Tech Tip No 3 – How a pencil can help you win more business

As we come to the end of another financial year, we should all be reviewing the overall performance of our businesses, to help us improve and grow.
After all, isn’t that why we’re in business, to improve ourselves and grow from year to year?

I’m going to explain how you can increase your termite and business profitability with Termatrac and a pencil. Yep, with a simple 70 cent pencil!

Say you’re doing an inspection and found some termite damage, or a client calls and tells you they have noticed some damage. If it’s a new client, explain to them how the Termatrac works.

Once you’ve finished your inspection and prior to offering a proposal, it’s handy to know a few things, one of those being, is there active termites in that damaged area?

Now don’t just write a quote to cut a hole in the area, pull out your Termatrac and confirm the presence of active termites. Once you’ve confirmed termites, pull out your trusty pencil and mark the position of the Termatrac on the wall, window sill, architrave etc and then show your customer the results on your device at that pencil mark.

You can then offer a proposal knowing for sure that termites are actually there. Explain to your client that the first step is for you to locate the extent of activity throughout their home and to find the possible point of entry, all of which you can achieve without pulling apart half there home.

Depending on the possible extent of activity, this step can take some time, so factor that into your proposal accordingly. Your knowledge and experience of the type of building and location will come into play here.

Ok, so you’ve got a signature on your paperwork. Now it’s time to put that pencil to work. I always start from the first pencil mark I made, you know back on the initial inspection when you impressed the client enough to sign your paperwork. Now you’re back on the mark, start tracking. Every time you move the Termatrac and confirm activity in that area, mark it with your pencil. Keep moving the Termatrac and keep on marking active spots. Say now you’ve moved it and no activity is detected, easy, move it back to the last mark made and move it in a slightly different direction until you pick up the activity again. Keep doing this until you can find no more activity.

If you’re at the extent of the activity or the entrance point, you will notice that the pattern on your Android device connected to the Termatrac would have increased, due to the extra activity that comes at feeding “faces” and the points of entry. Go ahead and mark these areas “feeding”, “entry” etc with your pencil.

You’ve now exhausted all areas of activity and found where they came from, where they’re going and where they’re feeding. Stand back and have a look at your pencil marks.

Bring your client in and show them what you have located and explain to them what all your pencil marks mean, and then explain to them how you’re going to treat the creatures that have caused them so many sleepless nights and with confidence prevent them getting back in. Remember, if you don’t know where the termites gained entry, how do you stop them from re-entering?
I assure you, at this stage your client will be very impressed with you and your pencil marks.

If you’ve decided to foam or dust you have the exact areas of activity, therefore you’re putting the chemical where it needs to be. You are not wasting product by putting it where there is no activity or will be least effective.
If you’re placing baits, you have the exact areas of feeding which will most certainly increase your strike rate of termites taking to the bait very quickly.
Either way, you’ve just decreased chemical usage and cut down on the visits required, increasing your profit margin.

So you’ve treated with your weapon of choice and it’s time to arrange a suitable timeframe for your follow up visit, now don’t forget to tell your client that you’re quite fond of your pencil marks and they are very important for your next visit and they are not to clean them off or add anymore marks of their own, no matter how tempting tic-tac-toe may be. The marks are also giving a visual for my clients to explain to friends and family the work I have done.

Forward 21 days and you’ve returned for your first follow up visit.
Yay, your marks are still there!! Now simply place your Termatrac back on the marks and check for hopefully no activity in the EXACT position, not in the general area, but the EXACT position you had activity three weeks ago. If you’ve baited, an increase in activity leading into your station and activity has not moved too far past it, is a positive that you have them feeding.

I have received many referrals over the years because of my seemingly simple pencil marks for a few reasons.

I’m not all “rip tear bust” at the walls of my clients home to find the extent of activity and entrance points. I’m also involving my clients in the process and showing them before and after treatment results with minimal damage on my part. My marks are being seen as a point of difference by my clients and their family and friends, which in turn gets me talked about and sometimes compared to previous, less favourable experiences which they may have had with termites and other businesses.

This all leads to more clients and sales, which only increases my profitability.

Here’s to happy termite hunting for all.
Have confidence in yourself and the tools that you use and get to marking those walls in a positive way, a 70 cent pencil can make a difference to your professionalism.