Client Coaching: Which Class?

One of the most commonly asked questions certified dog trainers have to answer?  Which product is the right one for their client. In the pursuit of income diversification, many trainers offer a variety of services, including a combination of group classes, private coaching, day training, seminars, and single topic mini-classes. Additionally, clients frequently request very specific services that may not be the best fit for them.

How do you coach your client to the correct product?

  1. Listen!

Clients are calling you, the professional dog trainer, with an expectation of solutions. While they’re expecting help, they also want an opportunity to share their personal stories. Take a moment and listen. It gives you an opportunity to connect with your prospective client, and you’ll be rewarded with a number of informational nuggets.

  1. Ask key questions.

Sometimes a request for loose leash walking help comes from a client who needs help with a leash reactive dog. A request for separation anxiety training can be something as simple as a lack of crate training but the owner is panicked, overwhelmed and not sure what to do next, so he assumes the worst. Ask questions that elicit factual, descriptive responses rather than opinion or conclusions.

  1. Pick the product.

This is the moment when you synthesize all of the informational nuggets that you’ve gathered. Be familiar enough with your products that you can make a recommendation on the fly – in other words, very quickly! Also know when your next available start date is.

  1. Explain how your product recommendation fits your client’s needs.

Be specific, pointing out how the training you’re offering can alter and improve their dog’s behavior.

Coaching clients is one of the challenges you’ll face in becoming a professional dog trainer. Having a plan, being familiar with your products, and listening to your clients will help you successfully coach clients through one of their first interactions with you.


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