Top 10 Mistakes Pest Companies Make with Their Sales and Marketing

illustration of marketing tools

You put a lot of time, effort and money – not to mention blood, sweat and tears – into your company’s sales and marketing efforts. After all, your continued growth and success depend on them. So what do you do when you’re not getting the results you’re looking for? It might be time to take a look at your systems and processes to see if you’re falling prey to some common, and usually easily avoided, mistakes. Here’s a look at the top 10 mistakes pest companies make with their sales and marketing:

1.  Making it hard for your prospects to move forward. You’d be surprised how many companies unknowingly put up roadblocks that actually make it more difficult for potential customers to do business with them. For example: Do you require an in-person meeting before you offer a quote or estimate? Why? Your customer wants immediate answers. And the faster you can provide them, the more likely they are to do business with you. Ideally, for your potential customers, one call will do it all: Uncover the problem, offer a solution, schedule the service and get the payment.

2.  Not properly identifying what sets your business apart. What are your company’s true competitive advantages, differentiators and specific value propositions? What do you do that no one else does? And before you say “we provide great customer service,” consider this: All of your competitors say the same thing. That’s not unique. What are you doing that your competitors are not (or at least, they’re not telling their customers about it)? Consider options like same-day service, contract buyouts, no-contract service, price match guarantee, etc. Find something that makes you stand out in your marketplace.

3.  Undercutting your pricing. Don’t be afraid to offer high-dollar sales and additional services. The customer can’t say “yes” to something you’re not offering them!

4.  Not understanding your customer acquisition costs. Knowing who your customer is and what they bring to your business is the starting point in understanding how much and where you should spend your marketing dollars – what’s your average value per customer? Then, tracking customer acquisition costs and production costs and comparing them to that value will give you insight into your growth opportunities. What’s your cost per lead? Closing rate? Are you willing to spend more to close a higher-value customer? What kind of ROI are you aiming for? All important considerations.

5.  Ignoring upsells. For example: Say a customer calls you reporting an ant problem…so you offer them pest control. But you’re leaving an opportunity on the table. Ask a few more questions. Do they spend a lot of time outside – have they noticed a lot of mosquitoes? Do they have pets – what about flea and tick control? Keep the conversation going and you’ll find additional chances to sell the services you offer.

6.  Out-of-date websites. Did you know that websites have a sell-by date? No matter how well-designed your business website is, it needs fairly frequent updating to remain an effective marketing tool. According to Forbes, the average lifespan of a website is just over 2.5 years. Digital trends and habits are constantly evolving, and your website needs to measure up to get noticed. We recommend redesigning your site at least every 3-4 years to remain competitive.

7.  Not taking advantage of omnichannel marketing and effective branding. Omnichannel marketing is the practice of promoting your brand across online (website, social media, apps, email, texts, etc.) and offline (retail stores, events, call center) resources while providing a seamless and positive experience during the entire customer journey. This kind of strategy is especially important today when the average consumer isn’t tethered to a single device or channel. In fact, 73% of buyers shop across multiple channels. Meeting them at every step of the way helps you create a better customer experience, reduce churn and drive a positive brand image for your company.   

8.  Poor closing skills. Closing every sale is crucial. Here are a few pitfalls to avoid:

  • Not asking for their business. Ask for the business every time you quote! “I can get you on the schedule tomorrow at 8 AM. Does that work?” “I noticed you already have a credit card on file with us. Do you want to use that for this additional service?” If you aren’t asking for the business, you give them the chance to think about it…and the longer they think about it, the less likely the sale becomes. Immediacy is key!
  • Getting too technical. Just 10% of prospects are “technical” shoppers. For the rest, too much technical jargon is confusing, causing them to over-think. They don’t want an entomologist, they just want their pest problem under control. Let your techs handle the expert advice!
  • Starting with the price. Price shoppers will steal your time. Always ask for their name, address, phone number and email before giving a price over the phone. Whether they buy or not, they can be added to your marketing funnel for future opportunities.

9.  Not adopting a digital franchise model – the key to dominating your local search engine results page. A digital franchise model is one company having several locations throughout their service area, both in real life and online. Like a franchise, office locations are strategically located in key markets with ample opportunity. Having several physical locations within one service area is highly beneficial from a digital marketing perspective because Google favors brick-and-mortar businesses over service area businesses in their search results – plus “near me” searches have exploded over the past few years. We recommend devoting some of your marketing budget to growing your physical locations, considering the rent you pay for these locations a marketing expense and following these best practices:

  • They should be real, physical locations with signage
  • They should be far enough apart (10-15 miles)
  • Strategically choose locations and zip codes for the most opportunity
  • Create Google Business Profiles for each location
  • Each location should be visible on your website

10.  Lack of follow-up. Do you have a follow-up process in place? Create a process that’s easy, automated and repeatable. Don’t wait for the customer to call you!

As the leading provider of digital marketing solutions for the pest control industry, Coalmarch by Workwave can help you avoid these all-too-common errors. Get in touch with us today to see how our data-driven approach, all-inclusive digital services and custom integrations will drive incredible growth for your company!