You may think you are already connected all the time because you carry your smartphone and can email, text, check Facebook, look at LinkedIn and view Nextdoor.
But that’s not what I am talking about. I’m talking about real connections. The kind of connections that take time and effort, but can pay off big in your career and business.
The connections I’m referring to are those intensely personal and open interactions that enhance both your professional and personal lives.
You are extremely lucky to be in the pest management industry; it is one of the most open, sharing industries out there. But there also are organizations outside of our industry where you can find people who can help you in every business situation you may face.
For example, I am involved in a group called Convene (ConveneNow.com). It is a Christian business owners’ group with members from all kinds of industries who meet monthly as a group of 12 to 18 members to go through a business curriculum. They openly share ideas and problems they are facing. Members help by offering advice, challenging other members with questions to make their ideas even better, or even just lend an ear to listen and understand.
Another group, Vistage (Vistage.com), operates much like Convene, without the faith component.
You can find many other business organizations in your market that are outside our industry. There, you can share and learn from other businesses and people who are very open to relationships, will give great advice and understand just what you are going through.
Also within your market are associations, such as chambers of commerce, where you can find people from your area who are experiencing the same issues you are.
These are all examples of groups outside our industry where you can forge relationships and find people to help you with whatever you are facing.
PEST CONTROL GROUPS
The real magic of the pest control industry, however, is that you can also find these alliances within our industry, too. Just check out Pest Management Professional’s June cover story, for starters.
In addition to niche organizations, don’t forget about your local, state and national associations to network with colleagues and forge relationships. I have been involved in pest management associations at every level: local, state and national. Each group is working for the betterment of our industry, and to grow our industry.
A COMMON GOAL
We are all working to gain customers, and we all know that the best customers to gain are do-it-yourselfers (DIYers). This challenge unifies us. It also means you can find people in our industry who will help you grow your business. This is not normal! We are truly blessed in the pest control industry attitude of, when one of us converts a DIYer, we grow our businesses and our industry as a whole.
It gives us a common “competitor” that we all work to convert to customers. Converting a DIYer to a customer is the biggest opportunity we all have to grow our industry. It is the common enemy that allows us all to work together to gain customers, and not focus on taking customers from one another.
I have been in the Convene group for 11 years. In that time, I have come to know more than 30 businesses. The group grew and split into two groups, and we also had some members who left and were replaced by others. One thing that is consistent among all of the other businesses I have gotten to know, though, is that they are all totally amazed at our industry’s openness to helping one another. The phrase “A rising tide lifts all boats” applies to the pest management industry like no other industry I have seen. We are united, and invested in one another to grow our industry overall.