There are sectors of the Pest Control industry, as with many walks of life, which are heavily sales focused. I know this from first hand experience, I was a Surveyor and then a Sales Manager for a large national operator. Just lately though, I’ve been wondering what place Salesmen (and women for the PC brigade) have in our industry.
Don’t get me wrong, there is always a need to drive business forward, and for that I guess any right-minded businessperson sells, but is having salespeople the way to do it?
I so often experience that the businesses which have sales teams will undercut and promise the world to get another client on the books and to make that month’s target and I also see with these businesses that subsequent service is often substandard because they’ve lowered their price so much to make the sale that it doesn’t pay to do the job.
Make sense? I didn’t think so. Then you’re actually paying money for a service you aren’t getting.
Ultimately what then happens is that the customer realises they aren’t getting what they need, and look elsewhere for someone who will price honestly and do what they say they’re going to. That’s often when they call us.
Sure, we tell the world that we think we’re good at what we do (and we have large numbers of references from delighted customers to back our beliefs up), but we don’t arm-twist, promise jam tomorrow and lead people into never, never land. We’re honest and because of that people trust us. Maybe sometimes we’re even too honest and take less money out of a deal than we could have (but with long term benefits)
Quality of service has always been our number one priority. In fact at the moment we’re just surveying our customers to see what they think of us! Honesty is a two way street.
I have lots of friends whose businesses wouldn’t be what they are today without sales teams but I for one don’t think that is how Pest Control should work. We aren’t selling cars, we’re a service, and a service that can’t afford to cut corners at that. We can’t get a bulk deal on a load of Technicians and sell them on at a discount. The cost is what it is. Ultimately it’s important in your restaurant or factory that your records are up to date when the big bad Council or industry/customer auditor comes round.
I guess you could say that the modern way of promotion is our perfect way of doing business. Gone are the days where we had to walk into a business and promise to be cheaper than the next guy just so someone had heard of us.
Follow Martin on Twitter – @HarveyEnviroMD