5 Ways To Win Over Clients

5 Ways To Win Over Clients

win over clients

Whether you have just met a client for the first time or this is their last scheduled session, all 5 of these techniques are important to use to maintain a lasting relationship between trainer and dog owner.

1. Empathy

This requires exceptional communication and a great imagination. Express understanding of what the client is feeling. Employ active listening skills and clarify the situation they are experiencing. All of these are learned, no one is born with this ability. Take the time to memorize some open-ended and non-judgmental questions to use when clarifying what a client is saying. Keep the questions on an index card somewhere you will see them just before a client session. ‘When you said….what did that mean?’ Or simply paraphrase what they said and ask if that is correct. Don’t be critical of the client, their methods or equipment.

Related Article: The Best Approach for Addressing Aversives and Equipment with New Clients

2. Use Their Name

Remember their name (not just the dog’s). We can tell you a dog’s name from 8 and a half years ago without blinking. Find a way to remember the human’s name as well! Use their name to address them when first greeting, instructing and leaving. Think about how great it feels when you hear your own name through a warm smile as you enter a room.

3. Use Humor

Comedians don’t come up with everything on stage right there on the spot. They plan ahead for those moments. Practice getting laughter out of people. Think of slightly awkward situations dog owners get into and make light of it, by telling a story of yourself going through the same embarrassment. We have all been there!

4. Show Appreciation

Say ‘thank you’ & make eye contact, not just ‘um, thanks’. Handwritten notes, however small can go a long way. Send a personalized note with a picture of their dog as a follow-up. Ask if you may share a picture of their dog on your business Facebook page to show how proud you are of their progress. When you are thinking of someone – let them know by texting, calling or emailing. ‘I was at this cute little boutique downtown and they had a Newfoundland hand towel – it made me think of Nora & you!’

5. Under Promise & Over Deliver

Getting a thoughtful gift is over delivering. Anticipate their needs with a Kong or other toy (braided old t-shirt) for their first puppy ever. Be careful about what you promise. Specifying that they will be called at a certain time may be setting them up for disappointment if something unexpected pops up.

“Promise your commitment, but never a specific outcome” – Dee Hoult Applause Your Paws Inc.

Sometimes you won’t see the immediate effects of employing these 5 ways to win over clients, but they will always remember what made them feel appreciated! Years later a dog owner may run into you on the street and express how wonderful a trainer you were for them and their pet, even if they clearly weren’t doing their homework some weeks.

Which of these have you already been using and which will you add to your repertoire? What others would you add to this list?

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Interacting Professionally With “Traditional” Trainers

Interacting Professionally With “Traditional” Trainers

Interacting Professionally With "Traditional" Trainers

Interacting Professionally Online and In-Person With A Variety Of Dog Trainers

Traditional trainers (those who introduce physical corrections into their training of some sort)  are as passionate about their training methods as force-free trainers are about their methods.  Unfortunately, this can often cause confrontations when the two types of trainers come together, either in person or via the internet.  Arguing is stressful and non-productive, so what are some options for gracefully handling these interactions?

(As an aside, the vast majority of traditional trainers are not interested in arguing and being rude to force-free trainers – this article is to help when dealing with the small minority that revel in being hostile.)

Turn The Other Cheek

Often traditional trainers start slinging around names and insults to rile up force-free trainers.  Though it can be frustrating, you should try to ignore this.  On the other hand, take the higher ground and do not reciprocate by throwing derogatory terms and names back at them.

Don’t Get Pulled In

Sometimes the easiest option is to walk away.  If you know that you are not going to be able to retain your composure whilst discussing your side, give yourself the power to remove yourself.  Getting riled up is not going to affect the other person.  It will simply make you miserable and possibly reflect badly on your reputation.

Agree To Disagree

Often you just reach a point in conversations where the discussion is going in circles.  Your mind is not going to change and neither is their’s.  At this point, agree to disagree.  Continuing the conversation is going to accomplish nothing other than to annoy you and waste your time. Ending the conversation this way will preserve your sanity and reputation.

Know Your Facts

Before getting involved in discussions, make sure you know your facts.  Be prepared to cite books, articles, and other reputable resources that show the power of positive reinforcement.  If you are confident about your training methods and why you use them, having the resources to back up your arguments will be helpful.

Above all, remember that positive reinforcement works for people, too.  So often, force-free trainers are so passionate about their techniques that they get riled up and lash out when challenged.  Arguing will not change minds.  Use your personal dogs and the dogs you train as good examples of the power of force-free training. Always keep in mind that everyone is working towards the same goals, you are just pursuing different pathways to get there.

What do you recommend for interactions with traditional trainers who want to argue?

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Receive valuable dog training business tips and resources every week! Subscribe to The Modern Dog Trainer now by submitting your name and email below.


3 Ways To Incorporate Your Client’s Children In Training

3 Ways To Incorporate Your Client’s Children In Training

Involve The Whole Family In Training

When working with a family and their dog, the children are always excited to help mom and dad train their dog. Parents often push the kids to the side and get frustrated when they keep interrupting. Instead of continually being interrupted, you can incorporate the children in the training. Here are three ways to incorporate your client’s children in training.

Children in training

1. Recall Games

Children love high energy games, whether they are running or the dogs are. Recall games are a great way to incorporate the client’s children because it can get the dog running and wear them out. Have the children stand across the living room and practice calling the dog’s name once and treat when the dog arrives. They’ll think it’s amazing when the dog listens. Eventually they can play hide and seek and have the dog find them throughout the house. This is also a great bonding game for the dog and children and turns their children into rewards for the dog.

2. Treat Deliverer

This idea would be geared toward the better listener in the family. An example would be working on crate training. If mom or dad has the clicker, just let the child know that whenever they hear a click, they are to give a treat to the dog. When the dog enters the crate and mom or dad click, the child can then deliver a treat to the dog or drop it in the crate.

3. Distraction Training

Children are a big distraction to dogs, and their movements can also be highly alarming to them. You can use their quick movements to proof their dog’s current behaviors or desensitize a worried dog to the child. In the beginning, have the child move slowly and then work up to quicker movements.

Children love to feel like they are being useful. With some simple tweaks to training, children can certainly be incorporated. Once children reach a certain age and maturity, they could even take over training. Training is a great way to bond with their dog, and a pleasant, respectful relationship between children and their dog is important in a family. The next time you have an interruptive child at your training session, don’t allow the parent to get flustered, suggest they help instead.

What are some other ways you, as a trainer, can incorporate children throughout the training process?

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How To Set Up The Free Mail Chimp Newsletter Service

How To Set Up The Free Mail Chimp Newsletter Service

Using email newsletters is currently the best way to reach existing and potential clients. Email newsletters let you continue to provide value to your existing clients. They also help you reach out to potential clients who want to know more about you are and what you do. Receiving client’s emails through an email newsletter service, like MailChimp, gives you legal permission to contact them in the future to raise awareness about services you could offer them.

This step-by-step guide to getting your free MailChimp email newsletter account set up will get you started.

Create an Account

Click their red “Sign Up Now” button in the top right corner of the window. Use your business’ email address and a creative password to create your account.

set up an email newsletter

Don’t forget to verify your email before moving forward.

Confirm You Are Human

Once you click the blue “activate account”button in your email, you’ll need to confirm that you are indeed a human by completing the phrase from the reCAPTCHA.

set up an email newsletter 2


Set Up Your Profile

Next it will take you to the “set up your profile” page. Complete this page as completely as possible. Make sure to put in your real name, website address, and a physical mailing address (legally required).

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Set Up a Email List

Next you’ll want to create a sign up form so that people can submit their emails to sign up on your website. Select “Create a List” in the botton row.

how to set up an email newsletterGive your list a name (like “The Modern Dog Trainer Main List”), a default “from email,” and a default “from name” that people will recognize.

Once your list is created, select the “create a sign up form” option:

how to set up mail chimp


Select the “Embedded Forms” option to create a form you can put on any website.

Creating Your Sign Up Form

Set your sign up form title. Something like “Subscribe to Our Newsletter!” works just fine. Experienced email marketers usually offer a free PDF ebook with simple and fun information in exchange for an email address, but this isn’t always necessary.

Here we recommend only asking for the basic necessities like your reader’s first and last name and email address. The easier it is for them to sign up, the more likely they will be to register. Some sites only ask for email addresses, but it may be to your advantage to recognize clients as they sign up for services.

Set the form width to something between 200 and 300 pixels. Then copy and paste the form onto your website’s sidebar.

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Content For Your Newsletter

Once people sign up through the form, people will be expecting contact from you pretty quickly. If you wait too long before sending the first email, they may forget they even signed up for your newsletter in the first place. Make sure that your first contact with your new follower includes information that they will find useful and valuable. For example, you can think about what the most behavior issues you encounter are and provide quick and easy tips to help with management and prevention.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial about how to set up an email newsletter using MailChimp! Don’t forget to share this valuable information with your friends.

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