At the start of his 15th summer in the pest control and summer sales industry, Tom Karren of Vantage Marketing is not slowing down. Karren is one of two partners of Vantage located in Orem, Utah. Karren, a self-described band wagoner who currently cheers for the Golden State Warriors, resides in Cedar Hills, Utah with his wife and three kids. When he’s not out on the doors with his sales representatives or in the office, Karren can be found playing with his kids, vacationing in Hawaii and taking trips to Park City.
Karren, who grew up in McGrath, Canada, has had successful exits with two other pest control companies he started with business partner Shandon Cole. Karren prides himself in having never gone a summer without knocking doors and makes it point to build one-on-one relationships with his sales representatives.
Summersales.info: What motivates you to wake up and go to work everyday?
Tom Karren: The trust the reps put in our company is something we take very seriously. At Vantage, we do all we can to help them succeed. I truly believe that my reps will be treated well. Aside from earning great money, I hope our reps have a realization of what they’re worth and more confidence in themselves. I hope the vision of the goals they have for themselves is now greater because of the experience they had a Vantage. I love seeing our top guys go to graduate school, start businesses and add to who they are as an individual.
I always try to do my best to run a smooth program so when I look kids in the eye, I can truly say this is the best place for them.
SI: You’ve been in the pest control industry for more than 10 years now. Have you thought about starting another company in a different industry like security or solar?
TK: What I love about pest control is I believe anyone with a work ethic can succeed. You don’t have to be an amazing salesman. You don’t have to be ultra aggressive. If you have a good work ethic and a good attitude, you’re going to be successful.
In other industries, there are many factors that are working against you that are out of your control. If a customer doesn’t pass credit, you can’t control that. It doesn’t matter how hard you work. If you have three people in a row that didn’t pass credit, there’s nothing more you could’ve done.
SI: Where do you see the summer sales industry in five years?
TK: After my first summer, people were telling me the door-to-door industry is dying and that it would come to an end. Here I am 15 years later and we’ve been selling more accounts than we ever have before. Pest control is something that will stay around. I see summer sales thriving as it always has. I don’t believe for a second that it’s ever going away.