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Selling attention and detail

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Tiedeman found customers will pay more for better service.

Lee Chilcote | November 14, 2011

The key to building a great pest management company is to cultivate a small group of clients and nurture them with attentive, personal service, says Troy Tiedeman.

That may sound counterintuitive, admits the owner of Tiedeman LLC in Clare, Mich. Yet he argues that his company not only provides better service this way – his residential customers are willing to pay more, too.

“By running a smaller company with a limited number of clients, I can give them a lot more attention,” he says. “If a problem arises, I can be there the next day to treat it.”

Although Tiedeman says he typically charges 5-10 percent more than larger, national companies for pest management services, he has not lost customers due to pricing. On the contrary, some new customers have actually switched from larger companies to Tiedeman because they recognize that his firm offers better service. 

One of the problems with other companies, says Tiedeman, is that they often take 4-6 weeks between applications at a given property. Serious problems can crop up during that time, and by the time these firms get around to treating it, it may be too late.

“My costs may be a little bit higher, but I can be there more often,” he says.

To market his company, Tiedeman has tapped into what he says is customers’ increased interest in both buying local and supporting small businesses. “What it comes down to is that if you give clients personal attention, they’ll stay with you.”

 

This is one of three stories that appeared in Lawn & Landscape's Growing Green e-newsletter. To continue reading about Tiedeman:

Narrowing focus: Tiedeman grew its profit by decreasing services and becoming a niche company.

Employees vs. subcontractors: Here is how Troy Tiedeman assigns work.


 

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