PMP Summit Sound Bites: Handling the unexpected, social media uses


July 29, 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.

Handling the unexpected

During one roundtable discussion session, Dean Burnside, president of Good News Pest Solutions, North Venice, Fla., shared a traumatic tale about an employee who encountered a customer who bled out in the master bedroom’s bathroom. When the police showed up after the horrified employee called 911, he had to escort them to the scene. For whatever reason, they made him do it again when the emergency medical technicians (EMTs) arrived.

“When the EMT team came in, they said, ‘Yep, he’s dead,’” Burnside explained. “My guy said, ‘That was pretty obvious. What are you going to do with the body?’ They said, ‘We don’t haul dead bodies, that’s someone else’s job.’ So he left quickly, just in case someone else came to get the body and made him go in again!”

Burnside shared the impact the event had on the employee — and the company.

“We offered our employee time off if needed, but he chose not to take any,” Burnside noted. “We also took the opportunity to discuss the situation with our entire team, and reviewed our protocols for what to do and whom to call in any ‘strange’ situation. He’s still with us today.”

Harvey Goldglantz

Harvey Goldglantz

Be proactive

Good News Pest Solutions did the right thing, says pest management industry consultant Harvey Goldglantz, a 2018 PMP Hall of Famer. He advises pest management professionals to conduct crisis communication training at least once a year to be prepared should the unthinkable occur.

Read moreWeb Exclusive: Crisis communications

Uses for social media

Each of our five roundtable discussion sessions focused on a specific topic — among them was social media. It was one of the most crowded on both days of the PMP Growth Summit. Attendees and Partners alike were eager to share ideas and learn from one another.

A common complaint from the group on day one was that there are “too many ways to do social media.” Facebook seemed to be the most popular platform because of the discount and referral opportunities, but LinkedIn has a bigger – and growing – audience. Still, LinkedIn is useful for prospecting and networking with the business community, and building brand awareness over actually closing sales. The group on day two noted it can also be useful for product promotion.

Ty Ferraro

Ty Ferraro

Attendees participating in the social media roundtable discussions agreed it can be difficult to determine what to achieve with social media. Is it merely for branding? To drive traffic to the website? Some noted the value of sharing information — and sometimes, just plain venting — on closed Facebook groups like

Ty Ferraro, director of marketing for Control Solutions Inc., Pasadena, Texas, helped cut through the confusion, noting social media is “just one spoke of the marketing wheel, and at the center of that wheel is your website.”

Many agreed, explaining a lot of their social media budget was earmarked for improving search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) expertise. Others admitted they get more business from word-of-mouth than any other method.




Customer retention, by the numbers

According to our PMP Growth Summit roundtable groups that focused on customer retention, the national industry average for customer retention is between 85 percent and 88 percent.

One pest management professional noted it’s important to focus on outselling your cancel rate. For example, if your cancel rate is 13 percent, you should sell 25 percent to combat it.


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

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