Getting ghosted is seriously the worst, am I right?!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from pet business owners that they get lots of potential client inquiries for dog walking services, pet sitting reservations, and dog trainer packages, but then… it’s just crickets.
Something I like to remind petpreneurs: These people don’t all of a sudden NOT need your services. They likely just found someone else who helped them quicker and/or more professionally than you (sounds harsh, but it’s true… and totally easy to fix!).
So, here are 5 reasons why you might be getting ghosted and how to turn it around.
Side note: Just because you think you AREN’T getting ghosted doesn’t mean you’re not. Because you have no idea how many people are showing up on your website and don’t even take the next step to reach out to you. I’m telling you now there are people who have gone to your website and left without booking, and it’s a shame. It’s also lost moolah in your pocket. So, let’s go through the reasons and see if you can make these simple changes for a better conversion rate (aka more clients saying YES!).
1. You’re not allowing them to move forward immediately, even if you can’t be there in person.
This is the BIGGEST thing you can do to avoid getting ghosted. We live in a digital age where we get things right away, so if you have one of the typical responses like, "We'll get back to you within 24-48 business hours,” it’s business lost. They’ll be on to your competitor who was able to help them immediately. However, that doesn’t mean you need to be on your phone or computer 24/7. It just means you need to use your website and online resources to your advantage - i.e. have an auto-responder sent to them once they fill out your contact form.
We go through the power of this inside our free masterclass on seamlessly onboarding new clients (which I highly recommend, by the way).
In essence, you want to give them new, important information and the very next step(s) they can take even if you aren’t available at that moment. Clients can do things like:
This right here will make a HUGE difference in your ghosting numbers!
2. You’re not truly excited to be working with them, and they know it.
Now, you may be ‘theoretically’ excited about a new potential client and more business, but because of your pet industry burnout, you just can’t muster the enthusiasm to show through in your email.
The first step here - tackle that burnout! Our Burnout Guide was created to help pet business owners like you implement proper boundaries, learn to say no, and establish systems of self-care in your daily life. By ditching the burnout, you’ll be able to find more energy and excitement in your business again.
Next step - Take a second look at your email auto-responder. Is it all business and no excitement? Could you add in some more personality? Just a dash of excitement and a personal touch can make a huge difference in whether someone wants to work with you.
Let me tell you, energy is everything. People can read through the layers. If you don’t seem excited to work with me, why would I pick you over someone else who was thrilled to be able to work together? Remember that when chatting with potential clients!
And again, if you don’t have the energy right now because of massive burnout, I feel you. Please consider our Burnout Guide to help. Or, if you want to just read a bit to get a little taste, download our free chapter on ‘Tips for Enforcing Boundaries.’
3. You’re not adding a personal follow-up email.
If you have an auto-responder, it’s always helpful to add in a personal follow-up when you can next, even if they already made the next steps. Why?
Because it’s nice.
Because it leaves a good first impression.
Because it can allow them to continue forward along the path to working with you
This is something else we go over in the masterclass - It’s a concept called the ‘Cialdini Commitment Concept,’ which tells us that if someone makes a super small commitment (as small as responding to an email or filling out a contact form), they’ll be more likely to make larger commitments with you in the future!
Follow-ups should be done no matter what. Most people are busy and forget who they reached out to, forget all together, or maybe they accidentally deleted your original email—you never know! But regardless, it doesn’t hurt to follow up and provide that personal touch. Perhaps mention something they included in their inquiry form, if applicable, to bring more humanness into it and to let them know you’re really hearing them and their needs. Remember… the pet industry is so personal, so the more we can tailor our responses to what they’re asking and needing from us, the better!
And, yes, you can still do this via email templates! Email templates are THE way to go to help you save time.
4. Your inquiry form is just wayyyyy too long.
This is something I see often, and it can be what I call a huge ‘barrier to entry.’ In other words, if you make it super hard for people to take the first step, the more likely they will just bail and go to your competitor. Just think about it from their perspective. They don’t know if you’re available. They don’t know if they want to work with you yet because they haven’t talked with you. So… why would they take 20 minutes to create an account and complete their info? Why would they give you their address?
Not to mention… the primary dog owner is now a Millennial. Millennials are quick movers. They like fast and simple.
Moral of the story? People aren’t going to give you their COMPLETE info when they don’t even know if they’re going to work with you yet or if you’re even available to help them. So, brainstorm the most essential things you need to know before scheduling your consult or Meet & Greet and spruce that contact form of yours.
If you need help, we have a blog post that goes into all the things you should include (and not include) in your pet business’ contact page that I highly recommend.
5. They don’t know what to expect from you.
This is another huge one I see often! You need to make it super duper clear what the first step is to work with you. Give them ONE clear goal. What’s the first step?
Got through your website, or, better yet, ask a friend who’s never been on your website to go through it and ask if they know exactly what they need to do if they want to inquire or move forward. Is it pasted throughout your site or in your email auto-responder?
Remember… the easier it is for people to move forward, the more likely they will do so. Don’t confuse people or make things complicated. Keep it simple and let them know what to do next so they're clear every step of the way.
Here are some of my favorite tools to make all this happen:
- Dubsado → Dubsado is an AMAZING CRM software. You can integrate intake forms on your website, which sets an automation in place for proposals, contracts, and invoices. I use this in my own business every day and absolutely LOVE it! This is HUGE for automation and time savings. Use my link to get 20% OFF your first month or year!
- Calendly → This is such an easy, free way to get up a call scheduler! Just include your link in an email responder and you’ll be good to go. Note: they have a free and paid plan. The free plan only has one type of call included.
- Professional, personality-packed email templates → Email templates can help set you up for success, allow you to hit that ‘Send’ button with confidence, and save you soooo much time when clients are inquiring about your pet business. We’ve got 42 email templates to get you started!
Let’s stop (or at least significantly reduce) the ghosting, shall we?! Implement these 5 things above and you’ll be on your way. You’ve got this, petpreneur!