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It’s All About Connecting

By January 6, 2022No Comments

These relationships have served me well and continue to grow and develop with all of life’s twists and turns. I have accounts that have stayed with me for more than 30 years, through working for different companies over the years and now owning my own. The suppliers in my industry who trust my experience and know my caring style stuck with me all through the pandemic.

I have trained many salespeople throughout my years who went on to run successful companies of their own, and who have come back to work for my company… continuing our mutually beneficial relationships. Having participated as a Board Member of Citizen Diplomacy of Philadelphia for more than 26 years, I now have a global presence with a network of friends and customers around the world!

So, when it comes to connecting and connections, how do you build relationships? It starts with listening and caring. I am a practitioner of compassionate listening, which includes following these good listening guideposts:
1. Give full attention
2. Don’t give advice or feedback
3. Be totally present in the moment
4. Stay open.
The intention of compassionate listening is to access our deepest wisdom, to transform separation and conflict into an opportunity for connection, healing, and peace.

You can have many different kinds of relationships that go in and out of your life depending on all the circumstances that life throws at us. Relationships are not always about frequency but quality for where you live, where you work, what your current interests are, and more.

I love that there are many people from my childhood that I might see every 10 years at a reunion with care, love, and some common stories… and then they pop up in more frequency again due to geography or a new interest.

The opportunity to work with JR Resources (the company I now own) popped out of attending my annual Promo Products convention every January. An old colleague and I met up for lunch spontaneously in 2008. Having worked as partners and now connecting as friendly competitors, the discussion developed into another meeting to join forces,  which led to my taking over the company and becoming the majority owner.

Never underestimate the importance of building trusting, caring relationships everywhere. Paying attention to this can and will change your life in more ways than you can imagine. You will be amazed!

President of JR Resources
Board Member of Citizen Diplomacy International of Philadelphia
40plus years veteran in the Promotional Products Industry

Connecting is my raison d’être, and my management style way before networking was even a concept or a word. What does that mean?

Since growing up in a row house neighborhood in Philadelphia in the 1950s, my instinct, my nature, my passion was to meet everyone and learn who they are or offer to teach them whatever I knew or learned.

Yes, from my childhood schoolhouse in my cellar to the boardrooms of major companies, my style has always been all about listening and connecting. I cannot read a business article today without new lessons teaching how to listen and  connect.

As a young woman in Houston, Texas,  I was given the opportunity to lead a sales force in the “ad specialty business”. I had to learn quickly to “know thyself” and work from my own inner resources. This meant I had to turn my perceived weaknesses into my most important strengths. Back at that time, good sales managers practiced “Marketing Warfare,” which meant:

1. Run the sales team by intimidation and fear
2. Kill the competition
3. Win/lose mindset… you win, and the customer loses. You beat the customer at the game when you get the order and leave.

As a natural connector with people and their stories, this mindset contradicted my character. My strategy was to  change the rules of engagement and turn this into a new “game:”

1. Run the sales team by demonstrating, nurturing, and cheerleading. My non-intimidating presence as a petite, young woman relayed to my sales team an “if she can do it, then certainly I CAN DO IT” affirmation.
2. Understand the competition and even have relationships as friendly competitors.
3. Create win/win relationships to align with what is good for both parties by understanding the customers’ needs, filling them, and forming relationships of trust and care.
4. Form partnerships and trusting relationships with the suppliers in my industry

Wendy Williams

Author Wendy Williams

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