you start working for them, that you are sometimes flexible and can offer last minute help for their pets.
Once clients know that you also offer last minute appointments, weekend care or overnight boarding, they will be more likely to come to you or call on you as a back-up when needed.
As a pet sitter, you need to have a clear set of goals. Are you willing to take on extra work from repeat and occasional clients? If so, the tendency is to chase clients, bombarding them with requests for more work. This can come across as desperate. Even if a client does not view it that way, asking them for more work can put them in an awkward position if they cannot afford to take you on for an extra day each week. It is far better to let clients come to you and to let them know you are available.
More from this contributor:
Pet Sitters: Are Clients Dictating How You Run Your Business?
Pet Sitters: How to Build Repeat Customers
Pet Sitters: Should You Call it Quits at the Meet and Greet?