Why do I keep attracting the wrong clients?
Why do I Keep Attracting the Wrong Clients?
Are your ideal clients in your area?
So, if you want wealthy clients, are they in your area? Now, for some of you, they’re not in your immediate area but they’re within a short drive. A short drive is always relative to where you live. If you live somewhere near those clients, they’ll come to you if they know where you are.
If you do have wealthy areas, you have to make sure that you’re actually communicating to those wealthy areas that you are available. If they don’t know you’re there, then they can’t use you.
Are you providing the appropriate level of service?
Maybe you’re really happy being Dunkin’ Donuts, maybe you’re really happy being McDonald’s. There are grooming salons that are really good at being the Walmart of the grooming industry.
The more high end the client, the more needy they are, which is incredibly frustrating sometimes. You don’t have to offer high-end. When I talk about high-end stuff, it’s honestly because there are so few groomers doing high-end well.
Do you act high end to your ideal client?
Do you look high end? What does that mean?
If I walk into your salon, are things clean and do they smell clean? Your salon should not smell like dirty, wet dog, because it’s disgusting and generally speaking, it’s a really big turn off to high end clients. I know sometimes there really is nothing that you can do.
In my grooming salon, we used to have the whole salon smell like cookies. We either used South Bark Blueberry facial - it’s like blueberry and clove. Or we used a sugar cookie fragrance. People would walk in and go, “Wow, it smells delicious in here!” That immediately created trust and it immediately put us in a different category business-wise.
Do you and your employees have a professional appearance?
Having wet, furry jeans is not attractive. Wearing a T-shirt covered in dog hair is not attractive.
To that high-end client, we may immediately go from someone who is a professional to someone who is not an authority figure; and that’s a big problem if you want someone to trust you enough to spend a lot of money on your service.
There are lots of companies that make really professional-looking smocks. I would personally suggest picking a smock color that makes sense with your branding. If your brand color is green, wearing a teal or a pink top doesn’t really make sense. However, if you are mainly green and you want to wear brown, that makes sense. Don’t go crazy with your colors. For example, I would do a teal top and black pants. Because too much of one color is just a bit much. Don’t pick colors that look unflattering to you. In a perfect world, you and your employees would at least wear complementary things.
Is your branding considered vulgar or too cutesy in a way that people can’t take you seriously?
If I am a high-end client, Doggy Style is gross. It’s a sex position, it’s not the name of a grooming salon. It’s clever, but not in a professional way. Now with cat grooming, you can probably imagine that there are some names like The Wet Pussy or The Shaved Pussy - that is not appropriate branding. Nobody wants to say, “I’m dropping my cat off at The Wet Pussy.” Some people think it’s funny, but is that your ideal client? Is your ideal client someone who has no problem with being vulgar?
On the flipside, sometimes names are just way too silly. I don’t want to call anyone out specifically, but we all know the names. It’s like Princess’s Perfect Puppy. What adult professional woman would be like, “Yeah, I bring my dog to Princess’s Perfect Puppy.” Can you imagine their conversation with a colleague? These cutesy names are hard to find, hard to spell, and they’re not really clear. Being clever is fun, but being clear is more important.
Is your website clear?
You don’t want to have a giant wall of text that no one is ever going to read. A lot of times I find that the information is not up to date. I can’t figure out where you are. If I have to search for that, that’s a problem. Where’s your phone number? There’s no clear-cut way of contacting this company at all.
I owned a business called Shear Bliss, “Shear” like scissors. My clients consistently put in sheer like s- h- e- e- r, and they would write checks to that. It just got crazy and I had to simplify that because clients were confused. Confused clients don’t buy. Also, confused clients aren’t completely on board and confident in your branding.
So look through your website and really say, “If I had no idea who you are, could I get an appointment? Why would I pick you? Is this clear and concise?”
Review your logo. I don’t recommend having a logo that looks like it’s a Disney character. Even if they’re well done, I don’t know many high-end people that are attracted to overly cartoon-y logos. If I look at high-end companies, their logos are simple, clean, and easy to understand.
My business name was clear enough that people would know what I do, without having to have a picture of a pet in my logo. If, without a picture of a pet, people don’t have any idea what you do, then that’s a problem.
Do you look high end to your ideal client?
Do I appeal to my ICA (ideal client avatar)? You should know your ideal client inside and out.
For example, my clients appreciated the fact that I was just very straightforward,an “it is what it is” type of person. Maybe your clients want a little bit more kindness and to take it easy.
Do your policies reflect your ideal client?
People who are more high end, tend to be more high maintenance. You’re going to have to create policies that cater to these clients. If you ran a Walmart-style business, you wouldn’t tell everyone they have to come in monthly. It doesn't make sense. These clients are more likely to come in irregularly - that’s every 4, 6, or 12 month clients. They’re not regular monthly clients. The reality is that people shopping for a bargain, or being a little bit cheaper, generally are not going to stay on a consistent basis.
Whereas with high end, it’s really easy to create that monthly grooming appointment policy, because you’re already creating a situation where you’re creating exclusivity and a higher price point, so your policies are going to reflect that.
If you have a Starbucks-style business, you may want to make sure that your policies are clear cut, but have a little bit more understanding. Personally, I find it very difficult to pick up my dog within 30 minutes of a phone call, because I’m busy. I can’t drop my dog off anywhere for between 2 and 4 hours and then only have 30 minutes to pick up my dog. You can’t give me a two hour window and then expect me to drop everything and drive back. Why? Because I’m generally doing something, I’m either working on a call, I’m getting lunch, or whatever it is. It’s really difficult for higher end clients. Giving a client a more reasonable window is more realistic. Or not charging somebody if they drop the dog off and can’t get back within 30 minutes. Make sure your policies reflect that person’s mindset.
You also want to make sure - are you treating that client like a number or like a person? If you want a high-end business, you have to treat people like they’re important. They’re willing to put their money down because they want to feel important. They want to feel like they are heard. They want to know that what they are doing is going to be taken care of.
Thank you all so much for reading this blog, Why do I Keep Attracting the Wrong Clients? Be sure to visit me at SavvyGroomer.com to see my current opportunities to work with me in growing your pet grooming business plus more free resources for you to learn. See you in our community on Facebook - Savvy Pet Professionals (Facebook.com/groups/savvygroomer)! As always, Happy Grooming