The Pest Posse Roundup: Elevating professionalism in pest control

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June 13, 2024

The author, top, moderated the discussion with panelists, from left, Andy Sanefski, Gabe Seymour and Culley Christensen. Image: The Pest Posse

The author, top, moderated the discussion with panelists, from left, Andy Sanefski, Gabe Seymour and Culley Christensen. (Image: The Pest Posse)

Professionalism in the pest control industry stands as the bedrock of trust and reliability, yet it often remains a topic overlooked in discussions.

During a recent live episode on Pest Posse TV, however, I had the opportunity to explore this vital topic in depth with a distinguished panel comprised of industry veterans who exemplify professionalism in their endeavors. Our discussion shed light on various dimensions of professionalism.

Sharing experiences

The Pest Posse scheduleLeading the panel was Andy Sanefski, owner of Perimetek Pest Management in East Syracuse, N.Y. Sanefski, who also serves as co-host of the Coast 2 Coast Pest Talk podcast, offered insights that spanned a spectrum covering expertise, execution and ethics. He emphasized professionalism isn’t a binary concept; it’s a continuum, with practitioners striving for excellence across these three dimensions.

Joining Sanefski was Gabe Seymour, owner of Pest Patrol in Portland, Ore., and fellow co-host of the Coast 2 Coast Pest Talk podcast. Seymour stressed the importance of consistency and positive customer experiences in defining professionalism. He likened professionalism to the narrative a company weaves in the minds of its customers and team members.

Completing the panel was Culley Christensen, the visionary behind The Pest Posse who is known for his practical wisdom and commitment to excellence. Christensen highlighted the significance of branding, noting it’s not just about outward appearances, but also about the story a company communicates through its actions and representations.

Defining professionalism

Throughout our discussion, the theme of continuous training emerged as a linchpin of professionalism. Sanefski rightly observed that the best professionals are those who are perpetually refining their skills, akin to elite athletes honing their craft relentlessly. Seymour added depth to this notion, emphasizing that while external branding may capture attention, it’s the internal workings of a company — grounded in continuous training — that truly define its professionalism. Christensen echoed these sentiments, stressing the importance of investing in employees and reducing liabilities through rigorous training.

Regarding the role of customer service in professionalism, the panel challenged conventional wisdom. Sanefski reframed the concept, emphasizing the importance of adapting strategies based on the specific context of each situation. He advocated for a tailored approach that prioritizes professionalism over blind compliance. Christensen shared personal anecdotes underscoring the significance of effective communication — and the ability to say no when necessary.

Transitioning to how leadership plays a role in professionalism, Seymour emphasized the pervasive influence of leadership behaviors throughout an organization. From frontline technicians to company owners, leadership skills are indispensable in fostering trust, cohesion and a commitment to excellence. Sanefski expanded on this theme, highlighting the symbiotic relationship between leadership and organizational culture. He also emphasized the need for leaders to embody the values they seek to instill.

Professionalism is more than looks alone. Training will help ensure technicians act professional too, the panel noted. Photo: The Pest Posse

Professionalism is more than looks alone. Training will help ensure technicians act professional too, the panel noted. Photo: The Pest Posse

The panelists concluded their discussion by asserting that professionalism in the pest control industry goes beyond extermination — it’s about embodying expertise, executing with precision, and upholding ethical standards. By embracing continuous training and investing in their teams, companies can elevate their professionalism and set new standards of excellence in the field.

Watch the full Pest Posse TV livestream featuring the panel discussion on Professionalism in the Pest Control Industry at PestPosseTV.com/programs/professionalism-in-the-pest-control-industry.

About the Author

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Brusca is co-owner of The Pest Posse. He can be reached online at info@thepestposse.net.

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