Psychologists say people form their first impressions within the first four seconds of meeting one another. And, in some cases for companies, including pest control companies, it’s a lasting impression. Salespeople and companies must master that impression to engage in a transaction.

A while back, my sister purchased a 100-year old bungalow in St. Petersburg, Fla. She was having a bathroom added along with some other renovations to make the house more modern and livable.

She interviewed four remodeling contractors and showed them exactly what she wanted and had each of them give her an estimate to do the work. After meeting and interviewing each of them, she made her choice. Based on her interviews:

  • Contractor A didn’t seem to listen to her. He seemed to know exactly how he wanted to do the job and she could tell by his questions that he hadn’t listened to a word she’d said.
  • Contractor B was arrogant and assured her he would do a great job and everything would be fine before she even told him what she wanted done yet.
  • Contractor C was sloppily dressed, used bad grammar and made a racial comment about another neighborhood which she considered to be inappropriate and offensive.
  • Contractor D was the one she chose. He was a clean cut, nice, courteous man who listened to everything she said and wanted. She felt secure in awarding him the contract. And his follow-up had proven to her that she made the right choice.

Much like the contractors my sister interviewed, your pest control team is in the field, interacting with potential customers and leaving an impression of your firm with almost every move they make. Are you employees doing everything possible to avoid leaving a negative first impression?

Here’s a list of what your service pro-fessionals could do to leave a negative first impression:

  • Lack of a smile
  • Soiled, wrinkled uniform
  • Camouflaged clothing
  • Scruffy facial hair
  • Cap with logo other than your company’s
  • Dirty vehicle
  • Smell of cigarette smoke
  • Obvious wad of chew or dip in their mouth
  • Politically incorrect statements, jokes or innuendos
  • No eye contact
  • Dirty hands and/or fingernails
  • Profanity

THE POINT. You only get one chance to make a first impression. You are trying to win the confidence of a total stranger and persuade them to choose YOU to do business with instead of one of your competitors. You only get one shot at this so you’d better make it count.

You absolutely must make a great first impression each and every time!

Hal Coleman is the host of The Pest Control Marketing Podcast. Contact him at 770/993-0004.