Better Ways to Network and Build Business Relationships

March 01, 2017 (0 comments)
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AndieWeinman

By Andie Weinman, President and CEO, Preferred Jewelers International and Continental Buying Group

Miami, FL—Today, if we have something to say there is no shortage of quick and easy ways to get your message out to your colleagues or other members of your group. (My people all know right away if I don’t love something!) Whether you want to tell one person or broadcast it to the masses, you can text, email, tweet, post on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube…you get the idea! Whatever the platform, our words and images can get put out there with lightning speed.

But are you really connecting with anyone? Are you cultivating meaningful business relationships to enhance your sales, your goals, your career?

I read that satisfying customers without creating an emotional connection with them has no real value. What? That is a pretty strong assertion. It also rings true when it comes to relationships with clients, as well as co-workers, boards, volunteers, suppliers, and the list goes on. The need for real connections has only increased as our ability to communicate digitally has become so expansive.

To really “network” you also must connect emotionally. You can’t just shake hands at a cocktail party or just “collect” likes and followers and business cards. We are so much more than that. No one should be missing out. Your face-to-face interactions need to be authentic and deeper than what we have become accustomed to. Otherwise, we become just a generic profile picture in the crowd.

This is important to all our relationships. Sometimes we need to make an assertive effort to reach out emotionally too. Not just because you may purchase something from someone or sell to them, but if you really got to know them you may understand better what they are looking for or what they may need in the future to accomplish their goal.

Yes, it is great to send a “Happy Birthday” message to one of your guests, but it is more meaningful to remember a person’s challenge that they may have mentioned to you and then send them a link to an article you came across that offers some solutions—whether it relates to the jewelry business or not.

My mantra (ask my entire team!) is “Take time to pick up the phone and call someone!” even when you both know it’s easier and faster to message him or her. That personal touch goes a long way, trust me. Here are some ways to build your business relationships and your connection with others.

  1. Listen More. Too often communication is equated with talking. But communication is a two-way street. You will gain more by talking less and listening more. This was a hard one for me but by watching my husband Joe, I learned that this really works.
     
  2. Ask Questions. Think of yourself as a detective. You might have to dig a little deeper to get to the heart of an issue or to find out who a “client” really is.
     
  3. Be Authentic. Don’t put on a façade of an easy-going sales professional or all-knowing executive. We all make mistakes and are unsure of ourselves sometimes. People will likely relate to the “real you” better. 

How do we strive to make meaningful connections in such a digital age? It can all happen if you are “all” open to share ideas with each other. Now, take these ideas and put them into practice, one meaningful relationship at a time. You never know when or where you’ll get the next great idea for your business.  --Andie

Andie Weinman, president and CEO of Preferred Jewelers International / Continental Buying Group Inc., was born with the “Jewelry Gene” working in the jewelry industry since she was only ten years old. Her first job was as a cashier in the opening of a catalog showroom doing a fantastic job even at that tender age. Andie holds a B.A. in musical theatre and a B.S. in marine biology from The University of Tampa. When she realized that seawater and marine biology were not good on her hair and she wasn’t quite good enough to make it on Broadway, the jewelry business beckoned. Andie has picked diamonds, sorted color stones, shot waxes and performed a multitude of jobs in the manufacturing of jewelry.  Her negotiating experience and prowess has given her the reputation as being tough but fair in her dealings with vendors. In 2012 the Indian Diamond and Color Association awarded Andie the Prestigious Doyenne Award of the Year.

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