On this episode of Pesty Marketing Podcast, we discuss the challenges of scaling a pest control company and the various strategies that can be employed for growth. We cover the importance of initial treatment and follow-up services, as well as the risks associated with competing solely on price. We delve into the power of referral programs and highlight companies that have grown exponentially through this strategy.

Our guest speaker, Antoni, provides insights into software and automation tools that can help businesses close more leads and avoid wasting money on ineffective advertising campaigns. We also explore the importance of customer service and how automating reminders and responses to missed calls can improve the customer experience and increase overall lifetime value.

Finally, we discuss the possibilities of integrating AI technology into the pest control industry and how it can help businesses respond to leads quickly and more efficiently.

Antoni started his career in the pest control industry ten years ago as a door-to-door salesman. Although he quickly realized this was not the ideal role for him, he knew he loved growing the business. He approached of the company and suggested they focus on digital marketing to scale the business without having to knock on doors. Together with some key talent, they successfully grew the online presence of the company, which led to revenue skyrocketing from $300,000 to $6 million in just four years. Antoni is now the founder and CEO of a new pest control sales software company called Fiohs where he’s turned his industry knowledge into the best sales enablement tool on the market.

Learn more about Antoni and his work in AI and automation at Pest AI and Fiohs.

[00:06:58] Created successful sales funnels, sold about a million of dollars annually, trained two people for sales approach, improved another company’s conversion rate from 50% to 85%.

[00:12:19] Fios software solves the problem of pest control companies losing money on leads. Automation is key, but the companies still need to close deals. The top three automations needed for success are not specified.

[00:24:49] Referrals are important with lower customer acquisition cost and better lifetime value. Offering incentives to both the referrer and referred can increase success. Many pest control companies don’t focus on referrals, but it can be an effective marketing strategy.

[00:34:20] Create free directories on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Nextdoor to be discoverable. Engage with these communities and pay attention to conversations. Paid options like local service ads, Angie’s List, Thumbtack, and Home Advisor can work, but be prepared to handle calls. Yelp advertising is simpler with less control compared to Google.

[00:40:11] Competing on low prices can lead to incapability to scale a business. Pest control companies should focus on initial treatments with follow-ups instead of quarterly services. Companies investing more in customer acquisition can easily outcompete other companies. A payback period of 50% is not uncommon for companies that are scaling aggressively. Companies should be prepared to lose money for a decent period of time to grow. The writer asks what a reasonable payback period for an annual service customer is.

[00:49:32] Customer service is about helping the customer, not defending the company. Role-playing should involve putting the customer and employee on the same team, with the computer representing the company. Communicating well with customers and providing a great experience, including automation and being a happy person, is essential. The goal is for customers to be happy and willing to call for help.

[00:59:28] The text describes a guided tour and onboarding process for a software solution that focuses on building custom solutions for businesses, including automation and efficiency. Basic setup takes a week, while more complex integrations can take up to a month. A new feature allows easy plug-in for automation, with no work required from the user’s end.

[01:02:43] Solo operators can compete with big companies through strategic partnerships and working with a marketing company that specializes in their industry.