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Prospecting is a team sport

|  June 22, 2020
PHOTO: OLM26250/ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS/GETTY IMAGES

PHOTO: OLM26250/ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS/GETTY IMAGES

Every business, no matter how large or small, depends on leads to sustain business and grow. How well you gather those leads and convert them into sales determines the health, and ultimately the success, of your business.

Where are your leads coming from? Your website, Facebook, LinkedIn, word of mouth, referrals, cold calls? How about the eyes and ears of your company’s technicians and office staff?

If you really consider your employees and staff a team, then prospecting is a team sport. Our staff is constantly on the lookout for any opportunity out there. They seek out new commercial construction (for pretreats), new restaurants (for monthly service), new housing additions (for pretreats and quarterly programs), under-new-ownership signage (for monthly service), bad health department scores in the newspaper (for opportunity); the list is endless.

Our team is incentivized to sell, or at least alert us to, anything or anyone who could benefit from our services. Obviously, some team members are stronger than others. But the key is that everyone participates.

I don’t hire technicians to sell, but with a little coaching, they can become aware of some of the possibilities mentioned. One of my mentors, the late Lloyd Smigel, would ride with me and point out some obvious — and some not-so-obvious opportunities to serve. See … we all benefit from a little coaching sometimes.

One of my proudest memories from a few years ago occurred when a new restaurant called for service. The man said he chose us because three people from my company had stopped in, and “we must really want his business.” I was one of them, but gave commission to both technicians because they probably didn’t appear “salesy” and outsold me.

The moral here is that everyone in your organization plays a part in the success or mediocrity of your business. Antennas up!


FOSTER is the immediate past president of the Indiana Pest Management Association and owner of Burt’s Pest Control in Indiana. He is also an Editorial Advisory Board member for Pest Management Professional.

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