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  • Grooming is worth it

    Some people just don't seem to understand what grooming is like. They think it's just a bath.I get so excited when i get a call, then it immediatly goes away when they offer to call me back. I am trying to get clients and besides people that I know, everyone seems to not want to book because of my prices. Well ok only 2 people, but that's 2 out of 3 calls. I just put an ad in the paper so Iv'e gotten 3 calls so far. I groomed one which was a jack russel who took about 20 min, not even that long if he wasn't so dramatic with his nails. Anyway... the lady gladly paid me for 20 min of work. I got another call from a shihtzu, I told her my price and she said she would call back...nope! Then today I get a call for an akita, I told the man my price, he sounded kind of shocked then said he would talk to is wife. Maybe I'm jumping the gun here, but I feel like nobodys going to want to spend the money to get the grooming their dogs deserve. I don't want to be grooming an 801b dog for a lower price just so I get a client. I think my prices are reasonable, the owners just don't relaize that it's hard work. Uuuugggghhh!

  • #2
    don't lower your prices, i made that mistake when i started and felt that i worked so hard for nothing people don't understand how hard we work,now i've gotten rid of a lot of those cheap clients and replaced them with ones that are willing to pay what i charge i love it when i ask them if they want an idea of the price and they say,oh i dont care what you charge just take care of my baby!you now you will have a client for a while when they say that.

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    • #3
      Don't worry. It will pick up. I had the same thing happen. Business is getting much better and tomorrow I am taking my trilaer to the Phila Pet Expo. It does not start till Friday, but I have to be one of the first ones in the door to be able to manouver my trailer around. I am hoping this will be my big break.
      If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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      • #4
        I had a lot of this when I first open. I think most were just price shopping to see if I was lower. I am the same as the other groomers around here (I set my prices with them, they even told me what they charge). I still get this once in a while. Don't lower your prices if you are inline with everyone else. They will come around it just takes time.

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        • #5
          I thought that I would throw a suggestion in. See if you can talk to a vet or two in your area that could refer you. We get a lot of business referring to vets (and we refer to them). People feel an extra confidence knowing that their vet said that the groomer was "ok".
          Hang in there, and I know that things will get better for you!
          Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

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          • #6
            When people call for a price quote, dont give the price right away.
            Ask a few questions, explain your services that you use the shampoo appropriate for his skin type, you are well-versed in styles...play yourself up if you must. Go into all the relaxing, happy ways their pet will enjoy his stay with you...make small talk...then go into the price.

            I get those calls that start with 'how much do you charge...' all groomers do. Ask a few questions about their pet, most customers will tell you 'he's old, but acts like a youngster' they can give you a few lead-ins to small talk. If your prices are higher than most in the area explain why they are. Do you NOT keep the dog all day, do you use natural products, are dogs NOT cage-dried. All these points are important. There are no guarantees and you will always get those who dont call back.

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            • #7
              I have to agree that this is normal when you first open a business. We also got a ton of price shoppers calling when we opened. Think of it this way: Do you really want the customers who will jump ship as soon as they find someone else willing to do the job for $2 less?

              Stick to your pricing & believe that you are worth every penny! Pretty soon others will start to see it too.

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              • #8
                Do not lower your prices. You have to hang in there until your business starts rolling. If you work for cheap you'll be miserable and you'll want to quit. It takes time. I've had many days go by without a call and then I get lucky. Yay! Ringing phone! I agree with Groom Saloon. Talk up your business. Tell them about yourself, your grooming philosopy. Try to connect with the person on the other end of the phone line. After you do groom a dog, ask the customer to tell their friends about you. Give them some extra cards. As said, go to vets. Park in front of schools at 3 pm. If you see someone walking a dog while you are in your van, pull over and give the owner a card. Invite them to look inside at your spotless van. Let people know you love your job. It will happen. You can make it happen. Yes, grooming is worth it.
                www.gomobileandsucceed.com
                http://thesuccessfulpetgroomer.com

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                • #9
                  It's pretty common when you're starting, and even the longer-established salons get the bargain-hunter calls. I used to think it was just me, until I talked to another groomer in my city-she often gets the same people calling about prices, say they have to get back to you, and then don't. And she's very well-established. Don't shortchange yourself by going too low on your prices. If you are fair, a reasonable customer will respect that. And you want reasonable customers. Price-hagglers usually end up being a pain in the butt nehow.

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                  • #10
                    I don't know why people always expect a bargain when you're coming TO THEIR DOOR. I just don't get it.

                    Anyway, how are you approaching the person's question? Do you immediately tell them the price? If it were me, I'd tell them, "Oh, an Akita? That includes....bla bla bla...all of that for $XX , right at your front door."

                    Ok, that's a little cheesy but you get the picture. IT is hard to build a clientele at first I'm sure (I'm not mobile), but they'll trickle in one by one, and eventually you'll be quite the established business.

                    Sweetpea, I had no idea you were mobile.

                    Tammy in Utah
                    Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                    • #11
                      Thanks everyone, I knew I would get positive feedback. I guess I do need to do a little chitty chat before I blurt out the price, Ijust need to get used to it I guess. Also my other thing that keeps me from talking to much is my confidence at this point. I almost feel like I should say a lower price because I just get scared, now I'm in charge of everything for once, I don't have someone telling me what to say, how to answer the phone bla bla. I know I do quality work though, I guess that's just something I will get to prove to the clients who choose to let me.

                      Spikey: Yep I'm mobile! I decided about 1/2 way through my grooming apprenticeship that I did not want to work in a shop and started saving up for it ever since. My old boss "teacher" even said that I would do better without a boss, she didn't say it in a bad way though. Anyway, here's my little van I saved up for, it still has some work to be done but that's why I still have my other job, because I didn't want to take out a loan, but this baby is paid for.
                      ----Guess not, I don't know how to resize the picture, it said my file is too big. Well I'll figure it out and put it on here later---

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                      • #12
                        No Worries!

                        It's funny - but no matter how long you are in business, you will still get price shoppers. A recent thread here was how do I stop all of the phone time.... Well, part of the stopping of the phone time is being able to weed out your phone calls. All of my calls go directly to my voicemail. My message is very detailed (no it does not offer pricing), asking for very detailed information from this potential client. At the end of the day, I listen to my messages and return those that are most worthy first. You will find that the people requesting pricing in their message are not those that will book with you. Those are the messages that I return last, and I do not go through my entire schpiel with them. It wastes too much time for them to say "Oh, I have to talk with my wife/husband". Instead, I like to shock them with the price first. When the conversations dies, I end with "Mobile grooming is a luxury service". I politely thank them for their interest.

                        You will book them, it may take awhile, but they will come. Just as others have said, start networking with vets, kennels without groomers, and other mobilers. We are a nice bunch that always lvoe to refer our overflow out.

                        Good Luck!

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                        • #13
                          Take your business cards with you everwhere you go. Sometimes stores have a bulletin board you can leave a few on. And with the warm weather coming there will be outdoor events, parades,fairs,etc. Put your business card and a dog bisciut in a little cellophane or ziplock bag and hand them out anywhere you can. Don't be shy about approacing people. The more people see your name the better. Ask if you can leave your cards in different businesses and take a few of their cards to pass around in exchange. It doesn't have to be a dog related business, the people will notice your card because they have a dog. Use your business cards, if you still have a full box of them they are not helping you. Once you get a few customers and they pass your name to their friends you will be surprised how busy you will be.

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                          • #14
                            Only once

                            did I get a customer who's first question right away was how much do you charge. If they ask about the services etc.it is likely a customer. The one time though helped me to still give a speil even if I feel negative when that is the first question.

                            This might help you build your confidence. Think if you had a beloved precious dog and wanted a groomer. Then think about your demeaner. Wouldn't you love to take your baby to someone as nice and gentle as yourself? So if you would like to use your services, think how lucky your new clients are and speak in that manner.

                            Once you get the few they recommend etc. etc. It's like the snowball rolling down hill, getting bigger and bigger.

                            Good for you.
                            Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.

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                            • #15
                              I had a client put me in tears once.. I did a bath and brush on his akita.. LH akita.. When I picked up I told him the price.. He flipped.. he had been all over the US and never paid that much for her... chewed me out big time.... I was balling when he left, as I had only been open 3 months.. He called me the next day and apologized.. He had gotten home and realized the difference and thrilled at the job... This dog was 11 and she had never come home looking that good...

                              She passed on shortly after, but I groomed his new akita for years after that... And he also sent me many customers...

                              so the point of the story is prices can be scary to customers, but if you talk to them and get them to realize the purpose for your prices... I have a range... I tell them they can pop in I can meet their dog and go over grooming specs and such and give them a better price...

                              They usually feel better when they know they are getting their moneys worth..

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