Whether big, small, established or new, pest control businesses utilize and rely on distributors and the services they provide, to help grow their businesses. Per Dave Watkins, general manager of O’Connor Pest Control in Camarillo, Calif., the distributor that his company uses “has been instrumental in helping us with everything from really competitive pricing on their products to helping with continuing education, in-house training, and anything that we may need help with out in the field,” even offering the assistance of particular product manufacturer’s representatives, if needed. To help pest control businesses grow and thrive, distributors offer services extending beyond just product sales and delivery. Providing in-person training courses, online continuing education classes, detailed online product information, competitive pricing, and additional online tools are essential resources that distributors can provide to PCOs that are trying to grow their businesses. Dustin Banks, general manager/owner of Red Rock Pest Control in Las Vegas appreciates the fact that his distributor provides online service information and tools that are “available at my fingertips,” he says.
A critical element that distributors help PMPs with is the offering of a sales representative (essentially a local expert) to serve as a business growth guide. Sales representatives can be knowledgeable resources that will help to make pest control recommendations specific to the PCO in order to help grow the business, as well as help with efficiencies to make sure that the business succeeds. “We’ve grown a lot because our quality of service has improved,” with the help of his distributor’s sales rep, says Danny Shakespeare, owner of Shakespeare Pest Control in Saint George, Utah. “If I call my sales rep and say we’re really struggling with getting a lot of callbacks for ants,” says Shakespeare, the sales rep will ask about the company’s protocols and procedures, and then make recommendations for improvement.
Shakespeare explains that he even had a sit-down meeting with his sales rep last year to review his entire chemical program. He received recommendations regarding the usage of certain chemicals and at the proper season to help reduce callbacks and increase quality. Taking the guidance one step further, Shakespeare says his sales representative is “someone to bounce an idea off of.” And, in fact, “Any change I ever make in the company, I always run it by [my sales rep] first,” he says, because “he goes out of his way to make sure that my business succeeds all around.”
Distributors will sometimes approach their PCO customers to offer the inspiration for the pest control company to provide a new service. At other times, the distributors will lend an ear and provide guidance when their customers approach them with thoughts of service expansion.
Mosquito Control and a Retail Store at Bryant’s Pest Control
Jim Bryant, owner of Bryant’s Pest Control in Houston, Texas, says that he has been providing mosquito control services for about six months as a result of his distributor’s suggestion. When visiting his distributor’s nearby office, which Bryant has been doing since 1983, his sales rep broached the subject of mosquito control. Bryant expressed interest and from his sales rep learned about particular trap and misting system products, watched videos, and understood exactly what the costs would be to begin providing the service. “We had a training program, and went from there,” says Bryant, who says his sales rep helped with obtaining products, training, and guidance for a successful mosquito control service.
Pigeon Control at Red Rock Pest Control
Dustin Banks, general manager/owner of Red Rock Pest Control in Las Vegas, Nevada, explains that his company has always provided pigeon control services, but he is now starting to focus more on increasing this service, with thanks to his distributor. “They stay up on top of doing things in the industry,” says Banks. Therefore, when a new pigeon control product was introduced to the market, Banks’ distributor sales representative personally delivered a sample box for Banks to evaluate. “I did some research, tried it out, and it worked,” he says. Banks appreciates the opportunity to utilize this new safe, effective, and cutting-edge bird deterrent product that his sales rep suggested because “it’s going to change the industry.”
Mosquito Service at O’Connor Pest Control
A few years ago, when mosquito-borne viruses became a hot topic and particular cases were found in California, O’Connor Pest Control in Camarillo, Calif., saw an opportunity to begin offering mosquito control service to customers, explains Dave Watkins, general manager. “We didn’t have anybody on staff who had any knowledge of [mosquito service],” as mosquitoes are not typically a problem in California, explains Watkins. So, the company approached their distributor for help, who then offered assistance with training and equipment, and guidance for the company to successfully break into that line of work.
Bed Bug Dog Detection and New Bed Bug Service Techniques at Shakespeare Pest Control
When Danny Shakespeare, owner of Shakespeare Pest Control in Saint George, Utah, made the decision to add a bed bug detection dog to his pest control team, he contacted his distributor sales representative. Although the distributor does not offer training or services related to beg bug detection dogs, the sales rep was able to provide pros and cons, and examples of what he had learned about the service. “He just supported me in my decision,” says Shakespeare. Plus, the sales rep was able to provide guidance regarding bed bug service in general, by suggesting the usage of new products. Per Shakespeare, “I tried them and we had great results. We started doing less and less heat treatments and using [the new products] more and more.”