Pet sitter preparations before a scheduled Meet and Greet
A professional pet sitter must be prepared for a Meet and Greet with a new client. Being prepared demonstrates that a sitter knows what he/she is doing in regards to business matters, and helps the meeting go smoothly. Preparation says a lot to a potential client.
In advance of the Meet and Greet pet sitters need to gather all necessary information and forms so they aren't fumbling for the correct form or apologizing for not having something with them during the Meet and Greet.
Another part of the preparation, besides the paperwork part of it, is to contact the potential client the day before to confirm the meeting. This assures that mistakes are not made on either part so that the sitter doesn't show up at the wrong time or the client forgets and is not ready for the meeting. People have busy lives and it does happen occasionally that a sitter calls to confirm and the client has forgotten and will ask to reschedule.
I'd typically have files prepared in advance so I'd just have to pull out a file the day before and double-check that I had all the needed information in it. Two separate folders would be prepared. One would be information that I would leave with the client and the other would be the necessary forms and information I'd have to fill out and cover with the client during the Meet and Greet.
Here's what each folder would contain:
* A business brochure and/or flyer. The client may have accessed your website
already if you have one, but there is nothing like a good brochure or flyer for quick
access. It also serves as another statement of professionalism and a marketing tool.
* Business cards. Some cards for the client, and a couple for the client to hand out to those who might need them while they are away (ex: neighbors and other family members), or to pass along to their vet. (This is also a free way to market your business.)
* A printed newsletter if you have one. My clients always seemed to love my newsletter. Digital newsletters are okay too, but paper newsletters still have value and are preferred by some.
* Any written policies - like cancellation, emergency, or inclement weather policies.
* One reason why I see the value in giving paper information in addition to online information is because power outages happen and computers crash so it is important that the client can put their hands on information whenever they need it. Giving your clients a folder with this information prevents any loose papers from getting misplaced or separated after the Meet and Greet.
Pet Sitter folder: All of the forms enclosed in this folder will be discussed in more detail in a future post. I am also planning on offering these forms to my readers but I have to figure out the technological details in order to do so digitally. Please stay tuned!
* Interview questionnaire.
* Duplicate contracts/agreements (2). Both will be signed by the sitter and client. The client keeps one and the pet sitter keeps one.
* Additional business cards should they be requested by the client.
* List of services with fees.
* Sample of pet visit log.
* Welcome Home sign/card.
* List of policies to discuss with the client.
* Key tag.
* Scheduling calendar.
Meet and Greets are usually very pleasant situations because people are meeting each other, embarking on a new connection, and pets are meeting their new pet sitter. It is exciting to learn about new pets and how a sitter can best meet their needs, and potential clients have hopes that this pet sitter will be the right one for them, and of course, every pet owner wants to show off their wonderful precious pets.
The better prepared a pet sitter is upon arrival to the potential client's home for the Meet and Greet, the better the impression they make, the more confident they will be, and the smoother things will go!
Personal Reflection Questions for Pet Sitters
1. How can your preparations for Meet and Greets improve?
2. Have you taken the time to write out your business policies?
3. In what ways can you more creatively provide information to your clients?
4. Do your business cards need re-designing?
5. When was the last time you reviewed your pet sitting agreement/contract?
Next week's blog post will be: "Can You Walk My Turtle?"