It´s your responsibility to educate!
Once again, I heard another sad voice say “I didn´t know that there were unethical pet loss services out there – and now I find out that one of those businesses is who took care of my beloved dog.” It just breaks my heart when a precious pet dies and the pet parent does not know what their options are to honor the life that was shared.
However, I can´t shame the pet parents that say that. I, too, was one of those pet parents. I shame myself because I had been in the industry for 18 years when my dog died. I was in the preneed industry, spending time educating people on the benefits of planning ahead and I did not heed my own advice. When she died I didn´t know what my options were.
Nor did I know that not all pet cremation services were created equal. Luckily I found a place that had an “open door” policy and I met the person who I handed her precious body to. While the process in its entirety was not as it should have been, I, at least, knew that her cremation was handled properly and in the manner that I requested.
So while many “caregivers” will fight the very thought of being a sales person – and say that it feels “too weird” to sell their pet loss services – I encourage you to look at this differently. While it may feel like selling, we as a pet loss profession need to understand that it´s our responsibility to get our educational information to the public so that our services are easy for a pet parent to find. And, our services have enough information to educate a pet parent on the right pet loss practices that will provide the right amount of support and experiential services that a family will want.
Furthermore, it´s also our responsibility as pet loss professionals to guide our veterinary partners on what the right processes are. As a pet loss professional running your business, it´s your business to run. It´s your business whose standard operating procedure is to get the correct paper work completed. It´s your business to educate the vet care professional on why it´s better for them to send the family to you to handle the pet´s death.
So, today – make a commitment. If you don´t feel comfortable calling it “selling” – then call it what you feel comfortable with,…. Educating. Providing information. Teaching. Training. Spreading the word. Call it something.
Because I call it “your responsibility.” Go forth!

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