Well our original question was What is the LIFETIME value of a customer? which we discussed in part 1. Then in part 2 we went looking for a key and I sort of left you hanging- my bad but I think you’ll see the light soon. I also promised you two stories and with these I think we can wrap this up and give you that key and then of course the rest is up to you.
Failure To Consider The Lifetime Value = Failure To Grow Exponentially
Some of the smartest people I know are in pest control and yet so many of those have no clue what a customers true value is. The ‘key’ I talked about is actually hidden in plain sight in part 2. While one customer isn’t worth a whole bunch on their own-(that is unless you land the Donald Trump account) they are worth potentially tens of thousands of dollars on an annual basis. We used an example of a $300 dollar per year account but then when you factor in the sales that can and should be generated from that “lowly client” it can become staggering. I know this to be true because the example I gave is just one of many that came from my business.
Everybody I know is always SO BUSY LOOKING FOR NEW ACCOUNTS that they rarely take time to do what is necessary to just build their foundation with the bricks already there. Your explosive growth, plans to put another truck on the road, finally get out of the house and in an office in town are all right in front of you. Now I realize you’re not stupid and deep down you know this but for some reason the majority of you follow the worn out trail of ‘how to get new clients’ by advertising, coupons, specials, door knocking etc., etc. Oh these things work but it’s like going grocery shopping by visiting 15 different stores and buying one item at each until you’re done. I’m not saying you should stop the old tried & true but at least why don’t you slow down just a hair to consider a ready made system that’s 90% in place with an untapped treasure trove of new customers right under your feet? To illustrate this I’ll tell two quick stories & I haven’t forgotten those questions I asked you to ponder in part 1 – you’ll see these emphasized in italics.
My first example is a very smart man, he’s worked his plan and even this key to exponential growth but somewhere down the line he lost his way. He began with a business relationship he forged at his church. Little did he know it was with one of the largest builders in town. He went from a decent hard working 3 truck crew to a big time force in the county. His relationship with the builder flourished and anywhere a new home went up, his services were used. He treated the construction god very well with very low prices and new business was coming in as a result. Homeowners seeing his name on stickers in the garage and paperwork of the builders warranties called automatically to renew termite contracts and ask about other services.It was a ‘midas touch’ of sorts but he really didn’t need to engage anyone else so for a long time, he just reaped the fallout from this very fortunate relationship. I don’t know the whole story of course but here-say repeated more than once or twice starts to carry weight. I also hired a guy who worked for him for years- since that guy only lasted a month with me I guess a grain of salt would be wise. It seems that things were going south with the friendship with the builder as arguments over service and whatever else ensued. Customers I picked up from them were always dissatisfied and claimed they were either ignored or treated badly. He began trying to reinvent his business and starting advertising with extremely low prices and practically gave away termite bait systems to get new blood. Long story short, this man really only had one relationship that mattered but when he failed to consider it’s true worth, it too ended.
The One Truck Wonder
On the other hand there is a man who has max’d out his pool of ready made clients and actually has a waiting list of people ready should one of his regulars drop off. This guy has truly considered wisely the value of each client. I’d say 99% of his customers have all of the services he offers which is lawn, termite, pest and shrubs. The vast majority are all connected in some fashion as well. They either work together or are related and my buddy can tell you each one of the kids names, pets, knows family stories and they his. His huge but efficient route is a thing of beauty. I often see him in one neighborhood for just about the whole day. I drive by once and he’s pushing a spreader, again and he’s checking bait stations, then he’s across the street sweeping webs. I’ve talked with him many times about putting on a route tech and either growing his company further or at least to just stop working 6 days per week but he’ll have none of it. He’s a success because he’s hit his goals, made it to the top of his horizon and there is not one inch of waisted time or effort in his route. His people love him and the guy NEVER has to advertise, give things away or even go low on any prices. He not only knows the Lifetime Value of his clients, he holds-
Well by now if I’ve done my job you’ve got the key and maybe for some it’s a let down since it’s not some magical formula that you can plug in and have the cash just flow. I realize my first example actually did but I equate that to like winning the lottery and he never had any real grip on the key to keeping it going. The Key to exponential growth in pest control isn’t flyers, Tv, give away’s or even strong sales. It is in a word
Now I could add 3 more chapters about relationships and perhaps I will at some other time. My thought is however that you are engaged in serving the public so you already know more about it than I could say. Besides, people buy from YOU and you know how to be you better than anyone else. Let people see this, see it in them. Take time to garner respect and show that you are an expert in the field and when the time is right ask for a referral, where they work and who to talk to or ask if they have a relative who needs pest control. Also make sure to offer more than just one of your services-Heck if you start building a route/community full of people who like and trust you you won’t have to ask at all- they’ll get you new customers automatically!
Exponential growth does not mean overnight but it does mean at a certain time things grow really rapidly once momentum kicks in and then from there it can all explode. Relationships are the same way- you won’t meet someone one day and have 15 leads the next. But as time goes on you’ll see it happening I guarantee. Just as I asked you to ponder some questions in the beginning of this article I now ask you to Consider The Lifetime Value Of Your Customer—Build Relationships– and Grow Exponentially.