You want to make the biggest possible difference in the lives of clients and their dogs. You want to see the bond between them grow, see their relationship develop into joyful, mutually-rewarding companionship.
Want to know the best way to ensure that happens? Here’s the simple secret: It’s more time with YOU. The more you’re in their lives, the more likely dogs and their people are to succeed. And the more they succeed, the more you do, too.
That means moving away from one-off consults or a few follow ups to training packages designed to promote the best possible success for you and your clients.
Here are our top package tips…
Package with purpose
Whether you create pre-set packages for clients to choose from or fashion packages customized to each client’s goals and needs, do it with purpose. Leave behind randomly-sized packages (4-packs, 6-packs, etc.) in favor of packages designed to address a specific need, such as puppy raising, basic manners, leash reactivity, etc. Clients are more likely to purchase a package that speaks directly to their issue, making them easier to sell.
Here’s an extra pro tip: If at all possible, create separate pages on your website for each type of case or issue you work with, or at least those you specialize in. This allows clients to fast track straight to the information most relevant to them and see that you offer a ready-made solution (or are standing by to create a tailor-made one for them).
Bigger is better
Set down your concern about what people will or will not pay for. Your job isn’t to save people money, it’s to provide training solutions. Every time you let fear dictate selling less training than is actually needed, you set yourself, your client, and their dog up for potential failure.
All cases, clients, and dogs are different and we can’t guarantee specific outcomes. But what we absolutely can and must do is insist on enough training to make a difference. Your packages need to be of a size to give clients a solid chance of reaching their goals. Clients must have at least enough time to attain significant progress and momentum, and to learn the skills they need to keep that progress rolling if they haven’t yet gotten where they mean to go.
When you feel queasy about creating and selling professional packages, repeat this dogbiz mantra: Underselling is underserving.
Keep choices limited
Our inner customer service reps can be tempted to offer clients lots of options. Beware: too many package choices can lead to potential clients making no choice at all. The goal is to make decision making easy. A good rule of thumb is to keep choices limited to two to three packages for any given issue. (And just one is perfectly fine!)
Your choices should have purpose—for example, you might be offering the choice between working in-person or online. Or between day training (you training the dog) or coaching (them learning to train their dog), or even board & train.
In most cases (puppies being a notable exception) avoid package options based purely on size or length of package, unless your smallest package is plenty sizeable to get the job done and you’re simply using the larger option(s) to make that one look more attractive. Bottom line: never offer options you don’t want dog lovers to take! There’s nothing more frustrating and disappointing for all involved than a client choosing a 4-session package for a 10-session problem.
Let your creativity fly
In this new era of training, with all we’ve learned from adapting to the pandemic, there are so many new ideas to play with. Step outside the box to reimagine your training services. What kinds of package features can you incorporate to better support clients toward their goals (and toward your trainer goals for them)?
Consider online options and all the flexibility they provide to play with session length and frequency, for example. Or all the ways you can combine elements. Are there ways you might combine in-person and online pieces in your packages? Individual and group sessions? Could you add extra support options like Facebook groups, online homework, pre-recorded videos, video review sessions, office hours, and the like?
The possibilities are endless for differentiating your services, providing stronger support and better training outcomes than ever before, and crafting a way of working that plays to your individual strengths and preferences—all while increasing your income, too.
Excited about all the possibilities but feel like you could use some support to figure out what it means for you? Schedule one-on-one time with a friendly dogbiz consultant or become part of our THRIVE! group coaching community of R+ trainers.