When you receive an inquiry from a prospective client, it’s important to establish a rapport, including sharing first names and the names/breed of their animals. People love to talk about their pets! Keep your tone and dialogue enthusiastic as you dive into the first and obvious questions which include the type of service needed and the client’s location. Does the client live in your service area and are you able to help them? If you only offer dog walks and cat visits and the client needs in-home boarding, refer them to a provider in your referral network, including another AOPP member!

The next important question to ask is their required dates of service. Are you and/or your staff available for the dates your prospect will be traveling? It may be helpful to ask about their itinerary, including the time of day they are leaving and time of return. Knowing their itinerary details can help you with scheduling.

If “so far so good,” taking a deeper dive into pet details will be the crux of your conversation as animals are individually unique with specific needs. A dog’s breed, age, size, general disposition and health should be explored in greater depth at this point. Does your furry guest require medications or insulin injections, frequent potty breaks or meals during the day, outdoor exercise or suffer from separation anxiety? If caring for a cat, are they prone to hide upon your arrival or will they want to cuddle and purr with you? Ask leading questions to get a feel for the pet’s personality including the client’s expectations based on their past experiences with pet sitters.

When discussing your services with new Clients, including value-added “extras”, such as fetching a client’s mail, watering indoor plants, taking the garbage bin in/out may or may not apply. You may want to charge a little more for these helpful household chores if you are only in the client’s home briefly to leash their pup for a walk or refresh food and water bowls.

The AoPP Client & Pet Profile form in our Members Library of Content is a template to assist our Members in obtaining general information in preparation of caring for their Clients’ pet(s). It includes comprehensive household information that may or may not apply based on the specific service you offer. If you don’t have a pet sitter software program to capture client and pet details (if you’re an AoPP Member you’ll find a special deal on the one we love in the Preferred Vendors section in our Members Only area), this form is a good start! The form is not designed to replace a legal agreement. Consider checking out Better Legal for their professional services as featured on our Preferred Vendors page in our Members area.