Two weeks ago I was speaking with a customer, and I was reminded of a situation that occurred earlier in my career. I would like to share it with you to let you know the importance of asking “Why?”
I was called out to a convenience store in a rural area of North Carolina. It was a small Mom-N-Pop business and they had a terrible problem with flies. They had two working fly lights already installed but kept getting bombarded with flies & were desperate for a solution. Before I had arrived, three other companies had come and given their recommendations.
One recommended installing two additional fly lights; another recommended installing an air curtain above the door and the third one recommended treatment with an organophosphate based product that would have shut down the business for 5 hours.
Fly lights would have cost, with installation a few hundred dollars with no guarantee that they wouldn’t be any more effective than what they already had. The air curtain would have definitely solved the problem but it was a lot more costly than the fly lights and the customer couldn’t afford it. The last solution of shutting down the business for 5 hours was not feasible and was only a temporary solution at best. By the time I arrived, the owner almost didn’t even want to talk to me.
He finally allowed me to look around and see what solution I could offer. It took me about 5 minutes of looking and I approached the owner with a solution. His response: “How much is this going to cost me?” I told him, “absolutely nothing!” but we would appreciate you allowing us to provide your pest control here. To solve your problem, move the garbage cans sitting on either side of the doors loaded with flies as far away from the doors to the outermost corners of the building. This way flies were not sucked in every time the doors were opened. Problem solved!
The problem with the first three technicians was that they were so focused on WHAT to do with the flies that they never asked WHY he was getting so many flies. So sometimes, asking WHY can make all of the difference.
P.S. A week later, we were providing his pest control