Gratitude and Relationships – The Key

Gratitude and Relationships – The Key

I hope everyone is enjoying the fall and getting ready for that time of the season where we are all busy with family functions and enjoying each other’s company!  I was going to run down a litany of things that we have accomplished this year along with some upcoming events in 2018, but I have decided to take a bit of a different route.  Besides, we will make sure that you are informed about all of the events that we have coming up in 2018- specifically the new Fire & Ice Show with the exciting Tailgate Party- May 8 (Pre- Game Celebration), Professional Development (Training Camp) with Maureen Bausch (CEO of the Super Bowl Host Committee) and our fantastic show on May 9.  Registration is open for suppliers to get their booths and we will be flooding you with reminders and social media messages as 2018 ramps up.  See, I wasn’t going to do that, but I still did - a promoter at heart!!

I do, however, want to devote more of this column to the topic of gratitude and relationships.  When I say the word, "gratitude," I am really referring to that sense of gratefulness and appreciation for what each of us have. I believe so strongly that we must walk through our lives on a daily basis thinking about and appreciating the people in our lives. You see without other people our lives would be empty. Relationships with others are really all we have.  It is wonderful to have those material things that make us happy, but as most of us know all that stuff is fleeting - in the end, all we really have are those relationships we form and develop every day!

I realize this is a bit philosophical, but I really think it pertains to what we do on a daily basis in this industry.  What is it that we do?  From my viewpoint, we meet with people every day and form relationships in hopes that the goods and services we offer will be mutually beneficial and help to make our businesses successful.  But underlying all of that is the people.  If you really want to be successful in any endeavor and especially in the promotional products business you need to focus on the people.  How are many of us, as distributors, able to land that new account? It is usually the key relationship we have with a person in that company that assists us in the process.  How are we able to get things done in a crunch when our suppliers are swamped? It is by reaching out to the Sales Representative or Inside Sales Associate you have developed a relationship with and fostered over time to see if they can assist.

The common denominator to success in this business is the people.

In my twenty years in the promotional products business, I have seen time and time again how organizations have been able to accomplish amazing things from a client and production standpoint. Whether it is putting together an awesome presentation, producing complicated decorated apparel or imprinting something within hours.  All these amazing results cannot occur without the technical capabilities and the machinery to accomplish them but, more importantly it all started with a conversation and a relationship- if you don’t have that personal connection it makes all these tasks so much harder.

The bottom line here is simple.  If you want to be successful in this and all business start with the people. Treat all of those individuals you meet on a daily basis as someone special- not because you can get something from them, but because your lives will be so much more fulfilled. 

This is my last column as President of UMAPP in 2017.  It has been a very rewarding and exciting year.  We have had a great time getting together as a board to discuss how we can further our goals as an organization and how we can help our members succeed and add some value on a daily basis.  I have gotten to know many new members and I am extremely excited about the prospects for 2018 and beyond.  The Room Show in February will be stellar and beneficial, the new Fire & Ice Show in May will be off the charts fun (everyone needs to come to the Tailgate party) and the Holiday Show continues to flourish (bring your clients- yep – end users can see it all!!).  Stay tuned for lots of fun networking opportunities and additional professional development.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t give some shout-outs (yep, I am cool) to a few key people who have really made this work for UMAPP in 2017.  Sue Selseth has been a huge help and continues to steer SS UMAPP year after year.  My Vice President, Sandy Nichols, has had great vision and really helped to keep our eyes forward on the goals for 2017 and 2018. Finally, all the other board members and UMAPP members have been extremely helpful and gracious throughout 2017 and I thank you all very much., 

Best of luck to you all and I am forever grateful to have had this opportunity!!!

Carter Sharp

UMAPP President 2017