The athletics of business

Awesome Podcast Episode – David Royce & Vess Pearson Talk Competition, Motivation, and Company Vision on “The Athletics Of Business”

I am a big fan of Ed Molitor’s “The Athletics of Business” podcast. Ed has a great interview style and it always kind of feels like he is just chatting with someone on his back deck. Somehow  he usually pulls out some great stories and valuable advice while having a great time.

The episode I’m highlighting here is episode 101 – “Leveraging the Pandemic to Build an Extraordinary Sales Team, with David Royce and Vess Pearson”

If you don’t know the story of Aptive, you are in for a treat. This company is growing like a rocket ship and David and Vess are fired up about all the right things. I recommend you listen to the whole episode, it is full of little tips you can start to use in your pest control business today.

But if you only have few minutes, you can start with the small snippets I’ve highlighted here.

It all starts with your culture

The importance of company culture and developing an excellent training program. “If someone comes from another sales program to work for us, they will sell 60% with us than they did at their previous company.”

People will stick around (or leave) because of your company culture.

(With a shoutout to the visionary leader  Tony Hsieh and his book about building Zappos: Delivering Happiness )

How do you keep the best people from leaving?

Make work fun. Train people for excellence, expect excellence, and find ways to bring joy into the pursuit of excellence.

Sales contests and keeping your team motivated

“We gamified the competition.” “We have “the masters” which is a match based system. or “The Cup” which is a team competition which helps build comrade across the organization.”

It’s all about giving the teams a bigger purpose than just trying to earn money.

If we knock on 100 doors, we are tying to close 2 customers. So they are hearing 98 “no’s” out of 100. It is important to find ways to keep people focused on the larger goal.

How our software helps sales people realize that sales is just a numbers game.

With our software, sales leaders can sit with a sale person and look at the metrics and dig deeply into what they are doing. Figure out where they are having success and where they are having issues. The same way a coach and a player can look at game film together and really understand what is happening and how they can improve.

Your company is on track to reach $1 billion in revenue and 18,000 employees by 2025.. how has your vision evolved over time?

We are really looking to the very largest most successful pest control companies in the U.S. They are $1 billion, $2 billion in revenue. What is it they do, and how do they compete so that we can also compete at that same level?

This is true for anyone in any business, compare yourself and your business to the best in class competition. And figure out what are they able to do that you can learn from and implement yourself.


In the lawn care and pest control industries there are lots of us doing similar work across many different markets. I’m thankful to Ed, David, & Vess for posting this podcast and sharing some of their keys to their incredible success.

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