Ep. 10 - How to Start a Dog Walking Business: a Step-by-Step Guide

02 Sep 2020

In this week's episode of Fix Your Business we're walking you through our Step-by-Step Guide on How to Start a Dog Walking Business.

Every week we'll be chatting with a business owner, helping them to bust through the challenges they are facing with their business in our new Fix Your Business series.

In this week's episode we discuss:

0:00 - How to Start a Dog Walking Business
2:56 - Is a dog walking business profitable?
3:25 - How much can a dog walking business make?
6:14 - Should I start a dog walking business?
12:02 - Getting dog walking/training clients?
23:30 - How much does dog training typically cost?
24:08 - How do you keep a positive mindset in sales?
28:55 - Sales role play
30:00 - Objection handling
34:01 - Dog Training Packages

This week my guest is Dog Walker and Trainer, Rachel Elizabeth Cathorne.

We'll be talking about how to get Rachel's business from £1,300 to £2,000/mth. Rachel's dog walking and training business just over 1 year old and focuses on interactive walks providing solo and group dog walks, 1-2-1 dog training and classes.

Watch the Full Episode Here:

CONNECT WITH RACHEL:

Facebook: Rachs Rambles - https://www.facebook.com/rachsrambles/
Instagram: https://instagram.com/rachsrambles
Website: www.rachsrambles.co.uk

If you want to know more about Fearless Business and what we get up to:
https://fearless.biz/resources

or hook up with my open community group on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/ChargeMore

Transcription:

Robin: If you run a dog training or dog walking business, then this episode of Fix Your Business is definitely going to be for you. We're talking about how to potentially double your turnover in your business within the shortest space of time as possible. [upbeat music] So on a Fix Your Business today, I've got Rachel Cathorne and I have to be careful 'cause I did get to pronounce the name wrong earlier on so I'll remember that. So Rachel runs a successful dog walking and training business, that's just over one years old. So welcome to the show, Rachel.

Rachel: Thank you.

Robin: Excellent, so we're gonna be digging into your business obviously and giving you a bit of advice about kind of how you productize dog walking and dog training, package it up and hopefully sell it for more than what you're currently selling it at. And we've already talked off air about some of the stories and beliefs and patterns that you're already starting to kind of using that stopping you from growing your business. But for the benefit of the viewers, why don't you just give us a quick sort of potted history about how you came to setting up the business in the first place?

Rachel: So I always volunteered as a dog trainer and it got to stage the normal, you hate your job. You think, No, I wanna change my career. So yeah, last year I decided to start my own business, Rachels Rambles. I already had lots of people coming to me, asking for dog help, but I just did it obviously like for free for friends. Yeah, and so far so good. It's been successful. I've had clients from day one, lots of recommendations, in touch with other dog walkers in the area and dog trainers. But now I feel I've just got to the point where, I have the same income every month and it's right, it's fine. 'Cause I never thought I'd be at this point anyway, but you know, you wanna add more, you wanna grow your business and I wanna grow it in a way that I'm not exhausting myself. I'm doing it the smarter way.

Robin: That's it. So we had kind of a brief sort of discussion about what your capacity was at currently. So one of the first questions I asked you was. Do you have capacity to take on more clients at the moment and your answer was...

Rachel: Yes. [Robin chuckles]

Robin: And then we talked about, okay. So what does your average day look like? How much time would you say you've got spare? And the answer for that was.

Rachel: Not at all.

Robin: Not at all. This is obviously quite a common sort of dilemma or quandary and especially in sort of the dog walking dog training industries, is that where we kind of fool ourselves into thinking that the only way to grow a business is to get more clients. But then actually when we look at it, we don't have the time to service more clients. So for you at the moment, it's like, your earnings capacity at the moment is kind of cut by your ability to be able to deliver more training workshops and things like that. What are the other things? So we were running through the pricing of your programmes. And I'm just going to jump onto a screen share momentarily 'cause this is quite important I feel. So these are my notes. So hopefully you can read them. Hopefully the viewers will be able to translate them as well. So, well, a couple of things that you mentioned at the start were about sort of marketing. Can we get more clients? We've kind of just spoken about that very briefly. But how do I say no to people as well? It sounds like you've taking on work for the sake of taking on work. 'Cause there's this is driver to get more money. But then we were looking at the pricing, which you're currently charging. So you charge 10 pounds for group walk and then eight pounds for 30 minutes solo walk. And then you have group classes and group training. We're running at the moment, which is 80 pounds for six sessions for six weeks. And then your one to one is 25 pounds for a half hour and 45 pounds for full hour. And obviously one of the things that you're doing at the moment is you're selling, your consultations, your hourly rates, which... Just walk us through what's the process around putting together a consultation with a client.

Rachel: So the person contacts me. It's usually through social media. To be fair that's quite a lot where I get a lot of my business from, and I book in a discovery call so we can talk to them and discuss their training needs. Like, what is it? Is it something they exactly wanna pinpoint or behaviour they're struggling with? And then from there we book in a one to one session, they get some feedback notes and things like that. And then I say to them, whether they need. Is this is a bit more of a serious problem than just one hour. You know, you might need some more support and that's where we potentially look into more training sessions. But to be honest to me as like a business owner, that is where I get stuck. And I struggled to sell myself and go, "Oh, well you need to book six sessions." 'Cause I'm always like, "Oh my God, they're gonna buy six sessions? "They're just gonna want two, "and they're not gonna want six of me. "And then I've just got six weeks" and like, what the hell do I, you know, so that's what goes through my mind a bit. [Rachel chuckles]

Robin: So let's try and break it down a little bit. So we'll deal with the consultation side at first. And then we'll look at how you go about selling a followup package afterwards. So the initial consultation. So it sounds like it's not just one hour of your time. It's like you've got to show up like drive there you've got to deliver the consultation. You've got some notes to write after you obviously you've got to drive home as well. Potentially, there might be a followup call where then you might sell them something else. They've already had a 15 minute call to start off with. you start, that sounds like several hours work. So actually our hourly rate's more like, it's not 45 pounds for an hour. It's 10 pounds an hour or something like that or best case 15 pounds an hour. And what you might find is... Then also by the time you start to factor in things like well travel generally, but also doing marketing and sales and all of the other bits of business, your bookkeeping and et cetera, et cetera. But actually, if you worked out what your hourly rate is, you'd probably be like It six pounds a hour or something.

Rachel: Yeah [chuckles]

Robin: Go and earn more money working in Waitress and it'd be a bit disappointing. So we've got to start to create a business model that is gonna work better for your business. So your target monthly turnover was 2K.

Rachel: Yup.

Robin: So go back to my screen share. We always start off with our goal in mind and then we work backwards from that. 'Cause otherwise what happens is, or this is what most business owners do, they go about their daily life with that business, doing all of these random sort of tasks with no real sense of direction. And it ends up just being like you would just be jumping around going from one thing to the next. No real sense of direction, get to the end of the day and collect some money. That's okay, that'll do. But there's no real like idea. You haven't got a concrete purpose when you wake up in the morning basically, and it's perfectly normal. This is what a lot of business owners do. The one mistake which they do make at this point is they don't look at these tasks each month and go actually, was it worthwhile doing that task? If it wasn't then I shouldn't have done it. And I certainly shouldn't do it moving forward. And so what you start to see is then you've got these tasks, which then are more specific and are gonna push you towards your goal quicker. 'Cause you're doing fewer things. So it's like, if you put 121/2% of your energy into eight things. Are any of those eight things gonna work out? Probably not because you're only putting a fraction of the energy. And so the more energy we can give specific tasks the better. So what we want to do though, is we want to have in mind your goal, which is initially 2000 pounds a month and it could potentially be 5k a month or even 10K month potentially longer term, but let's hit 2K first and then we could start to kind of grow it from there. So at the moment with that, if you're earning like 10 pound an hour, well there's only 200 hours a month. Generally when you can work, if you work in the basis of nine to five, Monday to Friday is like 200 hours. So you already kind of... Even if you were at like full capacity, earning that money every single hour that you're at work, we've already established you're not. So we've got to design a business that is gonna start to get you there a little bit quicker. Essentially business kind of works in a number of different ways. So down at the bottom here, you'll have like, say somebody messages you on Facebook and says, "Hey, I've seen your page I see you do dog walking," or maybe they've been referred to you. "Can you help us out? "Fido's playing up" or "we've got to get back to work, "Fido needs a walk." So then you'll reply to it. And quite often people will give them the price at this point without any education. And then you'll never hear from them again. So do you do that?

Rachel: I try not to because honestly from what you have said before, a few videos that I've watched. I give them a bit of an insight as to what my walks are about or what my training is about and my methods and stuff like that. And then see if they respond and then when they do, I kind of ignore the question if they go, "And how much is it?" I go more into, this is what I do. And then usually I'll by the second message I've told them.

Robin: You still shouldn't give them the price on that because one of the things which you have a call, and I can't remember what you've called it, but you've got that initial sort of call, 15 minute call

Rachel: Consultation call, yeah.

Robin: So you've got the 15 minute consult call where you're then going to book them onto a consultation. And eventually what's gonna happen is you're gonna sell them a package. Okay, so we've got this now a bit of a customer journey designed for you. And if you start giving people the price, at the wrong step, it's gonna, break this and you're not gonna be able to move them up through the scales of initiative. And also like whilst you're selling... So we have the consultations, you're currently selling it 45 pounds for an hour. I've worked with dog trainers, dog behaviourists who are selling those initial consultations. So they have a very specific target market. So there'll be breed specific. So they know the dogs inside and out and their problems and challenges. And then they've got a very specific solution, to that, to whatever problems it is that they're exhibiting. So they'll charge in excessive, like 500. I know some dog trainers who'll be charging 850 pounds for just a consultation phase of that process. Now it's not just an hour time block that they're selling at 150 pounds. They stack a lot of value in there so they'll have maybe several followups, they'll have a bit of remote support. They'll have a much more in depth report, which they give to them and various other things like that before they then move them onto the package. But it's super specific in terms of market and products, which they're selling. So you think about it this way. You've got to find 20 clients to sell a consultation to for every one that they sell their consultation to. One of the challenges which you mentioned to me was this about, can I say no to people? So that person has learned to say no to 19 people in order to get the one perfect client who they can help. And all day long, they're getting inquiries, Dachshand specialist is getting inquiries from lurchers and Labrador dog owners or people who don't have... Maybe they are a behaviourist, specialist in separation anxiety. And so they don't take on necessarily the lower level stresses and anxieties that the dogs have. They are super specific in terms of what they're doing. So they can afford to say no to the 19 people who don't fit the market or product niche for that one perfect client. What sort of feelings are coming up when I say to you that you could say no and turn down a client?

Rachel: My first thing is probably finding my niche. Like you said like there's a lady does Dachshands or separation anxiety and things like that. I do find a lot of Staffy owners come to me and lurch owners because I own one of them, myself, I own staff and a lurcher. So I get a lot of inquiries from them maybe 'cause I can be really relatable I guess. But yeah, I don't suppose I've got a niche. I suppose, maybe pet dog training, but yeah, I'm not a specialist in any area, if you like, I'm just a general pet dog owner, trainer. [Rachel laughing]

Robin: Imagine if there's a Staffy dog owner out there and you're putting out content marketing wise all of the time, which is talking about a Staffies. Do you think that that content is gonna speak to that dog owner?

Rachel: Yes.

Robin: Most people's concern or fear is that there's not enough Staffy dog owners out there for there to be enough customers out there in order to satisfy their business, basically. But actually I bet if you look at it, there's probably hundreds of thousands of Staffy owners and So your base is down in Essex, which is pretty well populated Southeast of UK. I mean there's thousands of people out there with Staffies.

Rachel: Yeah, I do see a lot on my walks around the town.

Robin: And not only that, but now you're an expert in Staffies. There'll be people up in Liverpool who will see your YouTube videos about Staffies and go, "well, we can't travel down sea, "but can we do a session on zoom "or can we just have a consultation with you?" And there'll be because you're an expert, you've positioned yourself as an expert. Now all of a sudden, if you're selling a consultation for 250 quid, because that person's desperate to work with you, it's like, well that's five times the value right there.

Rachel: Yeah.

Robin: What's the difference like? What's changed? Not a lot. It's just, we call your ability to articulate your value. If you're there saying I'm an expert in Staffies and lurches and all lurches, but let's just stick with Staffies. I'm an expert in Staffies. I only work with Staffy dogs. You'll get people from all over the world. My friend who runs the Dachshands training business, she's got clients all over the world.

Rachel: I guess it's slightly nervous to say that I'm an expert in the area that could be a self doubt almost.

Robin: Okay, Oh that's interesting. So how many Staffies have you worked with.

Rachel: Probably about five or six since starting my business last year. So training wise.

Robin: How many of them did you get good results with.

Rachel: All of them.

Robin: So there's your evidence.

Rachel: Yeah.

Robin: Yep, so fear comes from this whole thing of things being much worse in the imagination than they are in reality, We will search like in reality for things to back up the stories that we tell ourselves. So if we start saying, I'm not an expert. We'll go out and look for evidence that backs up with, we're not an expert and you actually have to just stop that like to say, actually, I'm gonna go out and look for evidence that is the opposite of that. So that simple exercise which I did with you is. How many Staffies you've worked with? How many have you managed to help? All of them Yeah, you're an expert in Staffies. Some people could define it by how many qualifications you've got and all this sort of stuff. But ultimately if you can get the desired result and outcome, which is to stop Staffy from being aggressive towards other dogs. [dog barking] And you can do that consistently. That makes you an expert in my opinion.

Okay. So we go out and gather evidence to back up the message that we're starting to put out. So it's about specificity. But going back to my little diagram here, so now all of a sudden, if you're... we'll scratch you doing, we're no longer gonna be doing 45 pound an hour consultations. So your consultation won't just jump to 250 quid.

Rachel: Yeah

Robin: It's a process of testing and validating, test and validate. So what I would suggest is your consultation price needs to go up to... Well, let's play a game actually. I'm gonna start increasing the numbers. Tell me what point it starts to get uncomfortable, okay. 60 Pounds, 75 pounds, 90 pounds, 120 pounds.

Rachel: Probably there

Robin: Right, okay so that's the price you need to go forward with your consultations. So we're gonna scratch that. We're gonna now sell our consultations for 120 pounds. Okay, which is nearly three times the price of what you were selling them at currently. And what's gonna happen is I'm gonna challenge you to pitch the next 10 to 20 people who come along, who want to work with you. You're gonna pitch them a consultation at 120 pounds.

Rachel: Okay

Robin: Now I can guarantee that your conversion rate will be somewhere between one in five and one in three. So at the first 10, somewhere between two, three or four, people are gonna still wanna say yes to this. I can guarantee it. If they don't, I'll pay you 250 quid. I'm that confident, but what's gonna happen is the first eight are gonna say no, it's going to be the last two annoying buggers who are going to say yes. Because clients are like buses basically. So you've got to go through that painful process over the next four to six weeks, pitching 10 to 20 people at your new consultation rate. You'll get more rejection, more noes, but we've just established you can have a third of the clients and still make the same money from the consultations. Okay.

Rachel: Yes.

Robin: And at that price, let's say, for example, if you're doing, I don't know, five consultations a month. So we'll take that... Let's just get rid of that for a second. So we're doing five consultations at 120 pounds each so per month. Can't right now. [Robin and Rachel laughing] Probably will get horribly wrong. Here we go. So for each month, five consultations, 120 pounds. So that equals 600 pounds a month worth of revenue just from consultations. So that's five hours of your time, plus all the meandering, travelling, writing reports and things like that. But you're getting paid a bit more for it, but that's half your revenue that you already making each month just in consultations alone.

Rachel: Yeah.

Robin: So I would suggest you could do nothing different, but sell your consultations for 120 quid and get 2K.

Rachel: Okay.

Robin: How'd you feel about that so far? [Rachel laughing]

Rachel: Maybe I just don't see that many people that need my help or I don't know.

Robin: How many consultations did you do say in August?

Rachel: I did one ongoing client. So she booked six sessions with me, but that was from a consultation and I probably did three other consultations.

Robin: Okay, so four consultations then basically, but one was from an existing client really? Okay, so you're not far off getting five there. And again, it might just be a matter of, I don't want to go right the way through your sort of marketing funnel necessarily 'cause it's one of those things I talk about, like I compare businesses to like a rattly old Fiat 500 engine. At the moment your pricing and the way you've designed your products is a bit broken. So we've got to fix that first so that when we then add rocket fuel marketing into that that engine, now it's finely tuned. It's now a rocket engine. Your business is just gonna explode, but we've got to get you confidently selling your products, same product for more basically first. So even if we had four clients there who paid 120 quid for that initial consultation, that would have been originally a bit about 180 quids worth of revenue. Under my new pricing structure, you've got 490 pounds worth of revenue. Three times close to four times the revenue.

Rachel: Yeah

Robin: So that will make a big difference to you. You'll take an extra 400 quid a month will you?

Rachel: Yeah, I wouldn't turn it down.

Robin: So the second part of the question you asked was about. How do I sell it? Like I'm not very confident about selling it. So talk to me a bit about that, that sort of what's going on.

Rachel: I mean, I'm quite good at talking to people and things like that. People always say that I'm approachable and everything, but it's just, I guess it is the noes. Like sometimes I have been turned down because of my prices. And if you're saying they're already cheap, that's kind of what then goes, "Oh, well, if I'm already cheap "and people are turning me down." But yeah, it's just to be able to, confidently say that yeah, these my prices, this is take it or leave it kind of thing.

Robin: First little tip, you can do it without even saying, take it or leave it. It's just these are my prices. I am good at what I do, I'm an expert. If you wanna get great results, we work together. This is the package that I'm recommending for you. So you've got to say it with some level of authority and confidence, but there was one thing which you said there, which was about all people already saying it's too expensive at the existing price. So, if I put it up even more people are gonna say no. Again, this is about evidence. Like, if I were to say to you. How do you know people aren't gonna say yes, 120 quid? You don't know, cause you haven't pitched it at 120 pounds. That's why I'm challenging you rather than what you've done is you've created a story for yourself. You've gone out to find evidence, and that evidence looks like, people currently say no to your existing prices.

Rachel: Yeah.

Robin: You've got no evidence for 120 pounds, so actually you kind of like that story, and that belief you created for yourself isn't true.

Rachel: Yeah.

Robin: Fair enough, if you pitched 20 people, 120 quid and they all say no, I'd eat my words and I'd give you some cash. I mean, that genuinely, but I know, that there is a market out there for experts like you, for selling consultations at 120 pounds so comfortably. So what happens during the sales conversation, and so in that 15 minute call, you've talked about, your business their dog, and the challenges they're having, and you get to that point, if you pitched them the consultation. So imagine with not pitching it's 120 pounds, and that person says, "Oh gosh, that's expensive." What do you normally find yourself saying? [Rachel laughing] [indistinct]

Rachel: I'll probably go like looking to like a course or a programme, that we can put onto, and if ever so you want many sessions are booked we can look into a discount or something.

Robin: Okay, we're just talking about at the moment, 'cause again, we're not selling them the package yet. We're gonna do the consultation.

Rachel: Alright okay yeah

Robin: And then from the consultation, that's the point where you'll upsell them, a package of a programme of training sessions afterwards. So we're just focusing on the 120 pounds consultation.

Rachel: To be fair that the people that have no so far have just gone Okay, but you've got my details, So if you do struggle like everyone, you can always message me and inquire again. So I have kind of accepted that this is my price at the moment, but I think with the 120, yeah, it's slightly expensive. I'm sorry.

Robin: Okay. Is it okay okay to reflect something back to you?

Rachel: Yes, of course.

Robin: So most people, when they sell, it's normally a reflection of their own value systems, So if you were to go and buy something for 120 pounds, that might feel expensive to you. So what's happening is you're attaching emotionally, to the sale based on your own value system.

Rachel: Yeah.

Robin: I find it too expensive, therefore other people will find it too expensive. So you've got to find a way and it's not easy, but you got to find a way to kind of detach, from that emotional side of that value system there. And it can be expensive over here, but your business to get to 2K a month, it need you to be rock solid, and be like, no 120 pounds' a bargain.

Rachel: Yeah.

Robin: Like this is the best thing for you and your dog. Like, that's why I'm recommending the consultation. If I didn't think I could help you, I wouldn't be recommending my consultation. [bell ringing] But if you want to work with me, and start to listen to the tonality, which I'm using here as well, if you want to work with me, and you want your dog to stop barking at the postman, [dog barking] let's book the consultation. When can you do it?

Rachel: Yeah, so what about you want this? You want your dog to stop doing this? I'm the person that can give it to you. Let's go

Robin: Yeah, It's much more so don't forget you're the expert. Your clients need you more than you need them. 'Cause what's also happening now is, if you're attached to that yes and the no, because, you need that 45 pounds from the consultation, because you need to pay your rent, and you need to put food on your table. Now, all of a sudden you're not operating, in your client's best interests. It's all about Rachel and paying for Rachel's life. So that's one of the best things about, if you can get control of the pricing side of things, and charge a bit more, it gives you a bit of extra flexibility and freedom, to like, it's all of a sudden you're making more money. So it's no longer power about you. It's just like you can pick and choose who you work with. It gives you more time to offer better quality products, et cetera, et cetera. So let's think about sort of some of the objections you might get. They might turn around blunt flat blunt go, that's expensive. The best weapon in your armoury, when you get that objection, is never about price, never about price. But, the best question you can ask somebody, is what do you mean. And they might say something like, "Oh, I've noticed Dave down the road, "charges like two pound for his consultation" It just like, yeah, but Dave's not qualified with the MDT, Dave's doing this on as a side hustle. Actually, if you've seen the reviews on his website, [Robin laughing].

Rachel: Yeah.

Robin: Go and spend two quid with Dave, but Dave doesn't know what he's doing. Okay, or you can come and spend 120 pounds, somebody who knows exactly what they're doing. And actually I'll tell you what, if we get to the end of the consultation, and I give you the report, and you actually don't feel you've had value for money, out of that process. I'll just refund you the money, and you can then go and take that money, and spend it with Dave if you want to. So what we've done is it's something called, a risk reversal with kind of de-risking it for them, So what it does is it focuses them, on whether they want the product or not.

Rachel: Right.

Robin: So they've got nowhere to go now, they're kind of like, oh she's just told me, she's gonna give me the money back if it's cheat. So it's kind of a no brainer, why wouldn't they spend 120 quid with you? That makes sense.

Rachel: Yeah.

Robin: Only what'll happen is, if that is just not bought into, or not bought into the process, and that's absolutely fine. They'll just walk away anyway despite the fact, you just said, "I'll give you money back if you don't get it." So think about like what sort of questions, you could ask somebody to kind of, loop them background on, so that one, which is, what you mean? And they'll start giving you a whole load of excuses. Well, great. If you're worried about investing 120 quid, totally get it, it's a lot of money. They might want to go and speak to the husband, and wife or partner, whatever. and that's cool too, but just, you know, let me talk about what's gonna happen with Fido, then if your husband says, No, we're not spending 120 quid, and he's still barking at the postman. They're gonna mind about the dog barking at the postman. what are you going to do then? So you can start to kind of get them focused, on the problem again.

Rachel: Yes.

Robin: And it becomes not about the price. Does that make sense?

Rachel: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Robin: Have you any questions for me at this point?

Rachel: None so far, I don't think so, none.

Robin: So what are you gonna say? So let's say for example, I was a client, and I've just said to you... and you've just pitched me the 120 pound consultation. And I say, "Oh, Rachel, that's a little more expensive "Than I was thinking." What are you gonna say to me?

Rachel: What do you mean? [Rachel laughing]

Robin: Great question.

Rachel: I would say maybe it can always be like, if it's not right now, not this month I'm always available next month.

Robin: 'Cause otherwise what's happening is, you're kind of letting them off the hook.

Rachel: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I see what you mean straight away.

Robin: You, when you're buying stuff, you want to be left off the hook.

Rachel: Yeah.

Robin: Yeah, but in this instance, because they've got a dog, which has a problem, challenge, needs help, an issue which needs help with some kind of anxiety, or problem and you can help them, You've got to get them refocused on the problem. You say. What do you mean? Okay, well, I don't have the money, or it's just more money than I was thinking It was. Well, that's great obviously, if we were to take money out of the picture... And this is another way of handling that objection. If we take money out of the picture Do you understand the process of the consultation, do you think is going to be helpful? And I'll probably go, "Yeah, that sounds fantastic, Great." So you told me at the start of the consultation, that you get really anxious, at quarter past nine every morning , because you can hear the footsteps of the postman, and you know the dog's gonna go absolutely mental, and you have this race to get there, before he shreds all the letters, every morning. I need to assess the situation, which is what that consultation is about. And I can start to give you a bit of a plan, a strategy for you taking control of that, and training the dog to stop it. We can also look at further training sessions, but this is the start of the process to stop Fido, from tearing the post up, and barking every morning at the postman. Oh yeah, when you say it like that-

Rachel: Yeah.

Robin: It's very different to kind of, even letting people off the hook, or feeling like you've got to justify yourself.

Rachel: Yeah I think that actually I have to justify my prices. I charge this much because I did this, this, this, and this and this. And then sometimes if I feel like is too much, I then just and something else. Also, I do this, this, this, this, this, and this.

Robin: You know, and then another way, you mentioned it before, I mean, it's 120 quid. I would hope that most people could afford that, if they can't afford 120 pounds they're gonna struggle to pay for an ongoing, series of training sessions. they might be more appropriate, if the challenge with the dog, isn't big enough to come into the group workshops, something like that. But you could also say to them, "well, listen, if it's literally the fact "that you want to do this "You don't have 120 quid, "Why don't we split it down into two payments? "Could you do 60 pounds now? "Then 60 pounds, on the day or the day before." Ideally, for consultations, you want payment in advance or in full. 'Cause you don't want no shows, and things like that happening, It gets people committed. So you could potentially split it up, into a couple of payments if you wanted to.

Rachel: Okay.

Robin: Or you could say to them, "Well, listen "if this is gonna be," It might be that it's middle of the month, They're running a bit short. "Well, how about let's book this session today, "So that's in the diary, " I'll send you the invoice, but you pay on payday."

Rachel: Okay, yeah.

Robin: Again, what's happening is you're giving them, really clear instructions, on what the next steps are on your process.

Rachel: Yes.

Robin: Okay.

Rachel: Yeah.

Robin: So, I've given you a little like sales masterclass, 101 in about a space of about five or 10 minutes there. What's gonna happen is you'll learn to set the consultation, and then I'm gonna go back to my terrible diagram again.

Rachel: Yeah.

Robin: Everybody can read the words on it. So then we're kind of gonna get into the territory, of the packages, okay? So we've done the consultation next stage, at the end of the consultation, or after the consultation, We'll then sell them a package. Now, actually you do the consultation and find his, post shredding antics, like worse than you thought. And he's a bit of an old dog anyway, so he's gonna take him a while to teach him, how to behave when the postman starts walking, down the drive and things like that. So, but the packages which he wants to be selling, it's what I call the one, two or three pack. So, silver, gold or platinum. And it depends on the severity of the issue, but Fido, you reckon could be fixed. If you had a weekly training session, for two or three months, you reckon you could have it licked. Okay, but what you sell them is not 200 pounds a month, or 45 pound a session or whatever it looks like. You sold them a three month programme, that by the end of it, we'll have Fido sitting quietly, looking up at the owner, every time the postman comes along, 'cause we've got it solved. Dad's happy for babies dad is happy, because there's no barking or, his post is in one piece. So we sell them a package, three month package @ 600 pounds. Okay?

Rachel: Yes.

Robin: It's one training session a week for 12 weeks, at the end of it, Fido's are gonna be good as gold, and Hey plus then, maybe we'll fix a couple of other issues, along the way, as well as a brucey bonus. Okay, but we get them focused on one specific problem, So we start to then sell packages at 600 pounds. Now, again, it might be that it's a three month programme, So you could say, Well, it's 200 pounds a month for three months. so you can split it down. But you're selling them a specific package, with specific outcomes and results. Okay, and obviously if you then did twice a week, or three times a week, if the issue was more severe, which it might be in some cases Separation, anxiety, for example, it's just absolutely like destroying the dog. That could be like a two pack or three packs, or two or three sessions a week, until the problem's resolved. And that could be as much as 1200 pounds, or even 1800 pounds. And again, people will hear those big numbers, and go, "Oh my gosh, that's expensive" and this, that, and the other. But imagine a scenario where you're doing, four or five consultations a month, so you're getting a few hundred pounds in, and you've got maybe one or two or three clients, on just your one or two pack already. But then every now and then a client drops in and says, "Rachel now I can see this whole load of issues here, "We want to resolve all of them, " We'll go for your three pack and it's 1800 quid."

Rachel: Mh.

Robin: Okay, your goal was 2000. You could sell one consultation a month, and one platinum package. And you've hit your goal as one client a month.

Rachel: Yeah.

Robin: But, it takes time for you to gradually, pick up, and start to sell bigger packages, for more money and things like that. So, I said, take the consultations for example, we've agreed you and I have agreed, you're gonna start selling those at 120 quid each.

Rachel: Yap.

Robin: You gotta take the prices off your website for now, 'cause we're gonna be practising your prices. It's important 'cause one of the challenges you face is, you set your pitch at 120 quid and somebody will say, "Oh, but I saw it on your website It's 45 pounds."

Rachel: Yeah.

Robin: Like the price whilst we're testing prices, take your prices off your website, okay? Really important. Next 10 to 20 people picture that 120 pounds. When you sold like three, four, five of them, I want you to consider, putting up to 150. When you sold three, four, five of them at 150, start thinking about putting up to 180. So we're gradually as your confidence grows, we're gradually increment that price, and you'll sell them for more and more.

Rachel: Well, I need one question. We forgot to... And quite a lot of people, I get recommended from people that I've helped. "Oh, so you helped my friend, and they've recommended me to you. If I'm then starting increasing my prices every four to five. And then when you sold it to Phil for 120, no, 150? [Rachel laughing]

Robin: You say, "I'm at full capacity, I'm good at what I do, my coach has told me to put my prices up."

Rachel: Alright, okay. [Rachel laughing]

Robin: Don't feel you've got to justify it, just make it matter of fact to say yeah. Or if you were worried about it, you could just, you could just say, " Do you know what actually, I'll honour James' Price, If that's what James told you, he was happy to honour that."

Rachel: Okay.

Robin: So then there's no problem with that, You don't lose any face either by... You probably get more Goodwill by kind of just saying, "Yeah, I'll go okay for that one." You're not going to be putting, your prices up every five minutes. It's probably going to be like every four to six weeks. You'll get, as your confidence builds, and you pitch for, 10 to 20 people over four to six weeks, confidence builds, we sell four or five, then I'll put my price up. It's not like you'll be changing every day. It's gonna gradually increment, sort of on a monthly bimonthly basis.

Rachel: Okay.

Robin: I would focus to make life easy for yourself. I would focus just on the pricing, for the consultation initially. Don't worry too much about the packages, 'cause you'll sell some packages anyway. But you can use similar techniques, as you learned through applying it to the consultations. You'll start to learn the techniques, which you can then apply to your packages as well.

Rachel: Yes.

Robin: But I'll leave and my parting words for you will be, throughout your sales process, assume a position of leadership. Don't let the client say to you, "Oh, well I only want to book one session." If you're set there and little Fido like tearing the post up, and you're like that dog needs four sessions, you've got to sell that client four sessions, or be prepared to walk away.

Rachel: Okay.

Robin: Because if you're selling them one session, it's to satisfy your own needs to make money -

Rachel: Yes.

Robin: And all times you need to be operating, within the dog and the owner as well... But within the dog's best interests. And clients will try everything they possibly can, to try and tell you what they think they need, and a lot of the time it's wrong. And you've kind of got to just ignore that, and just say, "No, I'm really sorry, Mrs. Smith. "But from what I've seen, "What we discussed in your initial assessment, "And what I've seen in the consultation, "We need at least eight sessions, "cause it's quite a severe problem, "That is going to be close to 400 pounds, "but by the end of it, I can't guarantee anything, "But I'm pretty confident based on what I've seen, "The dogs I've worked with in the past, "That we can resolve that issue, "But it's eight session over eight weeks, "So we can split that down into two payments if you want to."

Rachel: Okay.

Robin: "Oh, but can't we just try four and see how it goes? "No, no, I think you're missing the point here, "It's eight sessions, that's what he needs."

Rachel: Yeah

Robin: yeah so you can almost be like eight sessions, and then, we can see at the end of it where we are.

Rachel: Yeah.

Robin: If he still needs more, if it's even more behavioural, or if we've completed what we're after, but eight sessions is the minimum, that this dog needs kinda thing.

Yep, and you've also got to get into the habit, with your walking clients, unfortunately kind of taking the Mickey here a little bit. because you're doing training, with them mostly out in the walks, but not really paying for that, not at those prices anyway. So, I would consider having a training walk price, which is close to double your normal walk price.

Rachel: Right, okay.

Robin: So normal walk, just take them out, give them a good stretch of the legs, and come back, no training. Training walk is now double the price, of what it was last week.

Rachel: Yeah, 'cause I find that a bit like my dog walking clients, 'cause it was just started up, as a kind of a way to learn as well about dogs behaviour, different dogs and everything like that, learning from each individual. But now I find a lot as a dog walks, does take up a lot of my day, and then I've got to do all my training elements, in an evening because I've booked top of my day, for dog walking. So, yeah I'll have to look at process of dogs walks.

Robin: Definitely, and it might be, so... We'll have a think about it, and you can always kind of find back to me in the group, either in pet professional network, or and confidently charge more group, once you've had a chance, to process today's session, which hopefully has been enjoyable?

Rachel: Yes.

Robin: And keep us posted with your progress as well, share your wins. So if you do go out and seller consultation, for three times the the price, let everybody know, talk about it and share that with us, I'd really appreciate it.

Rachel: I would too.

Robin: Cool, right we there, we at the end of it. We did go for a little bit, I'm afraid. So we're a bit beyond five o'clock, but, if you're watching this and you want a bit of help, in terms of fixing your pet professional business, or any business for that matter, that involves some kind of a service, which you wants to productize, or involves clients and customers that maybe, are pulling you around rather than you being able, to make it work for yourself better. If you want to increase your turnover, then drop me a line. We're always looking for guests to fix your business. And obviously, what we'll also do is, we will share Rachel's details. [bell ringing] You can go and check out Rachel's Rambles, you're on Facebook, aren't you , you've got a Facebook page, you've got Instagram, and also we'll share the website address as well. So if anybody's down in Essex, and wants some help with their dog, obviously you can go and speak to Rachel too. Rachel hopefully that's enjoyable, It's been a real pleasure-

Rachel: Yeah, an eye opener. Like I said before, I've never owned a business, So, actually talking to somebody, that knows how businesses work, and knows how to make money, and make it the most successful business as you can, 'cause I think that's the goal at the end of the day. I want my business to be successful, I don't just wanna five years time and go that was the worst experience of my life. [Rachel and Robin laughing] So, yeah it's been really interesting, really interesting.

Robin: Awesome, I'm pleased to hear it. And what will happen is, you're gonna get a buck for this when you hit two... and I say, when not if, but when you hit 2000 pound a month, in terms of turnover, you'd be like, I want more. How do I get more? And it will keep on escalating from there. If you apply some of the principles you've learned today, you'll have everything you need to go up, 3K, 4K 5K and beyond quite with ease-

Rachel: Okay

Robin: Thank you Rachel.

Rachel: Thank you so much [upbeat music]

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