5 Things a Meet and Greet is Not

Are you making any of these critical mistakes at your dog walking meet & greets? If so, it's never too late to streamline your process. Avoiding these common blunders will boost your prospective client's first impression of you, save you time, plus prevent unnecessary stress and burnout.

Meet and greets are not:

#1 Job Interviews

Yes, a meet & greet is time for prospective clients to get to know you. But you should be the one interviewing them, not vice versa. Take charge as soon as you arrive by greeting them and their dog, then asking where the best place to sit down and chat is.

Let them know:

  • You'll be asking them questions to learn more about their dog so you'll know what to expect during walks.
  • You'll go over your policies and service agreement and logistics (such as access to the home). 
  • And you'll answer any questions they may have.
  • Then dive in!

#2 Time for New Clients to Dictate the Service You'll Offer

Don't get pushed into providing a service that you don't want to do, or letting the client tell you when and how to do your job. Have clear services that you offer and stick to them. Tell the potential client upfront what services you offer before going to the meet & greet so you don't waste your time, or theirs. 

#3 Time to Tell Potential Clients Your Rates for the First Time

The meet & greet should not be the first time potential clients hear your rates. If they don't know the cost, you might end up wasting a lot of time meeting with someone who is just price shopping. Go over rates with new inquiries when setting up the meet & greet, not at it. Don't waste your time only to find out they can't afford your service. 

#4 An Opportunity for Prospective Clients to Haggle

Your rates are your rates. Allowing a new client to negotiate a discount starts your relationship out on the wrong foot. Not only does it cost you money, it shows the client you might waiver on pricing in the future, as well as your policies. If they ask for a discount, simply say no, and don't apologize (unless of course you are offering a promotion of some sort, in which case let them know the details of the promotion and when it ends).

#5 Time to Make Exceptions

It can be tempting, especially when you really need new clients, to make exceptions to your policies or accept dogs that in your gut you feel are not a good fit. It can be hard to turn a prospective client down, I get it. 

If you're unsure and not ready to decide if the client is a good fit, thank them and let them know you'll be in touch within a certain time period (say 24-48 hours) so you can review the info they provided and ensure your company will be a good fit to meet their needs. Note I did NOT say whether their dog will be a good fit for your company- that's intentional. Saying your company is not the best fit for them if that's the case is a much kinder way to address the issue without offending the dog's owner.

You don't want to take clients that you'll need to let go in the future or seem desperate for business with the unintended side effect of being wishy-washy. This works against you, your long term business goals and your success rate of booking new clients. Keep working to fill the spot with a client who is the correct fit instead.