Sales Tips For The Pest Control Technician

It’s amazing to me that pest technicians don’t sell more than 100k a year. Even more amazing? Most techs barely sell over 10k, and that’s in an entire year!!!

Think of it. Sales people as wonderful as they are don’t see near as many people as the tech does. Sales folks may be quick to make friends but really can’t compare with the relationship a tech will forge over the course of the contract. Month after month, service upon service, the tech is the one to learn all the kids names, get the scoop on family history, work places and even hobbies or special interests.

The relationship a tech can share most always is built on trust and reliability so if something like an add on service or a referral comes up, who’s in a better position to #1 hear about it and #2 get the sale?  The tech of course.  Still, we just don’t seem to rack up a bunch of numbers as techs and that’s a shame. For the company, for the client and for the tech and his or her commission check. So here are a few tips I’ve written down and hopefully one or two will be helpful and translate into some actual good things for all involved.

Your Mindset

#1  Be clear and don’t over complicate the issue with too much explanation.

#2 You have to believe in what you’re selling.

#3 If you don’t know-”say so.”  If you try and answer something you’re not 100% sure of the answer of,  you’ll get into trouble. The client will see this and at best it will just cause some doubt– at worst it will ruin your credibility.

#4 Be excited for what you are proposing. You don’t have to go over board but if you’re boring or drab the client will most likely not react favorably.

#5 Find a legitimate problem and offer a real solution. One (or a couple) ant that sneaks under the door does not mean you have to tent the home right? A simple door sweep or perhaps an exterior pest control would do. If you over sell someone–they will eventually figure this out and resent you which means it’s unlikely you’ll get any future sales.

#6 All good pest control sales come with a complete inspection. Doing this may uncover something crucial to your treatment or keep you from being embarrassed when the client has to reveal that or other information to you. Be thorough.

#7 It’s impossible to know everything about every pest. There is no shame in taking the time to read a paragraph or two about (Indian Meal Moths or other) in your Quick reference field guide before coming inside to approach the client.

#8 The number one sales motivator is emotions. This is perfect for the pest tech because people have ‘built in’ emotional feelings when it comes to bugs. If not readily noticeable you can press a few hot buttons ( say something like” roaches are capable of having LOT’S of babies” for example) but most likely you won’t have to. Their imagination or preset emotions will fill in the blanks.

Before you ever ask for a sale whether add on service or something else, ask yourself these questions;

#1 Have I “listened” to this customer.  (she says she isn’t concerned about ants in a stump outside and yet you try and sell her a yard spray-or she wants no odor or mess and you propose a fogging.

#2 Does my solution solve the problem or will they need more done? ie;exclusion, follow ups, etc.

#3 Have I positively ID’d the insect/pest?  If you are unsure or have misidentified a pest, your chances for successful treatment go way down.

How the tech should approach the customer for a sale.

Never wait to ‘spring’ an add on svc or sale on a client at the last minute. It catches them off guard and it’s too close to the time you’re leaving. The client will most likely resist and wait you out.

Set up the sale with a comment or a “look here”- as you go along. Then, don’t spew out a long sales pitch—just go about your service—the reason you are there. This gives the client notice you’ve identified a situation and they’ll be looking for your answer. It also gives you time to scope out the entire situation as well.

Be confident when you speak. If you aren’t confident in yourself-you can’t expect your customer to be.

Ask questions that get the client to either shake their head yes or answer in a positive way. “You do want this taken care of quickly right?”  “You don’t want termites eating your shed do you?”

Don’t give too many choices. There may be many ways to kill a bug but you’ll only cloud the issue with choices. Pick the one that is BEST for your client. $$ wise etc. and offer that. If they balk you’ll have the others to fall back on.

ASK for the business!! You receive not because you ask not.

Final Thoughts

Do you have brochures? Why not use one? If the problem is in an attic or crawl space–take a pic with your phone if you can. Visuals often work well when words come up short.

Don’t be afraid to SHUT UP. Once you’ve asked for the sale & just be quiet. The old adage is…He who speaks first…loses.

Don’t be afraid to name your price but try not to do it too early. If you hem and haw about your price you cause doubt. (it’s part of the being confident thing) If asked and you have it, state it as fact. From there you can reiterate benefits and features but run the risk of sounding defensive or that it’s somehow negotiable. Put it out there and move on either by asking for the sale (close) or by continuing with your pitch.

Impress and inspire your customers with your knowledge but don’t go overboard, make things up or forget to listen.

Always set a tone of urgency to help the client realize NOW is the best time to say yes. ie; not with expiring coupons per se… rather letting them know perhaps the lifecycle of said problem and how it will only grow worse with the passing of time.

Don’t give away the store!! Too many sales people feel they have to ‘give away’ a little or a lot as incentive to buy. In most cases this means you’re not confident in your pricing and feel it’s to high. Maybe not right away but sooner or later your client will figure that out as well. Also, remember, you’re the one who’ll be doing the work most likely- so ask yourself, is this worth it or just added fluff to get the sale?

Don’t put on “your sales hat.”  If you suddenly change your voice, your tone, your actions and assertiveness– don’t you think people will see that as an act? They will. Be yourself and simply explain what you see and how your service is the answer.

Remind yourself that your clients are looking for you to protect their family and their home. If you see a need, it is your “JOB” to bring it to their attention as well as the solution. (even if your company does not offer it as part of what they do- ie; plumbing leak or gutters are loose, etc.)

Be thankful in any situation. Whether they buy from you or not but especially when they do… let them know you appreciate the opportunity and then prove it by delivering what you promised.

We are in a quasi complaint business. People will sometimes blame you for bugs or problems. Keep calm at all times. Acknowledge their anger and bring it right back around to your solution. Try and stay out of the blame game.

Sales are not luck but that’s how most techs run into a sale. I can honestly tell you that as a pest tech you will run into at least 3 or 4 bonafide ‘opportunities per day-that’s on the low side.

Never sell to those who can’t buy. ie; don’t give your pitch to the son if the mom’s not home- you’ll be depending on him to do your job and it won’t get done. Make time later to call and stop by.

If you’re customer isn’t the hero you’re doing it wrong. In other words don’t make your sales pitch all about you. Let your client shine. This can be done by saying “you got it- that’s a great idea, ohhhhh I like that- you bring up a point– I wouldn’t of seen that if you wouldn’t have said…”

It’s said the definition of luck is when preparation meets opportunity. As a pest control techncian you run in to these opportunities each and every day. The only question left is….Are you prepared?

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. Pestcemetery.com was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.
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  • bug killed today

    A pest control technician would be nuts to take advice from a crackpot like you.
    Take your advice and shove it up your ass Bug Doctor. Im fucking sick of the bullshit you give to people. Someone needs to call you out for the lies you spread. Fuck off!!!!!