October 2009

ASK ANYTHING! Pet Sitting Biz Q & A with Six-Figure Pet Sitting Academy Founder


Save $10 if you sign up by Tuesday, November 3!

Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Time: 5:00pm PST / 8:00pm EST

How does class take place? Via a conference call line. Call-in instructions will be given upon signup.

How long is this teleclass? 60 minutes of open forum for questions and answers!

How much: $20 (register by November 3) $30 (register November 4 or later)

Class description: In this 60-minute dynamic and interactive open forum, the first 10 pet sitters and dog walkers who sign up will have the opportunity to ask Coach Kristin their most challenging pet sitting questions. If there is time left over then Kristin will open up the line for additional ‘impromptu’ questions.

If your question relates to business or pet sitting-you can ask it! As a pet sitting business owner you are guaranteed to find this Q & A session with Coach Kristin compelling, supportive, and ultra-informative.

How do I get my question answered: The first 10 pet sitters who sign up will be contacted via email about their question and will be instructed on when to ask their question. If you are not contacted within 72 hours of signing up for the class it means you are not one of the first 10 callers. You will still receive valuable business information when you listen and learn from others having their questions answered.

Limited spots available so reserve your spot TODAY!
Click here to find out more and to sign up for the ASK ANYTHING! Pet Sitting Business Q & A Teleclass with the founder of Six-Figure Pet Sitting Academy.

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Dealing with Client Conflict: How to Turn Angry Pet Sitting Clients into Happy Puppy Dogs

2813647822_c0603a658b_mA couple of blog posts ago I wrote about why client conflict can be good for business. Now you’ll find out how to deal with it!

1) Remember when you have an angry person on the phone or emailing you that this is an opportunity to create an even better relationship than you had with this client before they were angry. Print out the “How Conflict Can be Good for Business” blog post and keep it near the phone or your computer so that when you are REALLY freaked out by a screaming client you will have something to calm YOU in the face of all that negative energy.

2) If you are on the phone: let the client have their screaming fit.
They need to get it out of their system. If you interrupt them in midstream they will lash out at YOU and you don’t want that.

Here’s what to do: Think about this upset client as if they are an angry dog.

As a pet sitter who is around dogs all the time, you probably realize that most angry dogs need to express their anger by snarling and baring their teeth. Once they’ve had their say, they will often just turn around and be on their merry way. But if you interrupt them by talking “Nice doggy” or stepping forward,  they most likely WILL attack. Both of these actions interrupt the dog’s process to express his anger.

Words to live by when dealing with client conflict: Breathe. Listen. Don’t interrupt.

3) If the client has emailed you, DO NOT email back. Call them or email only to find a time to meet in person or on the phone. One of the best business tips I ever received is do not discuss any difficult issues via email. (This tip is invaluable for personal relationships too.)

Take the issue to the phone or in person. Why? Communicating a difficult subject via email creates a wall between you and that other person. You can remove the wall (or at least make it a wall you can peer over) by hearing that person’s voice and/or meeting them in person.

4) When the client is done spewing then let them know you heard what they said and you will do whatever it takes to rectify the problem. How do you know when they are done? Count for three LONG seconds.

If they have not spoken during the entire three seconds it is okay for you to talk. Say, “I’ve heard you and I’m so sorry for the part we’ve had in upsetting you.”

Put yourself in their shoes and let them know that you completely understand how they could feel that way about whatever it is that upset them.  (People want to be heard and not made wrong for what they are complaining about–give them that gift and most clients will be forever grateful.)

Offer to give them money back. If one of your sitters did a lousy job then ask your sitter  if they will pay for the mistake. (You cannot do this if they are an employee, only if they are an Independent Contractor.)  If you feel that you are to blame because you weren’t clear with your staff-own that mistake and be willing to refund a portion or the full amount of their pet sitting fee. Also be willing to apologize to your staff if the communication error was on your part.

5) After you’ve offered money back ask your client if they need anything else by saying: “I’m truly sorry about this. Is there anything else I can do to make this right?” And be willing to do it.

Dealing with Client Conflict: How to Turn Angry Pet Sitting Clients into Happy Puppy Dogs Read More »

3 Common Pet Sitting Business Challenges (and How to Deal with Them!)


Challenge #1: Your clients are often late in paying their pet sitting or dog walking bills.

Solution A: Get a merchant credit card machine to have control over when they pay. PayPal is great but clients have to do it so you still don’t have control when you get your money.  Costco has incredibly great rates for merchant credit card processing.

Solution B: Have them mail a check prior to departure. “In order to insure your reservation we will need to receive payment 3 days prior to departure. A post-dated check for the final date of service is also fine.” Business owners: the important thing is to get full payment prior to departure!

Challenge #2: You don’t know why but you find that you often attract difficult and ultra-picky clients who are not easy to work with.

Solution A: Get skilled at seeing the signs of impossible clients: “we’ve gone through 3 pet sitters this year”, writing a novel as instructions for their pets, interrogating you in the initial phone call about where you find your people, etc.  Choose NOT to take them on as clients.

Solution B: When you do make a mistake and take on one of these clients be willing to let them go. 95% of stress often comes from 5% of those difficult and ultra-challenging clients–let go of those 5% and you may find you have only 5% stress!

Challenge #3: You often have clients calling for services 1-3 days prior to departure and you have to scramble to meet with them or set up a sitter to meet with them. This leads to you being grumpy and irritable.

Solution A: Charge a $30 last minute fee. Say, “We’d love to help and it’s a lot to scramble to get our staff member Suzie to meet with you so we do charge a $30 last minute fee when you have to meet one of our staff members in less than 72 hours. She’s definitely available. Can I go ahead and get your information so I can set up a meeting?”

3 Common Pet Sitting Business Challenges (and How to Deal with Them!) Read More »

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