PestWorld session: Your techs can build your brand


November 3, 2016

The technicians who interact with your customers can help promote your business, according to parts one and two of the Thought Leader educational session, “Are you leveraging your technicians to build your brand,” held Oct. 19 at the National Pest Management Association’s PestWorld 2016.

Randy Moser

Randy Moser told the crowd, “A sale never ends if the goal is a long-term relationship.” Photo: PestWorld

Randy Moser, assistant professor of marketing and sales, High Point University, Phillips School of Business, High Point, N.C., demystified sales for the pest management professionals (PMPs) in attendance.

Techs could help sell the business to customers, he explained. Owners must ensure all their techs sell the same way because consistency will enable them to get the sales results they are looking for. The long-term goal is fostering customer relationships.

Customers perceive value when they feel comfortable with the relationships they have with a company’s employees, Moser said. “If they don’t like you, they are not going to buy from you,” he said. “It’s about the customer experience; that’s what you’re selling.”

It helps to identify the experience you want for your customer, he said. He told the PMPs in the audience to ask themselves where they can bring value to their customers and think of what sets them apart from other pest management companies.

Value creation is the new selling direction, Moser explained. First, you need to understand your customer’s needs, which you can do by asking questions. Next, you must know your brand proposition — and remember, the more unique it is, the more value you provide. Then, you have to communicate your brand proposition with brochures, commercials and your technicians. Finally, you must deliver your brand proposition; you need to “walk the talk,” he said.

Features and benefits play a role in identifying a company. The features are the data, facts or characteristics of a company’s products or services. The benefits are the advantages gained from those features. Features tell, benefits sell, Moser said. He advised the PMPs in attendance to look at their brochures and websites to see which items listed are benefits and which are features.

“You want to play up the benefits,” he advised. “If you say you won awards or have a high BBB rating, tell the customer why that matters to them.” So if you state a feature, he said, be sure to explain the benefit of that feature. For instance, that high BBB rating may give your customers peace of mind. Tell them that, Moser said. Only when a product or service feature is converted into a buyer benefit does it make an impact. PMPs who don’t know the benefits their company’s features provide can find out by asking their customers what they like about the company. “They will tell you which features have benefits,” he said.

Moser described a salesperson as anyone who develops long-term customer relationships. He’s an advocate of systematic selling, which involves building a rapport, negotiating objections, serving the customer, understanding the customer’s needs, servicing the sale and finally, bringing the offer.

He recommended roleplaying with techs who may be uncomfortable with the sales process. PMPs should coach their techs, he said, and make them feel like they are part of a team. For example, practice by telling techs the five obstacles they will hear from a customer. Teach them how to handle each one by giving them an answer for every objection a customer may have.

But sometimes, the problem is not the sales process, it’s the marketing. “You have to look at the whole picture,” he advised.

“When does a sale start and finish? A sale never ends if the goal is a long-term relationship,” he said. “The key is to follow up.”

Because PMPs need to retain their credibility, they should call customers to see if they’re satisfied. Owners should set aside five minutes each week to call five to 10 customers, just to check in and make sure they’re satisfied. He said it’s worth the time and will impress customers. “If you’re not engaging them, your competition will be,” Moser said.

Servicing the customer has value, he said. It leads to referrals, repeat business, and it gets techs comfortable with selling.

For PMPs who could use some help, sales training can be free, he said. Many of Moser’s presentations are available on YouTube, as are TED Talks and other educational videos.


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