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One Tool


One Tool

Clipboard tucked under an arm and staring at his phone as he rolled down the driveway on a hoverboard, I’ll admit to judging this book by the cover before he even rang my doorbell.

He worked for Terminex and in less than two minutes, it was apparent he only had one tool in his toolbox: price.

“Do you mind if I ask you what you’re currently paying for pest control service?”

He didn’t stand a chance.

We’ve been with our current company for over fifteen years and three houses. We see the owner in the grocery store. The same employees have been coming to our house for years now. The entire staff knows the name of our dog.

Back to the Terminex guy.

“I can offer you an introductory rate that will beat whatever you’re paying now, guaranteed.”

If I sign up, I will never see this kid again. The odds are good that the same employee will never service my house twice, much less for years on end. I will not be able to text a picture of a weird bug to the owner of Terminex and ask him, “Have you ever seen anything so gross? What is it?”

Not interested.

“I was able to save your neighbor,” [points in a vague direction behind his back], “over $40 each quarter. He seemed pretty happy with that.”

In terms of being an effective tool, price is a blunt object. You can wield it like a club for a while, but eventually someone else will always go lower. I tell him that price is only one aspect and there’s a lot more to consider than just price in order to win a new customer away from an entrenched competitor.

“Are you really telling me that you prefer to pay more for your pest control service?”

Ok, that’s it. Time to trot out a time-honored conversation-ender, reserved for home owners of a certain age and above.

“Get off my lawn.”

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