Melanie Matthews shared her journey from being an introverted teacher to a vice president in the pest management industry, emphasizing the importance of networking for professional growth. She stressed that networking is a gradual process that requires building relationships and a skill that can be developed over time. She also differentiated between internal and external networking and the benefits they bring. Melanie ended by encouraging the audience to ask questions throughout her session.
Samantha shared about the challenges with Google calendar invites and announced that they resolved an issue and will now send out invites no later than 1 month in advance. In addition to the calendar invites, WSPMA launched a new website where you can find upcoming meetings and add them to your calendar. Members participated in an icebreaker, sharing their New Year's resolutions.
Networking Journey in Pest Control Industry
Melanie Matthews shared her journey from being an introverted teacher to a vice president in the pest management industry, emphasizing the importance of networking for professional growth. She stressed that networking is a gradual process that requires building relationships and a skill that can be developed over time. Melanie also differentiated between internal and external networking and the benefits they bring. Melanie ended by encouraging the audience to ask questions throughout the session.
Quality Over Quantity in Networking
Melanie Matthews emphasized the importance of building relationships in networking, highlighting that quantity doesn't matter as much as quality. She approaches networking by focusing on connecting with a few individuals at events and maintaining these relationships over time. Melanie pointed out that this strategy allows for mutual trust and understanding and creates opportunities for encouragement and growth. Samantha summarized Melanie's point by asking if networking doesn't necessarily mean quantity, but rather quality. Melanie affirmed this, stating that she would rather have a few meaningful connections than many superficial ones.
Networking: Internal and External Perspectives
Samantha inquired about the importance of internal and external networking, with a particular emphasis on the latter. Melanie Matthews explained the significance of both types of networking, highlighting that internal networking involves building relationships within the same industry or field of work, while external networking involves connecting with individuals outside of it. Melanie stressed the value of leading with love and adding value to others' lives, rather than focusing solely on personal gain. She also shared their personal experience of connecting with individuals in external networking settings, such as pest control events, which they initially didn't view as networking opportunities. Samantha raised the topic of team members, particularly those in customer service roles, participating in external networking opportunities. Melanie confirmed that they do provide such opportunities for their team members and expressed a desire to see more participation in the future.
Networking and Responsibility: A Key Discussion
Melanie Matthews discussed the importance of networking and representing the company at events. She encourages her team to take advantage of opportunities to connect with others in the community, emphasizing the need for responsible drinking and driving. Melanie also highlighted the value of external networking groups and industry-related organizations, suggesting that participation in these groups can lead to new opportunities. Samantha added that attendees shouldn’t be afraid to approach management teams about seeking external networking opportunities, as it adds value to the brand of the business. The conversation concluded with Melanie stressing the importance of sharing knowledge gained from these events with the rest of the team.
Community, Networking, and Bug-Themed Candy
Melanie discussed her company's involvement in community events, emphasizing the benefits of networking opportunities these events provide. Samantha suggested distributing bug-themed candy at the upcoming St. Patrick's Day festival, which Melanie referenced a successful marketing strategy involving bug-shaped graham crackers in the past. Discussion about external networking led to the group sharing about their strategy of sponsoring local sports teams and the ROI networking group. Samantha stressed the importance of networking and encouraged more sharing of external or internal networking stories. Melanie Matthews highlighted the importance of developing effective communication skills and networking.
Nominations and Women’s Forum
Samantha announced the opportunity to nominate women in the industry for the NPMA Impact Award to be presented at the Women’s Forum in May 2024 (Atlanta, GA).
In-person networking drop-in at PNWPMC (Hood River) on Friday, February 23.
Zoom meetings will resume in March.