bed bugs

When exaggeration is a good thing

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by The Bug Doctor

You really can’t be in this business long before you hear your first exaggeration about a wayward rat that was the size of a dog or a roach infestation that would make even Stephen Kings skin crawl. My guess is that within the first week someone somewhere will hit you with just such a story and swear on a stack of glue boards that it is the truth. Over time I guess you learn how to separate the fictitious from the facts from the customers and maybe even some of your buddies back at the shop. (they tell em too– but not you & me though;)

There is however a great time to exaggerate and every boss or trainer should be encouraging you to do it with every service you perform in front of a customer. Now I’m certainly not the worlds foremost expert on training but I have done my share and teaching is a passion of mine and this is one talent I try to impart with anyone I’m working with.

When I tell trainees to exaggerate what I want them to do is to magnify what they are doing. There are two basic reasons for this and the results are quick in coming;

  • #1 There is no doubt that the customer sees fully what you are doing and usually this means they ‘ll like your thoroughness.
  • #2 It will improve your aim (if you will) and make you aware of what you’re doing and believe it or not you’ll see more of the tiniest of clues left behind by whatever pest you are treating for.
  • If you just grab a sprayer or duster and quickly apply your products and move on your client will think you’re rushed, not paying attention or just don’t care which are all a recipe for early cancellations. If however you take that duster or spray with full and deliberate motion, maybe throw in a flashlight while you’re dropped down to one knee looking in the crack just above the dishwasher then I’m sure your customer will get a differentPicture 72 150x150 When exaggeration is a good thing picture. Why?, because you’re painting a different one for them to see. I tell my guys to be artists when they treat not because I like being called the office loon but because I like happy customers whose own minds are telling them they are getting a service that’s worth the money they are spending. If my service and actions are top rate then I really don’t have to convince them to stick with me now do I?

    Let’s face it, you’re probably doing great work and you might put all the right products in all the right places but what good does that do at the bank? You can’t cash a cancelled customer and you really would be hard pressed to ask for a referral from someone who doesn’t see the value in what you do. The odd part of this approach is that it really only ads a few minutes to any service but what it makes up in trust or a little bit of slack when a pest problem occurs is hard to deny. I have had this pay dividends on so many occasions when an outbreak occurs, the client is mad because the apparent breakdown in service but they have watched me go through their home with care and concern so many times that they just know it’s not something I did or didn’t do- this gives me the opportunity to get in there and clean it up and get back to square one and that my friend is the best time to ask for a referral but you normally won’t have to, they’ve already told all their neighbors all about you.

    Picture 101 150x150 When exaggeration is a good thingNow I really didn’t go into the how so much and I don’t want to make this to long. Simply put, instead of a ‘whisk’ of the wand down the side of a refrigerator, aim that sprayer like you mean it and make your motions go all the way down with the spray. Put that flashlight in front of your nose BEFORE you spray or dust and check the area out, you’ll be surprised at what you see. We all know you can sprits a fly at 10 feet with your B&G skills but move that dog dish anyways. Over emphasize your motions just a bit so the homeowner sees you taking that little extra care. It’s never the same at any one account and sometimes customers could care less about what you are doing (that’s what they say on the outside but what they’re thinking about a rushed technician is totally different) but get in the habit of re-selling your service not with your mouth, use your motions and paint a picture of a contentious tech and don’t be afraid to exaggerate just a little bit.


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