PMP Summit Sound Bites: Show appreciation, know your competition

|  June 14, 2019

At the 2019 Pest Management Professional (PMP) Growth Summit, PMP’s staff encouraged attendees to share the business and pest control tips that work for them. Check out this column each month for advice and tips overheard at the 2019 PMP Growth Summit.
 

Show appreciation

PHOTO: JIM SKINNER

PHOTO: JIM SKINNER

The technicians at A&C Pest Management in East Meadow, N.Y., received logo workout shirts and Yeti tumblers at their annual training meeting because President Jim Skinner, ACE, strives to match his team’s gear to their interests. “Most of our staff is 40 years old and younger, and most of them work out at the gym,” he explains. “I bought the Yeti tumbler because it can be used in their vehicle, or at their desk or the gym. These items are just a small reward for their outstanding work and to show my team how much I appreciate them; I do really appreciate them.”

 

Know your competition

You won’t know where your pest control company fits in your market unless you know what your competitors are offering and charging.
Pest management professionals (PMPs) new to the industry or considering adding services should check out the competition in their service areas, an anonymous attendee advised.

“If I’m an owner and I have four or more technicians, every year I want to know what my competitors are doing,” he said.

PHOTO: JIM SKINNER

PHOTO: JIM SKINNER

To learn more about your competitors’ service offerings, service protocols and pricing, call at least three competitors and ask them to come to your house for a free estimate, he suggested. Ask a female relative or neighbor to help; with residential accounts, women tend to receive more information than men during service calls because they often make most of the pest control purchasing decisions.

Ask her to tell the PMP she saw ants around the house, and ask to check for termites, too. That way, the technician will inspect outdoors and inside, most likely the kitchen and basement. Give your homeowner a couple of questions to ask; consider listening from another room in the house. Advise her to take every piece of literature offered.

“It’s a very competitive market, and PMPs want the business,” he said. “They’ve created marketing and collateral pieces, and they want to be able to give them away.”

Then, analyze your competitors’ pricing and services, and make adjustments as needed. For example, you may find you are underpricing your quarterly service if your competition charges $100, but you charge $60. You could charge $85 or $90 and still be competitively priced, and you just made yourself $25 to $30 more.

But if your quarterly service costs $150 and your competitors charge $100, you’ve got to figure out what they’re not doing. Or maybe you discover your competitors are offering a service you should add, too.

In addition, if your competition charges $100 and you charge $105 for the same service, before long you will find yourself selling a $5 difference instead of a $105 service.

“See who is out there selling against you,” he said. “There’s a lot you can get out of it to build your business.”

 

2020 PMP Growth Summit | If you’re a pest management professional who makes the purchasing decisions for your company, we invite you to apply to attend the 2020 PMP Growth Summit at Reunion Resort in Orlando, Fla. Qualified attendees receive complimentary accommodations, meals, beverages and golf. To learn more and apply, visit PMPGrowthSummit.net.

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