This challenge faced by many groomers is a common issue in the industry, andif you don’t have the right communication skills, it could result infrustration from both parts the groomers and the client.

Clients will always push for a service that they want, but sometimes, thedesired service is not the right treatment for their pets and explaining it toyour client is the challenge.

Remember you are in the people business, and learning a bit of psychology canbe helpful.

So you are probably wondering how to do that?

And the best way is to be CONFIDENT, AGREE, EDUCATE and SELL.

Some clients don’t understand that it takes time and effort to take knots out,and depending on the condition of the coat, some knots are not even possibleto brush out.


Here are some client’s situations.

That lovely labradoodle arrive at the shop; you don’t even need to touch thedog; you already know that the only option is to shave off on a 7f or a 10blade.

So the client tells you:

I don’t want ” Buddy” short and looking like a poodle.

The groomer

Hi, Buddy is very matted. I will have to shave it short.


Oh, I don’t want my dog short.


I understand you don’t want “Buddy” short, but he is quite matted, and thistype of knots are very close to the skin; unfortunately, I have to shaveshort, and it is the only option I have


But he will look “ugly “, or he will “be cold “.

(Don’t say he will look good, you have to drop the expectation)


Yes, I understand you don’t want Buddy short, but it will have to be VERYshort, and Buddy will feel so much BETTER; those knots are very uncomfortablefor him; sometimes can even cause mites and fungus.

If you shave, you will be doing the right thing for him. (Smile to theclients)

After his groom today, I can show you how to look after his new coat toprevent that to happen again, and the new coat will be much healthier.

As an upselling strategy, you can offer a” bath package “for the client tomaintain the coat knot-free or teach the client how to brush and sell thedetangler, shampoo, condition and brush.

****If perhaps the client says that she doesn’t want the dog shaved after youexplained everything.

___You can say:_

___That is fine. I understand that you don’t want to have “Buddy” shaved, butunfortunately, I don’t offer this service for this type of coat condition._

But if you want to brush at home, I can show you the products to use, and youcan try.

__Another example is your everyday clip like an AO, but this case, the earsor tail are matted, and you know you will need some extra time to brush itout.

Groomer :

Buddy’s ears are matted; I will have to shave it.

‍Client :

Oh, I don’t want his ears shaved.

Groomer :

I understand you don’t want “Buddy” ears shaved; that is fine; I could do adeep conditioning treatment to help the brushing and get the knots out, and itwill be only an extra 20 dollars for the treatment.

The client will either agree to shave or pay for the service.

If the client doesn’t want to pay but has agreed to shave short, you canvalidate that there are doing the best thing by saying.

‍Groomer :

It is better to shave his ears; his coat will grow much healthier as most ofthe times if we demat the hair is already broken and gets matted again.

So “Buddy” will have a new coat that will be easier to look after;

I can show you how to brush and the products to use. (Upsell strategy -Sellthe products)

You can use this case if the client wants the coat longer, ALWAYS EDUCATEDTHEM.

__Another example – Legs or body (spider web knots)

You have a doodle or any other breed with the legs longer, and the clientsdon’t want the coat in the legs shorter.

(the knots are spider web, you know it will come out, but it requires a bitmore time )

Same story as the other


Hi, buddy legs will have to be shorter today. He has quite a few knots on thelegs.


I don’t want buddy legs shorter; he will look funny.


I understand you don’t want “Buddy” legs short.

I think if I do a deep conditioning treatment, I will be able to brush theknots out, the deep conditioning treatment is only an extra 20 dollars; itwill help to soften the hair and also rejuvenate the coat.

(This strategy sounds the client is getting a special service and not payingfor the de-matting but the treatment)


No matter what type of de-matting you are doing, Always tell the clients thatwill depend if the dogs are comfortable with the procedure.

Some dogs hate brushing even if it doesn’t hurt.

In cases like this putting yourself and the dog through the experience doesn’tworth it.

Why conditioning treatment?

It sounds better as they feel they are paying for a Special treatment, and thereality is you will need to use conditioning in that coat anyway.

If you would like some more straightforward conversation, put a sign sayingde-matting service is 15 dollars per 15 minutes, then you can go straight tothe point.

Those are just a few examples, but my point is:

Groomers need to charge more when there is more work involved, or the clientwill always expect the same service for the same price.


Is a business consultant for Pet Grooming Salons. She has been in thegrooming industry for nearly 25 years, owning and building a salon herself andnow dedicates her time to helping other business owners like herself.