The question was asked:

“My consultations turn into interviews and I don’t like it. Clients are asking me personal questions and they last too long. What do I Do?”

Great question! Consultations can sometimes take a turn for the worst where you feel trapped and talking about things that are way too personal. It is hard to wrap up the conversation without sounding rude or alternatively it becomes awkward when the client starts mistaking you for their therapist!

Consultations are a time for the pet sitter to come in and be the professional. I encourage you to train your staff how to get in and out in 30 min or less and be effective. Here is what I mean:

In Order To Not Make it an Interview

  1. Be in control. As a professional, we should run the show. We should have a  script that we follow and anticipate the client’s needs based off the information we already have collected.
  2. Do your homework. Remember that time the Dr’s office asked you to fill out a 20-minute questioner only to arrive finding out that they never even read it and they are asking you all of the same questions.  Don’t be that pet sitter.
  3. Arrive with as much information about the home and pets as possible. This can happen via the phone call you have prior to scheduling this meeting or the software system that you use to collect their information.
  4. Create a roadmap of expectations: Connect with the pets and parents and tell them how it is going to go. Letting people know what they can expect from you is major when trying to establish a trusting relationship. Try using phrases like, “Is there a place we can sit down and go over everything, and then go on tour so you can show me around?”  This creates control over the situation so you aren’t jotting notes while using your leg as something to lean on!
  5. Brag book: Before “going on tour” the pet sitter presents a brag book of some sort that “proves they are who they say they are.” I wrote more about brag book’s and really broken down the elements here.  Again, the pet sitter is anticipating all the client’s questions and concerns….therefor establishing credibility and peace of mind.

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What if the meet and greet still turns into an interview?

Frankly speaking, sometimes we just can’t predict or control others behaviors. But if you do the things mentioned, it could help put them at ease.

It also could be that the client doesn’t feel confident in their decision yet. If you sense this is the case, try asking them outright, “So what exactly is your biggest concern when finding a pet sitter?”  The answer to that question will tell you everything you need to know!

Another thought would be to think about who is running the show. If they are turning into interviews, chances are the client is the one in control of the meeting.  Tweak your ways by considering some of the tactics above and you will see some changes!