The Secret To Make Sure Your Pet Business Keeps Getting Referrals

Pet Sitter Pop Quiz: What Do You Do With This Referral?

If one of your closest competitors emails a potential client and says the following. What do you do next?

Client,

Thank you so much for your interest in our services. Unfortunately, we do not go to your area at this time 🙁

Please consider http://xyzpetsittingcompany.com/ I know the owner personally (Molly) and would leave my pup with her or her staff in a heartbeat!

You are still welcome to come to our Mutt N Mingle’s. The next (and last one of the season) is on March 6th. 6pm at West Addison.

Let me know if you have any questions!
Molly, please see their questions below 🙂

What is your next move?

A) Smile quietly and wait knowing that I may have a new client getting in touch with me soon.

B) Reply to my competition and turn down the opportunity by saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

C) Send an email to my competitor thanking her tremendously for the referral AND immediately send an introduction email to the potential client?

Not All Referrals Are Followed Up On

The above is an exact email that I sent to a pet sitter in another town. Names have been changed to protect the innocent 🙂

I thought the answer was obvious, but now I’m not sure…

This exact scenario happened to me eight days ago. I just spoke to Molly and asked her, “What ever happened to those clients I sent you? Did you land them?” If I was a dog I would be wagging my tail with the same anticipation that they look at us when we have a ball in our hand.

“I never heard from them,” said Molly.

“Whaaaaat?!?!??!” I said. “You didn’t follow up with them? I forwarded you their email. Did an email introduction. All you had to do is say hello, introduce yourself, and ask how you could help them!” I was so disappointed. I felt like I had given her a great gift, wrapped it really pretty, and she didn’t even try to open it.

I took a step back and continued to tell her, “Listen, when I send you emails like that – respond with something like this:

Bella, thank you so much for the introduction and the kind words.

Client, Hi! My name is Molly and I am the owner of XYZ Pet Sitting company. I see that you were asking how much we change and what is entailed and requested that Bella calls you. Since we service your area, I was hoping that you could let me know a good time of the day to call you so you can tell me all about your fur kids! In the meantime please feel free to check out our webiste and facebook too! Looking forward to your reply.

Thanks again Bella!

Molly replied that it didn’t even dawn on her to contact them and that she honestly thought they would contact her if they were interested.

(NOTE: I call this entrepreneurial narcissism. Not everyone cares about how amazing our business is. We have to give them a reason to care!)

I had to explain to her that as business owners it is our responsibility to go out and make the sale happen. We need to show that we want it, that we care, and ACKNOWLEDGE the gifts that are given to us.

This has personally happened to me in many other arenas other than just pet sitting…

It happens all the time.

Enough for me to write this blog about it! =)

So What Is The One Secret?

Open the gift!!!! That means follow up with the potential client and say THANK YOU to the giver. This will ensure that they will keep going to bat for you and your company again and again.

SOUND OFF BELOW: Have any of you ever been in this situation? How do you handle it?

4 replies
  1. Christine
    Christine says:

    Omgoodness I am so glad I read this. I actually did what Molly did. Another sitter emailed me about a client because she didn’t serve that area but I did and I just was waiting for them to contact me. Now I know and I won’t make the same mistake twice, thanks!

    Reply
  2. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    This has happened to me twice with 2 separate petsitters when I forwarded them a potential clients’ details. Neither one of them followed up with the potential client.

    Reply
  3. Donna
    Donna says:

    Such wonderful, obvious advice! Obvious, but yet often not carryed out, because it can be a bit scary at first to reach out and make that move, which is sooo important to do. Many of us are ANIMAL people…that’s why we got into this business. Not as many of us are BUSINESS people, and today, that’s what we all need to learn. How to market, network, etc. Great service is not always enough. This is definitely the hardest part for me.

    Reply

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