1-800-SWEEPER Blog

The Painted Picture: Thoughts on Sweeper Summit 2013

Dec 3, 2013

The Painted Picture: Thoughts on Sweeper Summit 2013

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We have had a lot of positive feedback from partners who attended the 2013 Sweeper Summit in Detroit.  Some of this has come by word of mouth, and in other instances, folks have taken the time to write notes.  Michael Wagoner of Cantel Sweeping in Oregon had this to say:

Mike—

I am back in my office today and just beginning to review with my people some of the things that happened at the Sweeper Summit.  I have to tell you, I haven’t been this excited about the future of my business and our industry for some time.  Your vision (Painted Picture) for 1800Sweeper is coming to fruition and I wish to congratulate you for getting it to this level.  Our future is very bright and you deserve to take a bow.

Ok, now get back to work.

GREAT JOB!!!!

Michael’s comments and obvious enthusiasm caught our attention, so we decided to pick up the phone and ask him to expand on his thoughts and describe his journey from being cautiously optimistic and curious about 1-800-SWEEPER to becoming an advocate for our brand.

Several years ago, Michael’s General Manager Dustin Moist came back from NPE in Las Vegas talking about a new group that was created to give property managers a viable alternative to third party maintenance providers.  The concept seemed intriguing to Michael, but he wasn’t quite sold.  To use his own words, “There are always things lost in translation….I wanted to see if 1-800-SWEEPER would have longevity and gain some industry traction.”  Eventually Mike Lucht paid a personal visit to Oregon, and after multiple phone calls and wooing, Wagoner started to see the vision.

Michael joined us this past fall, but by his own admission, it wasn’t until after the Sweeper Summit that he fully appreciated the power of partnering with 1-800-SWEEPER.  Personally hearing from our vendor partners was a critical part of his newfound understanding of the buying group component.   The notion that our collective buying power as a group far surpasses that of a single company struck a chord, and it was helpful to hear firsthand the details of each vendor offering.

The benchmarking session was helpful too.  Michael made the trip to Detroit wondering how his costs compared to the rest of the group.  Being able to share this information and learn from non-competitors was invaluable, but what struck Wagoner most was how comfortable he felt during the benchmarking exercise.  “There was a sense of trust in that room.  Partners from larger companies freely shared their information to help me grow my business, and I in turn realized that I have an obligation to share my information with others as well.  The collaborative spirit of sharing and learning is proof positive that we are stronger as a group than individually.  One plus one equals three,” says Wagoner.  And it wasn’t just the formal sessions that Michael found informative.  “The non-structured events….coffee…lunch….cocktails…..all gave me time to ask questions and share information with partners and our vendors.”

Gaining a better understanding of the buyer group and the trust built during the bench marking exercise left lasting impressions on Wagoner, but he was most impressed by Cameron Herold’s notion of the “Painted Picture.”  When asked about the specific changes he plans to make in his business as a result of attending the Sweeper Summit, Michael was direct and to the point.  “Herold’s use of The Sound of Music’s mountain-top picnic scene was spot on.  If I am expecting my employees to follow my lead without a clear Painted Picture, they will be guessing.  I will need to communicate better in order for us to reach our goals as a company.”

Each of us has listened to excellent keynote speakers at professional conferences, but there is always a huge difference between taking notes and executing on newfound wisdom. In his closing comments, Mike Lucht shared news that painted a picture for Michael:  Cameron Herold wasn’t a one-and-done keynote speaker for our organization; we will explore the possibility of working with our mentor in the months ahead.

The Sweeper Summit left a lasting impression on all of us.   From the benchmarking and vendor presentations to the keynote speakers and casual conversation, each and every one us left Detroit with new information that will make us better, both in our professional and personal lives.  We also returned home with a clear, Painted Picture:  1-800-SWEEPER is fully invested in our success as business owners.  Now is the time to start taking full advantage of the opportunities presented to us as 1-800-SWEEPER partners.

Do you have thoughts on the Sweeper Summit to share with your fellow partners?  Take the time to share ideas you learned in Detroit by contacting Carolyn Bell.  We’ll make arrangements for a brief phone interview and publish your story in our blog.  Taking this extra step will reinforce some of the information you took away from the Sweeper Summit and prompt you to start implementing new strategies to grow your business.  Sharing will also benefit our entire group too!