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The Key Component to Success in Grooming: Connection

Hi! My name is Lorri O. I’ve been a groomer for about five years and I’m currently the manager of my salon. I entered the pet industry because of deep love and appreciation for dogs that grew from being around them my whole life. I started out as a cashier at a chain pet store and entered the grooming salon as a bather as soon as there was an opportunity. I’ve been there ever since. It hasn’t always been the easiest job, but it’s been rewarding to learn and grow from a bather all the way up to a salon leader. I am fortunate to have been able to hand select the groomers that work for me and train with them and that makes me confident in their abilities and character. I think that sometimes big-name pet stores garner a lot of bad publicity in the grooming industry, but I’ve worked hard to make my salon a place that has an outstanding reputation and a loyal client base. How did I manage this? Connection.

Connection is the key component to success and fulfillment in the grooming industry. 

I was talking with a friend the other day who also works in the service industry and she mentioned something along the lines of, “When it comes down to it, we’re a business, and we’re selling a product.” Yes, we are a business. Yes, we are selling a product. But we are also connecting with people. We are connecting with animals. We are building relationships and our clients are trusting us time after time to take care of their beloved pets. So how do we reconcile the business aspect with the relationship aspect?

Here’s the answer: Connection. We show up. We are authentic, vulnerable, and genuine. We take time to truly connect with the person that is handing their pet over. These people are not just transactions; these people are the same as you and I. We’re all just trying to survive and find comfort in knowing there is someone out there saying, “Hey there, I see you.” It is so rewarding to be another someone saying, “Hey there, I see you, too.”

Often, if we listen, our clients share with us pieces of their lives. Something as simple as them getting new floors or taking a big trip to Hawaii. They will share that their granddaughter is graduating high school, or that they got a promotion at work. These little things add up, and when they visit the following month, I remember and ask how those floors are working out or ask how that trip went. I’ll remind them of how hard they worked for that promotion or ask to see pictures of the graduation. That is me saying, “Hey there, I see you.”

If we are open, receptive, vulnerable, and initiate a relationship, our clients learn to trust us. I have my clients on a four-week rebooking schedule because they trust me to be honest with them about their pets grooming needs. Every pet can benefit from a monthly nail trim, a monthly ear cleaning, a monthly bath—and when I recommend these services and say, “I understand life happens, and the least I can do is be the person that reminds you of *Bella’s* spa day, so please let me be that person.” That’s me saying, “Hey there, I see you.”

My clients coming back every four weeks, tipping me, bringing me a coffee or candy, writing me notes thanking me for calling to check in on them, including me on their Christmas card list, remembering my birthday, inviting me to their kids birthdays, knowing my family and my pet, is their way of saying, “Hey there, I see you, too.”

We all want to connect. With connection comes understanding, compassion, loyalty, trust, and a sense of fulfillment for us groomers, as well as satisfaction from our clients (both human and canine). We owe authenticity to our clients, and most importantly to ourselves. Authentic connection, even if it comes from an unlikely source, is what keeps us all hopeful and smiling even in times when everything feels scary or overwhelming. And connection to my clients and my four-legged friends is what has helped me through even my toughest times. I’m sure that my fellow groomers can relate to this special connection, and if you have been distracted or overwhelmed lately, make sure you take time to connect. With your clients, with the animals, with your support system, and with yourself.

Thank You, Lorri

Thank you to Lorri O. for reminding us that while we are in the "pet industry," making connections with people are just as important as the pets that we hold so near and dear. Follow her on Instagram here.

Upcoming Blogs

If you are interested in writing a blog for Ryan's Pet Supplies, reach out and message us on Facebook or Instagram. We love hearing your stories and experiences.

Our Blog next week will be another Community Outreach. Send in your stories of hardship to outreach@ryanspet.com. We are choosing one groomer each month to feature and send a $150 gift certificate.

Check out our last few blogs:

The Healthy Guide to Grooming

3 Yoga Poses for Groomers

An Intro to Self-Care for Pet Professionals

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