Experts share how to stand apart from competitors


July 20, 2021

We asked Pest Management Professional’s columnists and editorial advisory board members to share how they set themselves and their companies apart from competitors. Here are some of the experts’ responses from our July 2021 print edition.

PMP’s Editorial Advisory Board and Regular Contributors

Greg Baumann: “Speak kindly about your competition. It reveals a level of professionalism that customers want in their homes or businesses. Bashing the competition never sold an account, but speaking kindly about the competition has.”

Image: Jerry Schappert

Image: Jerry Schappert

Jerry Schappert, ACE: “We put a black-and-white illustration of my wife, Renee, and me on every truck. It’s fairly large, and we get a ton of comments. People often say, ‘That’s the kind of people we want to do business with.’”

Pete Schopen: “As I’ve talked about in my column before, we work with urgency. Having urgency isn’t just the appearance of being busy — anyone can do that. Rather, it’s about solving the client’s issues with passion and compassion. So, what sets Schopen Pest Solutions apart? Passion + Compassion = Urgency.”

Mark Sheperdigian, BCE:  “We strive to maintain the best-trained service crew in the business.”

Dr. Hamilton Allen, BCE: “Consumers are bombarded by company logos and slogans on a minute-by-minute basis, so we focus less on being the ‘in-your-face’ brand with traditional marketing campaigns and more on highlighting the customer experience and our company values. We ensure each customer receives outstanding pest management services, and go above and beyond to communicate what’s taking place before, during, and after the service. We want to be transparent about our service, and transparency is one of our company values. Customers may display brand avoidance when they feel a company’s values don’t match their experience, and we want to avoid this at all costs.”

Michael Broder: “Our customer service sets us apart from our competition. Pest issues can be very stressful for our customers. We go out of our way to put our customers at ease, and back it up with great service to eliminate their issues.”

Foster Brusca: “Setting your brand apart from other companies all starts with your ‘why.’ All companies should know their ‘why,’ because it is the foundation of a company’s mission and vision. Without these, there is no way you can know how to set yourself apart from other companies. Once you have your ‘why,’ all things will fall into place, such as your company culture and marketing strategies.”

Doug Foster:“Our main differentiator is that we have an entomologist on staff. He not only can solve problems, but directs all of our training programs, so that his knowledge is ‘multiplied’ through our technicians and office staff. No other company in our area has that, and we make sure to use that in our branding and marketing.”

Dr. Faith Oi: “A colleague identified our approach as the blue ocean strategy. While there is a needed space for educational programming that is lecture-based, University of Florida’s Pest Management University created a new market space by offering an intensive hybrid of classroom and hands-on training, supported by a diverse teaching team because the needs of the industry are diverse.”

Kurt Scherzinger, ACE: “We keep a consistent and clean image. This includes everything from trucks, to uniforms, to reports, etc. This keeps us top of mind when someone thinks of pest service.”

Desiree Straubinger, BCE:

“Certus was founded on the principle that the industry needs a different kind of consolidator. Simply put, we believe there is always a better way — not only in the pest control methods we use, but in how we operate our business itself. We adopt best practices from every single company that joins the Certus family.

“Our Certus House Rules keep us on the right path. We focus on putting people first, doing the right thing, and always reaching higher. Our leaders are reminded to be humble, patient and most of all, listen. The front-line operation is the heart of our company. We emphasize giving them the trust and support they need to grow their careers, build strong relationships with our customers, and make an impact in the industry.

“To that end, we’re always looking for ways to improve our product selection, technology and training to ensure our customers have the best possible experience. We are dedicated to finding not just vendors, but vendor partners who understand what we’re trying to achieve and help us gain synergies, even at the lightning pace with which we are moving.”


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