Updated: Apr 5, 2019
It is that time of year again. Birds are flying and chirping, rats are leaving the warmth of your attic, ants are working hard in and around your home, mosquitoes are getting ready for the sweet taste of blood; and sales people are gearing up to start knocking on doors. Doesn’t matter what the sale is for, it is coming. Roofers, lawn maintenance, pool experts, arborists, and your friendly pest control company will be knocking on your door for pest services.
I don’t know about you but, when I get work done, I want a professional to do it. I wouldn’t hire my doctor to put a new roof on my house. At the same time, I want to ensure the roofer standing at my front door knows what he is talking about before I sign a contract. Have you ever signed up for something and regretted it later?
Working in the Pest Control industry as a technician, I have seen first-hand buyer’s remorse. Typically, the person selling you pest control at your front door, dressed in shorts, a polo, and ball cap, college aged, good looking professional ‘kid’; is just that, a collage kid. Bare minimum knowledge of the pest control industry. They only have “40 HOURS” of verifiable on-the-job-training, and “8 HOURS” of classroom training. These hours are the State minimum requirements to be an APPRENTICE. They usually have a target number of sign ups to complete in a day, week or month and failure results in movement to another position for the summer, or termination. Either way, they are only here for the summer.
Target Number or Quota. Companies don’t care how these sales people get the sale, they just want it. The company typically shells out good money for transportation expenses to bus the sales force in, houses them for the summer. The company has a vested interest now in this force and the sales force needs to perform. That is when the sales tactics come in. We all know and have met that forceful sales person who tries to bully their way to the sale. There are a few of them in this force but typically, they are sweet, caring, understanding people who try to connect with you the consumer. With the sweetness and understanding, they are listening. Listening to what you currently dislike about your current pest service, pointing out what the company they work for can do that will just blow you away. ‘You want to let Lucky out to use the potty after service and don’t want to wait until the chemicals dry?’ ‘Say no more, our products, you can do just that!’ ‘You want us to go on the roof and get the webs at the top of the chimney?’ ‘Consider it done with ____ Pest Control.’ You then sign a contract for a free initial service, and $79 quarterly visits and free reservices. What they skip over and hope you don’t read about is that if you become dissatisfied with service, or can not complete the contract terms, or any other list of reasons for needing to cancel the service contract prior to the year that you signed for, they charge you a cancelation fee or any other fancy term they may give it. When all is said and done, they are recouping lost revenues.
Their license, if they are licensed, are typically only for an Apprentice. Minimal training. Their focus during training is how to make money, commission. To best learn about your pest problem and ways to treat the problem is to talk with a Licensed Technician or a Certified Applicator (Highest license issued in the State of Texas for commercial pest applicators). Never allow anyone to tell you how a treatment is going to be handled EXCEPT for the person who is doing the treatment. At the end of the day, the service and treatment techniques are going to come from the person doing the treatment. How can a sales person or a call center representative say for sure what the technician will do during a service?
A license in the pest control industry is very important to the license holder. The license holder is responsible for the treatment that takes place on your property, not the call service rep, not the sales person; the State licensed person is responsible. This means if the license holder misapplies a product, misuses a product or breaks the law (federal or local) the license holder answers for the mishaps, or crimes if you will. Judgement can include financial fines, to loss of license to jail terms. All a negative impact on someone’s life.
NO SOLICITING It does not matter how nice, funny or stern you are with your way of asking someone not to solicit you for anything at your place, it never fails. It is bound to happen. We see it often posted on social media: ‘Who do I contact about a door knocker knocking on my door, our neighborhood is a No Soliciting neighborhood.’ Or my favorite: ‘Be on the lookout. Sales team for blah blah blah are knocking doors near Stump Street.’ This sign is more of a challenge to a young sales person, trying to make some money through the summer. A reputable company would respect your privacy and right to peace with no disturbance. Even gated communities are no match for these Sales Pros. Not sure if they climb the wall, dig a tunnel or follow another vehicle through the point of entry, but they make their way in. I’ve worked with a company, they would call their sales force, “Inspectors” with their field techs to make sales and cloverleaf the neighborhoods. Talk about being a cockroach.
Notice in the video below, it is all about the money and the dollars. Not a mention of using the products. They just know the names and the book work behind the industry. They don’t go on to own or work for the service portion, they stick with sales or move on to careers outside of pest control but still in sales.
Beware of the Summer Sales Force from Pest Control companies. Never sign a contract without researching the company.