Most influential people? Really?
Time Magazine recently published their list of the world’s 100 most influential people. They named the usual suspects: politicians, movie stars, athletes, rock stars, etc. And, while I admire the skills of the marathon runners from Kenya and the courage of the Chinese dissidents, with the exception of those knuckle-heads in Washington, I’m not sure how much influence anyone on the list really has on me. I’m not sure I even recognized half the names on the list! Although I must admit, I do often dress like LeBron James. No, not the fancy English Laundry shirts he wears, just the baggy gym shorts and sweat suits.
A couple of columns ago, I wrote about my friend Scott, an outstanding retail jeweler who, whenever he sells an engagement ring, encourages his customer to come up with a special and meaningful proposal scenario, and often offers up stories and suggestions from previous customers.
A number of jewelers wrote to say what a great idea that was, and that they would try doing the same thing. Some even forwarded e-mails with great proposal stories, with most including thanks for suggesting the idea. Here’s my favorite:
I tried calling you today to tell you the great news, but they said you were out until Friday. Amanda said yes on Saturday afternoon at the Wailuaiki Falls in Maui! Everything worked out perfectly and she loves the ring. She cannot stop staring at it and smiling ear to ear, exclaiming how beautiful it is!
We had an amazing weekend and it was definitely a proposal for the books. She has told the story at least 20 times now to her friends, family, and coworkers, and its not getting old.
It was nerve-racking in the pool of the falls as I was fumbling with the box that I sealed in a waterproof bag and shoved in my bathing suit pocket. I was just hoping that the ring was still in its slot when I turned around to face her and opened it up so it wouldn’t fall into the water and go over the next waterfall right down the stream. Well, thank the Lord, because it was still there and she burst into tears and said, “Really? Yes!”
We are just so incredibly happy, and I told her the whole story of how you inspired me to make the proposal special. I also managed to take a video of the proposal with a waterproof camera that I set up on a rock beforehand! She is already planning the wedding for next summer, and we’ll see you when we are ready to pick out the wedding bands. And, since you were so helpful making sure the proposal was memorable, maybe you can help us write the vows! Thanks again so much!
So, maybe the focus shouldn’t be on who Time Magazine thinks is influencing us, but rather on who we ourselves are influencing. And, the way we carry ourselves each day directly influences our co-workers, business associates, and most importantly our customers. Not every sale comes down to price, selection, and quality. More and more, attributes such as expertise, creativity and even your standing in the community can have more influence than you’d ever imagine.
For years, The 24 Karat Club has been one of the leading positive influences in the jewelry industry. Comprised of fifty or so of the leading figures in the jewelry industry, the members of The 24 Karat Club give of their hearts, time and resources to fund scholarships, recognize outstanding service to the industry, and uphold the values and traditions of our trade. If you are looking for a positive influence in the jewelry business, you need not look any further than The 24 Karat Club. These are the types of people you want to surround yourself with, both personally and professionally. Feel free to contact any of our members about any issue that concerns you.
Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people? You can keep it, its not for me. I seem to be mostly influenced by the people around me, the “company I keep.” On the other hand, Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the top 500 albums of all time? That’s a list we can talk about!
Howard Kelrick is President of Finger Mate and a board member of The 24 Karat Club, SEUS. Finger Mate manufactures and installs expandable ring shanks and sells to retail jewelers throughout North America. Contact Howard at 954-458-2700 or e-mail Howard@FingerMate.com.