What’s the Value of Your Services?

The veterinary profession has suffered financially with the downturn in the economy the last few years.  Many dog trainers and behavior consultants who are our customers say the same thing, that business isn’t as good as it used to be.  Interestingly, statistics indicate that the pet industry as a whole hasn’t been hurt too badly by the country’s (and the world’s, really) economic woes.  Spending on high end pet products and services has actually increased.

One of the factors in play here is that although people may be watching their pennies, they continue to buy things they see as providing significant value for the price.  Experts in the veterinary field admit they have not done a good job in the past of  “communicating and demonstrating the value of the services we’re providing”.*

What about you and your behavior or training business?  Do you believe your customers understand the true value of the services you offer?  Based on our own personal experience, we’d guess only a relatively small percentage do.  Part of the reason is that because so much information is available for free people may come to expect more “freebies” than they should.  On the other hand, sometimes you have to give potential clients something for free that will allow them to develop a relationship with you and trust you with their hard earned money.

But another important factor is that, like the veterinary profession, we as providers of behavior services don’t always do a great job of making the value of what we do clear.  We also need to get creative about adding value to our services while keeping them profitable.

One technique is to do a comparison.  For example if the family dogs continue to fight, having their injuries treated is likely to cost much more than your behavior consulting package.  Not to mention the quality of life for the dogs themselves and the danger to the family if someone must intervene in a conflict.

Another strategy is to emphasize everything included in your services that you already add on without making the “value added” clear.  If an appointment with you includes handouts or worksheets (like the many we have available for members of our Behavior Education Network) then tweak what you say, and tell prospective clients an appointment includes a personalized education packet. 

If you know how to make your website and other online tools work for you, you can put the delivery of additional, follow-up information to and contacts with your clients on automatic, saving you significant time while adding value that can keep you way ahead of your competition.

Making your website work for you is just one of five strategies to grow your business in non-traditional ways we’ll be telling you more about during our very special break out session for pet behavior professionals during our “fantastic voyage” with The Jim Boat 2013 business cruise.  We’ve been on this cruise for the past five years and this time we are extremely excited to have the opportunity to offer a special section for our group of pet professionals – a first EVER for the Jim Boat.

Jim Edwards is our business coach and mentor (hence, the Jim Boat!).  Go HERE to learn more about Jim and our relationship with him and about our special session on the cruise  "Five Crucial Strategies To Expand Your Local Dog Training and Behavior Consulting Business into a Pet Behavior and Training Information Business".   You can also watch the replay of the Ebook Success Blueprint webinar HERE that Jim did with us this past summer. 

Jim will be doing a special informational webinar about the cruise on September 26th at 5pm Mountain time so if you have even an inkling you are ready to discover how you can create a whole new aspect to your business while hanging out with us for a week in the beautiful Caribbean you’ll want to tune in.  CLICK HERE to register for the information webinar.

*JAVMA News, 2011.  JAVMA 238 (11): 1369-70.



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