Editor’s note: Even though the widespread outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States is dominating the news, in the pages of PCT, it’s still important to balance coronavirus news with pest control news. PMPs are in the field performing treatments; the pest management industry is an essential business. As such, it is important to look at the Top 100 List and the accompanying articles through the coronavirus lens. (See related discussion.) No one knows what the short- or long-term future holds for the pest management industry but this article by Hal Coleman provides insights and lessons that apply to companies large and small. Coleman, a speaker/consultant and the longtime owner of North Fulton Exterminating, Alpharetta, Ga., shares his thoughts on how to stay positive amid the COVID-19 pandemic and fallout.

© creativeteam | AdobeStock
Hal Coleman

With most of the world suffering from a serious degree of shutdown, think about this: New marketing trends and strategies are going to replace — at least temporarily — many old ones. It’s up to us to keep our noses in the wind and our eyes along the skyline and be ready to adapt and adjust to the many changes that are coming our way.

With a major decrease in domestic and international travel resulting in many vacant rental properties, hotels and resorts, you might want to decrease your normal budget for marketing your bed bug services and focus more on marketing to residential...at least for now. Focus on selling more “outside-only” services.

Expect more rodent calls, especially if you live in an urban community where all the restaurants and bars have been shut down. Rats must eat too and with no food in or around the dumpsters, they will migrate elsewhere.

If a customer loses his/her job and can’t afford to pay you, go service them at no charge (at least a time or two until we see how the future plays out). Tell them it is simply your way of trying to help them. They will never forget you for it. And I’m sure they would be happy to give you a 5-star review!

You’ve probably got extra time on your hands anyway right now, which you should also use to learn new marketing skills such as video marketing on the internet, blog article writing and posting, podcasting, public speaking, sales script writing, etc.

FACT: The game has changed...and if you don’t change with it...if you continue to operate as you have in the past and simply wait, hope, wish and pray for things to get better...and you don’t take action and make changes happen on your own...you just might find yourself in another line of work this time next year.

Another FACT: We are not falling down a well. We are traveling through a tunnel. We WILL eventually emerge out the other side. And we will be STRONGER and WISER when we do!

Napoleon Hill (Author of “Think And Grow Rich!”) said, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” It is up to us to identify that seed and nurture it so that the benefit ultimately outweighs the negative.

Make a list of all of the ways YOU will be a better person when the coronavirus crisis subsides and the stock market recovers. Memorize the list and focus on it every day and it will make a major difference in your life in the future. I guarantee it!

Hal Coleman is president of Coleman Services. Learn more at www.halcoleman.com and www.pestcontrolmarketer.com.