Archive for Working with Clients – Page 2

Client Coaching: Coaching the Client You Have

A client’s relationship with her dog is an extremely personal one.  It’s important for dog training professionals to acknowledge this special relationship when coaching clients.  Clients come with baggage, individually and relating to their relationship with their dog. understanding how your client’s history impacts training will greatly improve your client coaching skills.

1.  Manage Your Own Expectations.

As a professional trainer, it’s your job to understand that every client is an individual, so your solutions should be specifically tailored to your client’s unique situation and needs. Recognize the limitations that the client’s lifestyle, home environment, work schedule, and other personal details place upon the choices the client is making concerning her dog.  Clients come with their own limitations and problems, and it’s your job as a dog training professional  to help your client make reasonable and attainable training choices.  Be cautious that you do not coach your client to make choices based upon your own ideals of client behavior. 

2. Be a Good Sales Person and Advocate.

While keeping in mind the limitations of your client’s personal circumstances, it’s also important to recognize what your experience and training tell you is required to produce a successful training plan.  This may include altering your client’s home environment, schedule, and/or daily habits.  Be ready to advocate for your client dog’s success and to truly sell your client on the importance of complying with the training plan, while still keeping realistic client goals in mind.

Becoming a certified dog training professional and running a successful dog training business require dog trainers to balance these 2 sometimes conflicting goals.      

Listen! Your Dog Training Clients Will Thank You!

So you want to become a certified professional dog trainer?  Listening to your clients will make you a better professional dog trainer.  How, you may ask? 

Better understand your client’s training needs. 

Clients typically approach dog training with a need in mind.  For example, the client’s dog may pull on the leash, and the client wants his dog not to pull on the leash.  But what does the client really want?  A dog that walks closely on his left side? Or maybe a dog that walks anywhere within a 6 foot radius but doesn’t cause permanent injury to the client’s shoulder?  There’s a pretty wide gap between those 2 goals.  By listening and asking a few well-placed questions, a certified professional trainer can help to refine their client’s needs and create clear training goals.      

Prepare your client for his or her involvement.

As a certified dog trainer, it’s your job to help your client understand that his participation will be necessary to his dog’s training success.  This may involve the client altering his schedule, or making some changes to the dog’s (and therefore the client’s!) environment.  So – as a dog training professional, you will need to listen to and understand your client’s housing situation, family relationships, and a variety of other personal details that will be important in preparing a training plan for the client’s dog.  Based on the information you gather, you can make recommendations that are most suitable to your client’s personal circumstances.  And you may discover a need to sell your client on the importance of making some changes that he’s not ready for. 

If you’re training to be a dog trainer, then improving your listening skills should be right at the top!