Pet sitters should always make a point of meeting prospective clients and their pets before agreeing to a job. Some adverts are vague and do not give a full picture of what to expect when you start a new pet sitting job, which is another reason why a meet and greet is so important. What should you include in an initial meet and greet with prospective clients and their pets?
Get to Know the Pets Better
Pet sitters should always make it a priority to get to know clients’ pets better during an initial meet and greet. This means approaching them, stroking them and even accompanying their owners on a walk so that the pets can get used to you and feel more comfortable when you arrive to take care for them.
Do not just focus all your attention on the owners. Get down to Fluffy’s level and see if you are going to be a good fit. Remember that you need to establish a trusting relationship with clients’ pets as quickly as you can, otherwise your arrangement may not work out, pets will be wary of you and prove difficult to handle.
Whenever I set up an appointment for a meet and greet, I always have a notebook handy with questions about the prospective client’s pets. Some of your questions might include the following: Are any of the pets on a special diet? Do they require medication? How often during the day do dogs need to be walked? Does Rover have a toy he always plays with while out for a walk? What commands (if any) do the pet(s) understand?
No question is too trivial to mention at this early stage. After all, the more questions you ask, the better prepared you will be when you have full charge of the pets during the owner’s absence.
At the end of the meet and greet, you should be in a better position to either accept or turn down the pet sitting job. A lot will depend on how well you got on with the client, their pets, and whether you can come to a satisfactory agreement over working conditions, pay and so forth. Once all of these matters have been discussed and agreed upon, you can confirm plans and look forward to your new job.
A meet and greet should become an essential part of your work as a pet sitter, if it is not already. Use this opportunity to see if you would be a good fit for the pets, as you get to know them better, and decide if you would like to accept the job offer.
How to Part on Good Terms with Clients
Pet sitters often find themselves taking on temporary jobs during holiday periods, while pet owners are away or during last minute emergency situations when someone is needed to care for pets. It is often easy to part on good terms with clients you knew from the outset were only hiring you on a temporary basis. But how can you part on good terms with clients who suddenly decide to let you go for no apparent reason?
Do Not Take Things Personally
Many clients are reluctant to disclose the real reason why they are letting their pet sitter go. Some cannot afford to pay them any longer due to a recent job loss, while others are not happy with the pet sitter’s overall job performance. Whatever the reason a client has let you go, it is important to not take things personally.
If a client is vague or will not disclose their reasons to you, do not make things worse by prying and trying to get answers that may never come. This can actually make the situation worse for you.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
No one likes to lose a client and pet sitters are no different. Pet sitters want to do all that they reasonably can to keep clients happy and satisfied with the services they provide.
However, there is something worse than losing a client and that is parting on bad terms. If you part badly, then this will follow you around long after you have left. You cannot expect to receive a good reference or letter of recommendation and your reputation may also suffer. That is why it is so important to maintain a positive attitude and to press on. Take at least one positive thought away with you when you leave and try to think of that, rather than the reasons why you left in the first place.
Wish Them Well
As much as you might want to give a former client a piece of your mind, this is not the way you should part! Avoid temptation by wishing former clients well. If you cannot bring yourself to do so in person, call them, send them an email or a card and include your best wishes for the future. Include their pets too and let them know what a delight it was to care for their pets.
If you leave on a positive note, this will be the last thing clients will remember about you. They may well reconsider their decision and call on you later on to start pet sitting for them again.
When a pet sitting client decides to let you go, draw positive lessons from the experience. That way, you will be able to successfully part on good terms without any residual bad feelings.