Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Ideal Client

Recently, I was listening to an audiobook called Book Yourself Solid: the fastest, easiest, and most reliable system for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if you Hate Marketing and Selling by Michael Port and Tim Sanders. Although it seems at first glance to be a handbook for pulling in huge numbers of people, the book actually emphasizes quality over quantity. By cultivating relationships with clients who are very compatible with your services and your philosophies, you are more likely to do your very best work. When you are exactly what your clients have been looking for and your clients are exactly who you want to serve, everybody wins.

As an exercise, the book recommends making out a list of qualities you would expect to find in your ideal clients. As you might expect from someone with perfectionist tendencies, my list is probably too long and certainly too detailed, but here it is!

My ideal client:
  • continually seeks education about pet care and solicits, listens to, and values my expertise as a pet professional

  • understands or accepts the limitations of grooming with regard to coat condition and pet behavior and respects my professional judgment

  • keeps their pet on a regular grooming schedule and in a length that is compatible with the upkeep they are willing to do at home, the lifestyle of the pet, and the pet's tolerance for maintenance

  • has their pet spayed or neutered for the health of their pet and to help prevent overpopulation and bad behavior

  • keep appointments and arrives roughly on time, especially during busy times of year

  • is flexible with pick-up time and allows me to call when their pet is finished

  • makes sure that their pets' biological needs are taken care of before drop-off

  • really appreciates the value of a precise, quality haircut

  • controls their pet with a leash or carrier, cleans up after their pet outside, and generally ensures that their pet doesn't offend, scare, or injure anyone in or around the shop

  • understands that accidents can happen when sharp objects and moving pets come together and does what they can to teach their pets good grooming manners, keeps them in good shape to minimize their risk of irritation and injury, and closely watches any minor scrapes that do occur to make sure that the pet doesn't fuss with them and make them more serious

  • is open and detailed with medical history, aggression problems, and other information that are pertinent to grooming and can help make the grooming process as smooth as possible

  • understands and appreciates the standards of sterilization and sanitation I make at the shop to help prevent the spread of infection, parasites, and disease but also realizes that there are risks associated with taking your pet out in public and takes responsibility for keeping their pet healthy

  • when the condition or behavior of their pet forces a change in grooming plan, my ideal client trusts me to do what is best for their pet and says things like, "Do what you think is best"

  • is generous and honest in their feedback and refers others who can benefit from my services