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  • 10 Ways To Increase Sales Without Selling

    Posted June 30, 2011 By in Pet Sitters, SEO and Marketing With | 3 Comments

    or… 10 Ways To Up-sell Clients

    When you use a business you are more apt to buy again from the business.

    Your client’s buy walking or sitting services from you routinely and they trust your opinion when it comes to their pets.

    Instead of spending more money to advertise to new people, don’t forget about offering more to your current clients.

    It’ll be easier than you thought and you don’t have to even consider putting distracting Google ads all over your site. (You know who you are.)

    Here are some tips to earn more income while working smarter, not harder.

    1. Network with a cleaning service: For vacation care, contract to a maid service that will clean the house. We use maids who are one-person shows (that way we know the person going into the home.) Work out a deal with the maid company where if they usually charge $30 an hour, negotiate the maid for $20.00 on the basis you will give them recurring service. (They can also leave their business card at the home so the client’s can use them again if they wish.) Charge the client full price (or more) and work out the keys with the maid. As always, do your due diligence with the maid service to make sure you want them to represent your business. (We have worked with maids who clean our client’s homes.) Who doesn’t love coming home to a clean house? Easy money.
    2. Network with a Waste Removal Service: Poop scooping is a growing industry, but what if you don’t want to get your hands dirty?  Contract with a local pooper scooper and say you would like to begin offering waste removal services, but have them do all the dirty work. You can usually get an average of 35% per yard for a scooper. At $50.00 for an initial cleanup and $12 per week? $4.20 per week, plus $17.50 for an initial cleanup, you can be making some side money without putting in much effort.
    3. Get the most out of your current workers: Use it or lose it. Did you hire someone who has a grooming background? Let client’s know you are temporarily offering nail clipping & basic grooming. Have you hired someone with a training background? Use them for training. You don’t need to offer this service ‘officially’ if you are worried the person won’t be around long. Just try it out and see how it goes. It’ll also be good for worker morale since they’ll be able to use their previous skills in their current position.
    4. Network with a Dog Trainer: Dog training can be reinforced on dog walks. First, find a trainer you would recommend. Then, work out an agreement where you will get paid per lead. Begin offering training services through them and add to your bottom line. Suddenly, your client’s will realize your business has grown when in reality you are just leveraging your network to increase your income.
    5. Begin selling products: Don’t worry, you don’t have to control inventory or anything… you just collect the money. The products are drop-shipped and the client’s order through a link on your website. There are many food distributors out there where you can make anywhere from 10 – 30% per order. One that has been making recent headlines in the Chicago area is: My Pet’s Warehouse. www.mypetwhs.com (There’s also SHURE Pets, which is an MLM… like Mary Kay, but for Pet Products.)
    6. Pet Insurance: There are a ton of pet insurances out there. Did you know that some will offer you $25 – $35.00 per successful lead? This can be as easy as a link on your website and giving a brochure. First, find an insurance you like. Next, see what they can offer you to sign up a client. Often, clients will be curious or be looking for a pet insurance… so you may as well recommend one you like AND get reimbursed.
    7. Pitching Services: Pricing models for pet services vary; some people offer ‘as much time as needed,’ others offer 20 – 25 minute visits, and others just say 30 minutes. Whatever the case may be consumer science has shown people like 3 options: Small, Medium, Large; low-end, average, high-end; etcLet’s use the 15, 30, and 45 minute visits as an example. Most customers will choose a 30 minute visit. (They don’t want to be cheap, but they don’t want the most expensive.) Instead of offering 15, 30, and 45 minute visits, offer a 30, 45, and 1 hour visit. Research shows you will see an increase in 45 minute visits. According to Keller, Lipkus, and Rimer in their 2003 research study published in the The Journal of Marketing Research people tend to pick the middle of three options. Further, if the clients are feeling positive about the presentation, they are less apt to pick a lower option. Then, as an up-sell, you can offer the 15 minute visits as a ‘tuck in’ or ‘drop in’ visit just to check in.
    8. Video Camera: Camp Bow-wow has been offering Buddy Cams, so people can see their pets while they are on vacation. With the amazing technology that exists, it’s relatively inexpensive ($100.00) to get a camera and send the clients wifi images (or stream video) to their phone or on a website so they can check in with their dog anytime. How much should you charge? You may be able to make an extra $30 – $50.00, depending on the area and how long they are on vacation.
    9. Grooming & Vet Care: Let’s face it: some dogs are gross. Whether or not it’s normal for the dog, the owners often appreciate you taking the dog to the vet, groomer, etc. while they are out of town or just on daily walks. We work with a few groomers who will let us drop a dog off in the morning, and pick the dog up after our routes. This is an easy way to make an extra $15 – $30.00. (Yes, you have additional drive time and you have to breath in the perfume they spray on the dog… but it does count as an upsell.)
    10. Online Photo Products: We used Kodak gallery for years as a glorious gallery for our ‘client photos.’ Why? When we tell client’s their photos have been posted to our website, they open Kodak Gallery and see their pets pictures on mugs, t-shirts, mousepads, totes, and wherever else they can imagine. If they buy a product, we get a commission. We’re not directly selling the products. We are giving the client’s an opportunity to take a very happy photo of their pet and cherish it on an item. We’re also telling them where to find the product.

    There are many other ways to up-sell clients.

    The key is to create a product or service that will not take additional time from your day and you can increase your income. Some of the most important things to remember is to not be pushy and always make sure you have the client’s best interest in mind.

    Don’t sell them junk.

    If you are viewed by your client as a salesperson trying to push then to buy more, then there is a very good chance you will turn off your client. No one likes to be sold to, but everyone likes to buy something that will improve their life.

    Give client’s an opportunity to see what you have to offer and help them make the best decision for their pets.

    Happy sales,

    Paul Franklin  

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Comments (3)

Joshua » 30. Jun, 2011

What a fantastic list, Paul! It all seems to come down to ‘networking with others’ in order to successfully increase your bottom line by any method.

It’s important to stress that even for the pet sitters who are operating solo, the cooperation of (and relationship with) others is necessary for survival.

This is my favorite point from your list above: 3. Get the most out of your current workers.

Thanks for writing this.

Danielle Chonody » 30. Jun, 2011

Super Paul – love number 10! What a great way to use those cute pet pictures – a win win for pet sitters and the clients, and when they look at that mug or t-shirt everyday they will think of your service because you caputured the great shot of their pets!

Paul » 30. Jun, 2011

I have found Kodak Gallery is a great way to earn commissions on products clients buy from images the sitter provided. It’s very easy to set up and you can either make a gallery of their images on your site OR provide a link to view the photos. Whenever the client clicks on the photo of their dog, it can take them to the Kodak Gallery site.

If anyone has used other sites to gain commissions, please feel free to list them. There are a bunch of them out there… When looking, just look for ‘Affiliate programs’ — It’s usually free to sign up to & pays out when you reach $20 or $50 in commissions.

Though one is not not a huge money maker, providing smaller upsells like this that are automated can add up. It’s all about discovering the undiscovered income.

There are many ways to upsell. These are just a few. What other ones are useful?

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