Imagine the kicker of a football team, taking the field to attempt the extra point, clad in team colors and …a tutu? That may not be something we actually saw at the recent Super Bowl, but professional football players do in fact use dance training to help them on the field. It makes sense: Weaving through an oncoming defense or extending a foot for the perfect kick takes more than just physical prowess and strength. Grace is a key factor in winning games on the gridiron.

Pool professionals should take heed: Cross-training in multiple segments of the industry is necessary to score victories and stay successful in your business.

For example, if a service tech were to attend a pool construction class, he or she might learn the ways soil can affect concrete, causing shifts and cracking. That puts the tech in a perfect position to point out emerging problems to a homeowner when he’s servicing the pool.

Later, when a discount pool service tries to undercut the tech’s fee, the homeowner will remember that concern and attention to detail and be less likely to leave the tech for a lower-priced one. The same is true across the industry.

Retailers who learn about new construction trends and techniques are in a much better position to suggest backyard décor that complements a particular design choice.

For their part, pool builders can take a course, even at a community college, that teaches about colors and how they affect mood. I knew a builder who did just that, and when he visits a potential client’s home he is able to comment, “I noticed that you have a lot of earth tones in your furnishings. I would suggest we incorporate those calming colors into the pool and surroundings.” Statements like that can help make the customer more comfortable with the builder, who they now feel understands their taste.

Many of the best pool builders in the industry owned a retail store or worked in service at one time. They learned pool chemistry, what equipment is easy or hard to maintain, which surfaces are problematic, and many other things that help in their current careers.

I won’t encourage you to sign up for ballet classes, although I like that mental image. But don’t limit yourself! With the economy remaining slow, when will there be a better time to grow beyond your own segment of the industry?


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