How To Price Your Services In A Way That Benefits Everyone Involved And Increases Your Profits

How To Price Your Services In A Way That Benefits Everyone Involved And Increases Your Profit

By Tenille Williams

Apart from wanting to know how to get more clients, the next biggest question I get from trainers is figuring out what to charge. 

A lot of new trainers overthink this. I remember when I started out and I wasn’t really sure what I “should,” be charging. I literally looked up trainers in similar sized towns, picked up the phone and called one and asked him. We are still friends to this day. But now I charge much more than he does ;p

The point is to start. This is something that can be changed. Just about anything in your business can be changed at any point you decide. That’s the beauty of it being your business! So if you’re overthinking a decision, start now. Today. If you feel it’s not working out, you can always change it later. Besides, it’s good to test out new things.

However, I get it if you don’t want to pick up the phone and ask other trainers what they charge! So here is a simple formula you can use to figure out your hourly rate:

Annual salary you would like = $_____

Annual expenses = $______


Total annual income required= $______

Profit margin of 20%=$_______

Total needed to earn per year = $______

Now figure out how many billable hours you’ll actually be working in a year. 

Subtract how many weeks holiday you will take then calculate how many hours of actual work time you will do per week. Calculate the total billable hours for the year. 

The use this formula:

$____ (total required annual income) / _____ billable hours =  $____ per hour

Great! Now you know your minimum hourly rate. How did you go? Is it higher than what you’re charging now? Lower? The same? 

Now, bear with me. While you need to know your minimum hourly rate, I don’t actually recommend charging by the hour for your services. In fact, I would call that another mistake in marketing.

Trading dollars for hours is a fast track way to feel trapped in your business and can lead to burnout, especially in the training industry. 

If your business isn’t profiting to a level that you can have some time off, spend time with your own dogs and save money for your lifestyle, it’s not going to provide a sustainable way to live. 

If you don’t want to grow your dog training business to be full time and sustainable, that’s fine, keep it as a hobby, as long as you know what you want. 

But if you want to grow a profitable business and keep the passion alive, and you aren’t there yet, it’s time to make some changes. 

Instead of selling training services by the hour, it’s time to bundle your offerings, sell programs and make more per client. 

(And since you’re here reading this, it’s probably time to raise your rates in general too, just based on talking to a lot of struggling trainers in business.)

Before you jump in blindly or write it off as not for you, allow me to explain how the way I sell programs benefits not only you, but your clients and their dogs. 



If you’re getting flustered and frustrated with clients who can’t seem to be bothered training their dog, even after they’ve paid you for a lesson, then surely getting more committed clients who do their homework and have you back more than once is appealing to you. 

Have a think about something you’ve received in your life for cheap or free. How much did you value it? If it required a time commitment to get results, did you follow through or put it off for later? 

It’s a sad fact of human nature that what is free is not valued, and the same goes for things that are cheap.

On the flip side, have you ever invested a significant sum of money into something, and that investment caused you to be more committed to getting results? 

See, even if someone spends around $100 or so on a dog training lesson and then decides to see how they go and have a think about it, there’s very little incentive to put in the work. It’s so easy to write off a small amount of money and not truly value the services received or commit to putting in the required effort. Especially if that effort requires putting in any amount of their precious time.

But when a person invests into training their dog, or any other desired outcome, they will put in more time and effort to make sure their investment pays off. 



So if you have a more invested client putting in more time and effort, can you see how your results will be better? Of course you’ll get more results with a client who is putting in more training time and is more committed! 

And this means a happier dog getting more attention and training. 

A happier client who is going to rave about you to people they know and even people they meet in the street or at the dog park 

And a happier you who isn’t burnt out chasing clients who have a token lesson and then say, “we’ll get back to you when we need more lessons,” aka, never. 



Obviously if you’re selling more lessons per client, you’re making more money per client. 

And if you’re charging higher rates you’ll be making more per client too. 

Not rocket science, I know. Just simple maths. 

The benefits of making more per client listed above go way beyond just making more money. 

More job satisfaction, longer lasting passion and less risk of burnout are all benefits to grab and hold onto. 

But it is also ok to make more money. You deserve it. 

And when you’re making more money per client you can take a quality over quantity approach and deliver the most amazing service to your committed customers.

And even though the pressure is off to chase more and more clients who are one hit wonders, there’s a snowball effect that happens through the best form of marketing there is – word of mouth. 

So the number of clients you get will still increase as well. 




Whether you call it a bundle, a program, a package, it doesn’t really matter. It’s how you offer it that counts.

The difference between a program and a bunch of lessons is usually that:

The program is focused on an end goal which is specific and results oriented
There are other inclusions such as different services or equipment. But you can include anything you offer
The client commits to the whole program rather than playing it by ear from lesson to lesson, and usually pays up front

Programs can range in price from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. It really depends on the inclusions and number of lessons, but ultimately is determined the most by your skills and the results you can provide.

An important note on your skill level: we have probably never met (as much as I’d love to meet you). And I just have no way of knowing right now what your skill level is and what the results are that you can achieve for people and their dogs. I definitely don’t advocate for trainers to charge thousands of dollars for training that doesn’t achieve the desired results. I want to be crystal clear on that. 

In saying that, I have found that most the time, trainers are hard on themselves and charging too little, as opposed to thinking they are worth a mint and not delivering. 

You know a lot more than the average dog owner and you can most likely provide them with results that make them very happy to pay you well. It’s easy to forget how much we know and that we are in fact experts. It’s called the curse of knowledge and lots of trainers have it. They believe that they aren’t experienced enough or good enough to charge more or charge any money at all. 

This is written for trainers in business who can and do get their clients results. 

And if you can? You’re probably worth more than you think. So don’t undercut yourself or be so hard on yourself about your skills. 

Now you might be wondering how on earth you’ll be able to get people to commit higher prices or large sums of money for a program or package. 

The key is not to ask for a large commitment right away – people need to get to know you first and get more of a feel for what they’re getting into. 

For this reason, some trainers offer a free lesson to get people started. Personally, I don’t offer free lessons. When it comes to free stuff, I offer helpful blogs and videos that people can view on my website. But any one on one help that takes up my time is something I charge for. 

This brings us to the next big question – how do you book in high priced programs and get people to happily pay higher prices for dog training?

The Dog Matters Pro Booking Process That Increases Client Cooperation

By Tenille Williams

What Your Marketing Needs To Attract More Of The Right Clients

What Your Marketing Needs To Attract More Of The Right Clients

By Tenille Williams

Why Your Dog Training Business Isn’t Working

If you’re not making the kind of money you want to make and you’re feeling like growing your dog training business is an uphill battle, the number one question you might ask is, “how do I get more clients?”

You may think that more clients is the answer – if you just had more people come through the door more steadily, all your business problems would be solved.

And it’s partly true. Obviously a business needs paying customers or it’s not a business at all.

But what I’ve found is that people are so focused on lack of clients that they aren’t looking at the other steps they need to take to market their business. Most trainers know a lot about dog training but not much about marketing and running a business at all. And sadly, being a wonderful and talented trainer isn’t enough on it’s own. You need to also be a marketer.

And that’s why a lot of training businesses fail – they’re great trainers. They’re not great marketers.

Marketing is any activity you do that helps your ideal client to get to know, like and trust you and ultimately become a paying customer. It’s not just advertising. It’s any activity you plan for your business that people will lay their eyeballs upon.

One big mistake people make in their marketing (and I’ve made this mistake myself early on) is trying to attract anyone and everyone. Like casting a big fishing net and hauling in whatever they can get, including rubbish.

This is a sure way to attract people you’d rather not work with. The people who complain about your prices, try to bargain with you, don’t take your advice seriously, argue and don’t do their homework. Of course, they then don’t get results which is a sucky outcome for all parties involved – you, them and their dog.

In fact, it actually costs you money. You lose time, energy and you could have been spending that time on an enjoyable client who loves you and results that make everyone feel good. We want more of that!

So what to do? Well, you want to aim your marketing to your ideal client. It’s more like using a fishing line with specific bait that attracts the big juicy fish you want to catch.



Ideal client, ideal customer, avatar – there’s a few different terms for this. So if you hear someone asking who your avatar is, they’re referring to the movie with the blue aliens.

But your ideal client is important to know, because when you speak in your marketing to a certain type of person, they will feel more understood and more connected to you.

You may have more than one ideal client type. That’s ok. But let’s start with one so you can get started right away with the tweaks you need to make to attract them.

Your ideal client can be totally made up or based on a real client you have met before who you loved to work with. Think of the person (or imagine them) who you would be happy to work with every day. It’s enjoyable, they listen, they get you, they do their homework.

Now write out the following specific details about this person:




Work life:

Relationship status:

Family status:

The type of help he/she needs with their dog the most:________


That last one is important too, because as dog trainers, we’re working with two beings at once – the human and the dog. Not only can we determine who our ideal human client is, but we can aim for ideal dog clients as well as our favourite types of behaviours to work with.

Then, every time you write a post on social media, a blog, send an email out, write an ad, film a video, you’re going to speak as if you’re talking to that one ideal dog owner who has that ideal dog case you love to work with.You can even be as specific as breeds of dog you prefer to work with.

Love German Shepherds? If you talk about and post photos and videos of German Shepherds the most, guess what breed of dog you’re going to get more enquiries for?

PUGS! Just kidding, German Shepherds.

It works the same way if you talk most about a certain type of service you offer like classes. For example, when I ran group classes I would get an influx of enquiries for classes after every class, because I’d post up photos and videos from class on Facebook. But when I decided that I wanted to focus on one on one training, I made an effort to talk about that a lot and phased out my class posts.

How To Price Your Services In A Way That Benefits Everyone Involved And Increases Your Profits

By Tenille Williams

The Power Of The Dog Matters Pro System

Are you ready?

If you’re a dog trainer, then surely you want your business to be more than just a hobby.

And perhaps taking the leap to full time business has been on your mind for a while…

Or, you already are running your business full time just knowing you’ll make enough to cover all the bills AND make a profit… “some day….”

Meanwhile, you are seriously getting over hearing, “how’s your little dog business going?”

And even though you KNOW that there’s dog trainers out there making a great living doing what they love, you question whether that could really happen for YOUR business, and in YOUR area.

There is no chance that without Tenille and the Dog Matters Pro Masterclass that I would have been able to achieve this, running my own dream job. Being my own boss. Not having to work a job I hate, just to pay the bills. Or see clients that I didn’t like, because I thought that I had to take on everyone. I am living my dream, all the while putting in less hours and money, to make an infinitely larger income from my business. Things are continuing to grow, and for when things do start to slow down the course has taught me what to do to get new cash flowing again. I feel so prepared, and I could not be happier with everything that Tenille has taught me. Thank you!

Sarah G, Trainer

Can You Relate To Any Of The Following?

  • You love training dogs but aren’t quite so sure about how to get through to the owners..
  • You’ve been told by well meaning friends and family that you can’t make a real living from dog training
  • You would love to run your dog business full time but just can’t get enough clients to sustain yourself
  • Clients never seem to want more than one lesson or they say they’ll, “get back to you.”
  • You’ve tried to get the word out, but you find yourself waiting for the phone to ring…


Yet after all this, you still know that it’s possible to make a lucrative career in dog training because you’ve heard of other trainers doing it. You just need it to happen for you.

I’m here to help you do just that. To create the business you love with happier clients and higher profits.

Even if you’re not feeling confident in selling…

Even if you’re not sure that you can take every dog behaviour case…

Even if you feel like the competition is already dominating the market…

And even if you think people in your area simply won’t pay good money for dog training…

You just need a system that enables you to get a consistent flow of quality clients, keep each client coming back as a loyal customer and create freedom and profit in your business…

You can turn it around right now.

If you knew that if you followed the steps and did the work that it would pay off and make you a solid income, would you do it?

A strategy that:

  • Allows you to take on the cases you want to take on, and work with the dog problems you enjoy solving
  • Gets you clients that love you and tell everyone that you’re the dog whisperer (yes, it IS a compliment)
  • Gives you people skills and makes selling easy so that you don’t feel sleazy when you sell

I’m thinking the answer is, “HELL YES I WOULD TENILLE!!”

Because it’s a no brainer – we all want to do what it takes to make a success of the business we love and enjoy. And we all want to do what we love every day, and not burn out.


So what’s holding you back?

Is it because, as much as you want to be successful in your dog training business, you just can’t figure out how to make enough to pay the bills, doing JUST dog training?

And it makes sense to wonder that because according to Forbes, 8 out of 10 people who start a business fail within the first 18 months and that’s businesses on the whole, not just the dog training industry.

It probably doesn’t help that many people, likely many people around you, don’t view dog training as a “serious business.”

Have you ever been told something like that?

Have you ever wondered whether you can really, truly make a living from dog training? Like, a really good living?

I used to wonder that…

I was a lot like you…

I always, ALWAYS wanted to work with animals, “when I grew up. “

There was just one problem – grown ups have to pay bills. Due to this fact, everyone around me told me that working with animals is very hard to get into, not to get my hopes up and to perhaps consider learning something else. Something that could get me a nice, stable, “real job.”

You know, just in case. Just… temporary.

So when I left school I took an office job traineeship, for the government no less. Even though, I had sworn that I would never work in an office.

It would be okay, because it was just temporary, until I found that work-with-animals dream job.

8 YEARS LATER and guess who was still working in an office? And I was MISERABLE. Seriously. You wouldn’t even recognise me as a person if you saw how I was back then.

Every day I felt trapped in an office cubicle box. I’d get up early in the dark and get home late in the dark. I lived for the weekends, it felt like the only time I was truly living.

But by the time Sunday came around I was consumed with a feeling of dread for the work week – about to start the cycle all over again. There was office politics and bullying and I spent my days on tasks that seemed truly meaningless.

It wasn’t helping anyone. And I felt trapped and alone. At the end, I was coming home and collapsing into a heap every day feeling like, “what’s the point?”

If you’ve ever felt this way you know there’s two ways it can go; you can admit defeat, giving in to a life working for other people’s pockets while just dreaming about a different life…  or you can make a change and work for your own damn dreams. And usually, there’s a point in time where you realise it’s time to make that choice…

It was my performance review. That was the day, the moment I knew things HAD to change and it was time to stop putting it off. In a dingy office room with no windows, I was critiqued for every little insignificant (at least to me) thing, and my concerns dismissed. Then the question finally came – “where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

Now I pride myself on being an honest person, but sometimes it really does get me into trouble.

I answered – “running my own business.”

I finally realised how much time I was wasting in a job I hated and I decided, something’s gotta give. I found dog training and decided that’s what I wanted to do, and NOT as a job, but as my own business.

SO I studied a course to become a dog trainer (the NDTF course) and got my qualification.

Then I quit my job and became an overnight success, raking in the cash….

…Just kidding…

What really happened?

Well, I did the course, registered a business name, got a logo and some nice business cards, got a website, set up a Facebook page, you know, all those business-y things to do.

And I got my first client. And a few more after that.

But I wasn’t making much money. And I still felt I had to hold onto that job I hated.

I was told that my little dog business makes a great side business, a hobby business.

One client per week is a nice goal…

No one will pay even $50 for an hour though, surely… especially not in this area…

But that’s okay, it’s just a hobby business…

I started to wonder whether that’s all it would ever be…

But it could be much more than that. Eventually I took the plunge and WAS able to quit my job and go full time with my training business and it was great! I built up lots of clients and did both private lessons and group classes.

So many clients in fact, that I began to feel a bit burnt out with the workload.

But I couldn’t afford to do less. To make the income I needed to pay my bills, I needed to keep getting new clients.

And if I’m totally honest with you, it wasn’t just the hours and the low pay, I was getting really frustrated with the people. They wouldn’t do their homework, then they’d blame me for lack of results, all the while completely doing wrong by their dogs, who I felt so bad for…

It just didn’t feel like the business I wanted, the business to give me both income and freedom. Frustrated and exhausted, I searched for other options and spent years studying some new skills – business skills.

And although business and marketing often makes you picture someone with a graph on a whiteboard in front of a board room full of grey suited bald men….. I actually found it really FUN!

I realised that I could apply what I was learning to my dog training business and I could make it into the exact business I wanted it to be. I had my spark back!

From then on, my business changed. I was making thousands per week even without full time hours and just from private training, only on week-days. Because that’s how I wanted my lifestyle to be.


I’ll never forget the one Tuesday I had 2 clients and brought home over $3,500. In. One. Day.

And if you’re thinking, “That could never happen for me…” then you couldn’t be further from the truth.

I used to think it wasn’t possible either.

Until I started doing it…


So you’ve been dreaming about running a successful dog training business. What does that look like?

Here’s a recap of what’s actually possible for you:

  • A great local reputation as a dog trainer that gets results
  • You don’t have to work so many hours that you end up burnt out
  • Time to train your own dogs as well as your clients
  • You know exactly how to attract more clients when you need it
  • You know how to sell without feeling like a slimey used car salesman
  • Your clients are people you love to work with and they do their homework!
  • You’re confident in your abilities and in your business. No more holding back!


Aaaaannd, here’s how it usually goes:

You spend hundreds of dollars on a logo, business cards, website, car signage and all the different types of dog leash in existence.

Well done, now you’re a real dog trainer! After all that money spent on advertising, you get your first client through word of mouth. It’s your uncle’s neighbour’s best friend’s cousin’s sister and she has a multi-poo with a myriad of issues. You’re just starting out so you quote her $50 per lesson. After all, people in your area don’t like to pay for things like dog training. Congratulations – it’s your first paying client.

You set up a Facebook page and start writing blogs… but hardly anyone reads them.

So you have a Facebook page all official and stuff. You invited all your friends to like and share your page and you have 167 page likes. It’s time to show you know your stuff so you get to writing some blogs. You spend hours getting your first article just right and share it on your page. You get two likes. One of them is your mum.

You start up group dog training classes and run a big promotion…

Group classes will be easier to sell because they cost less per class than private lessons… right?

You put up flyers, visit all the vet clinics and pet stores and post all over social media. You almost book a full class – 5 students! The night arrives, you’re SO nervous to run a whole group of people through a class. But wait, three people still haven’t put in their payment… will they show up?

You wonder – “What if I only have a class of two people?”

And, “Is it okay that I’m running these classes in the park?”

Training bookings are quiet, so you add more services – dog walking, board and train, pet sitting, a dog wash?

You are going to be the go to dog person in your community. Everyone knows its hard to get full time work out of training alone so you should add more services, right?

Before you know it you have quite a few bookings coming in – things are picking up! But you feel exhausted at the end of the day and you’re not getting to spend much time actually training dogs. But that’s okay, because you tell yourself, “I’m not experienced enough to take on serious behaviour cases anyway”

And after all this you finally have a day with a few training clients booked in…

Okay, two are booked in. But you’re excited. You pack your training bag, organise your stock, chop up some treats and you’re ready to jump in the car.

“Ding!” Your phone has a message….

“I’m sorry but we have to cancel training today. We’ll get back to you when we can rebook.”

Ugh! A last minute cancellation! Some more notice would have been nice. Oh well, you still have one more training client booked in.

You show up to the lesson to be met by a dog jumping all over you while the owner stands by and does nothing. They haven’t done any of their homework at all! You spend extra time there getting them on track but you have a sinking feeling that they’re just not listening….

You come home, ignore the bills on the fridge and check your Facebook page. You posted a cute dog photo earlier that day with an awesome training tip. Hardly anyone has even seen it!!

You’re done for the day. “Where’s the wine?!”


And despite all the challenges you still hold on to the idea that you can run a successful dog business.. Someday…


Because you know that even though there are challenges, you want to run your own business helping people and their dogs, live life on YOUR terms and work for your dreams instead of someone else’s. You’ve seen that other trainers have grown successful and even lucrative businesses from dog training. So you know it’s possible. You just wonder whether it’s really possible for YOU.


And if you just had the right plan, the right proven strategies to get there, your whole life would change…

Emails and calls come in regularly from the kind of people you LOVE working with, creating clients that pay well, do their homework and allow you to get results

You’d avoid the burn out that so often comes from this career because you have a real work life balance

You’d stop scraping by financially from client to client, just hoping for that next one to come in.


It really can change your life.

I took years to figure out the key to creating a successful and profitable dog training business. If only I had known from the start what I know now!

But when I had that $3,500 day from seeing just two clients, I knew that this business could be a bigger success than I had ever dreamt possible.

Now I’m not saying you’re going to have a 5 figure month overnight.


But what would it mean to you and your family to earn an average of $1000 per client? Or how about $10k in a single month of dog training?

It may be hard to imagine right now but I want you to know – that is a very realistic goal. So start thinking bigger right now. Obviously I can’t guarantee any specific figure because only you can do the work.

But I do know that the only thing standing in your way to achieving results like I just mentioned is your own mindset, the right strategy and the right guidance so that you can not only do it, but do it confidently, like a boss.


When you put together the right mindset, proven strategy and step by step training and guidance you can:

Have a community that respects you and recommends you as the go to dog trainer in your area

  • Wake up excited about work every day, because you love what you do and it doesn’t even feel like work! You were excited to do what you love before, but now you get paid well for it too!
  • Have the confidence to take on cases and get results, even if you feel like you still need more experience
  • Know exactly what to say to sell and get paid, without feeling like a creepy used car salesman
  • Support your family financially, from your dog training business, without a “day job.”
  • Have a real positive impact on dogs and their owners, truly helping people
  • Not have to work yourself to exhaustion from dawn to dusk to make enough to cover the bills
  • Stand out as a unique business and no longer feel like you need to worry about the competition


That’s what I achieved with my dog training business and there’s no reason why you can’t do the same…

Tenille is just awesome! she always has amazing suggestions, that work! She gives me a kick up the butt when I need it and motivates, inspires and helps me to keep my business on track! Tenille is awesome, and I highly recommend working with her!

– Luzelle Cockburn, Trainer, Soluton K9 Dog Training

Once I had figured out the systems I use now, I had a thriving business and made more per hour than most other trainers I knew.

I didn’t just make it up as I went along. I spent countless hours and thousands of dollars learning business. I kind of became a bit of a geek about it. I combined that knowledge with my every day real life experience as a dog trainer and I put it all together into the systems I use today.

Before long people were asking me, “how do you do it?”

I started teaching people here and there and loved seeing them go from one success to another. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of having someone call you up all excited and telling you, “I just made $500 because of what you taught me!”

More and more I was hearing that I should teach this to more people by creating a course…

But I always put it off…

Until now…

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the steps you need to take to get your business running smoothly and making a profit then why not fast track the process?

Let me put all the puzzle pieces together for you and save time, money and energy that you could be wasting if you’re currently trying to wing it and figure it out on your own.

Are you ready to skip the headaches, the frustration, the stress of business and finally make it fun and easy instead?

Because I don’t know about you, but if I had someone offering to give me a shortcut to success back when I first started I’d say, SIGN ME UP!

Having the right guidance and system can make running a dog training business easy, even if:

  • You feel like you can’t sell water to someone lost in the desert
  • You signed up to train the dogs, not the people
  • You’re unsure if you have enough experience to take on behaviour cases
  • Your confidence seems to always ditch you when you really need it most
  • The thought of putting yourself out there on social media scares you more than going to the dentist…



Seven core modules plus three bonus modules to get you from side hobby to profitable business

That’s six modules of awesomeness to take you to the next level in your dog training business. From attracting the right types of clients, to making the sale to running the lesson.

All of the important steps you need to run your dog training business successfully. PLUS you’ll get downloads of the forms I personally use so you can simply tweak and go knowing you have the right questions, forms and systems in place.

If you’re ready to fill your calendar with clients you love working with, sell with confidence and average $1000 per client (or more) then my strategies will get you there and this is the program you’ve been waiting for.

It’s time to be successful in your dog training business AND make enough to pay the bills…

It’s time to stop having to work so hard for so little return…

It’s time to ditch the job and make this work…

And it’s time to prove the doubters wrong – because you CAN make a REAL business out of this, and a profitable one.

If you’re ready to stop the cycle of spending countless dollars on training seminars without ever making money back for your knowledge and skills.

This is the training you need if you want to learn:

  • How to skip the frustration of figuring out the business side of dog training on your own
  • How to attract the type of clients you love working with using the most cost effective advertising
  • The exact processes I use to attract, book and run lessons with clients week in and week out
  • Confidence in yourself that you can help people to solve their dog behaviour problems, even if you’re new to professional training

Tenille has been a tremendous help to me and my business. She has guided and supported me through some processes that I found challenging, and she genuinely cares wholeheartedly for her clients. I highly recommend Tenille!

– Hannah Wilson, Trainer, Dog Direction

Get Started!

Here’s my invitation for something great!

The Dog Matters Pro Booking Process That Increases Client Cooperation

The Dog Matters Pro Booking Process That Increases Client Cooperation

By Tenille Williams

As I mentioned, I don’t do free lessons. However, I don’t go straight for a program sale either.

For both my sake and the client, I like to know if we’re going to be a good fit to work together. I want to sell to people that will enjoy working with me and me with them.

So I offer an initial consult which I charge for. This has several benefits:

  1. The client is showing that they are willing to invest and not just freebie hunting
  2. A buyer is more likely to buy again – if they have invested a small amount they are more likely to upgrade to a large amount
  3. I can assess the dog and situation thoroughly and know which program to recommend them afterwards. Or, if they truly only need one lesson then we can leave it at that and everyone is happy.
  4. It’s easier to sell a smaller commitment before you and the client get to know each other and see that you would be a good fit to work together

If you prefer to offer a free lesson first, that is okay and free offers can convert to paid offers. But I have found with myself and my Masterclass students that the conversion from the initial lesson to a program is actually higher when the first lesson is paid for.

Ok, so we’ve established that my preferred way to book clients is to book an initial lesson first, which is charged for.

Once this lesson is completed, I sit down with the client/s and go through their options for a program, highlighting the program that I feel is the best fit for their situation – because people like that guidance of knowing which one the professional thinks is best.

Now, I mainly do this for private lessons but you can also do it this way for classes or board and train programs. If you’re offering something different, feel free to mix it up.

By operating this way, the program is an upsell and it happens after everyone has spent some time together and the client knows exactly what they’re signing up for – another benefit. Wouldn’t you feel more comfortable to invest money with someone you have got to know a little?



Before I even get to the point of offering a program at the end of the first lesson, I need to book the initial lesson. Booking this in is a golden opportunity to find out the prospective client’s commitment level. Are they going to take training seriously? Can they follow instructions?

So I have the clients commit to spending a little time beforehand completing some tasks.

The tasks are:

  1. Sign a training agreement.
  2. Fill in a behaviour questionnaire about their dog
  3. Pre-pay for the lesson

If a client is able to complete this for me, we have started the relationship where I give instructions and they comply.

I can tell you that every single client I have had question this process has also been the type of client that is uncooperative or uncommitted in the dog training lessons. So now if someone argues this process, I recommend that we aren’t a good fit to work together.

It might sound harsh but I’ve learned that I would rather save my time and energy for those who are going to be a good fit because they’re also the ones who will get the best results.

Once this booking process is completed by the client, they have demonstrated:

  • They can commit time
  • They can commit effort
  • They can commit financially

Can you see how going through this simple booking process screens your clients and sets the tone of the working relationship from the beginning?

If you want to set up a system like this, there’s no need to over complicate it. I like to do it digitally – all over email. You might use an online booking system or a paper form. This sort of thing always evolves as your business does so the most important thing is to get started with what you are able to do now and adapt from there.

So at this point, hopefully I’ve given you lots of ideas to grow your training business. But I know you might still be asking – how do I get more clients in the first place?

They need to know you exist. They need to contact you. You need to be able to get them to say yes to the booking.

There’s so many factors to a successful business and the reality is that most trainers are great at training dogs but are totally lost with growing and running a successful business.

If you’d like some guidance to put into place all of what we have covered today and a whole lot more to raise your lifestyle and income to the next level, running a dog training business that feels right to you so you can keep the passion alive and profit, click the button below to read on.

The Power Of The Dog Matters Pro System

By Tenille Williams