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Networking: Engagement matters


OK, 2011 is my banner year for more effective networking. So naturally, I clicked through the very effective headline from,  In the Flesh: Effective Networking |

Mark Macias offers five lessons learned from what reads like a serious press-the-flesh, push networking event. That’s what got me thinking. Successful (note how he defines it as “effective”) networking shows many of the same characteristics of relationship marketing.

It begins with engagement. That requires active listening and direct contact with your customer. It also requires affirmation.

Customization. You are what you dress, cautions Macias. It’s the same with relationship marketing. Your message needs to be scalable to the touchpoint of the relationship. You need to provide content and context that is meaningful to your reader.

It continues with enhancement. Active listening leaves room for reconnecting at future events, referring colleagues, or upping the level of the initial meeting from networking to collaborating or contracting.

It finds fulfillment in empowerment. Relationship marketing ultimately empowers the customer to take an action that is rewarding, positive, and concrete.

What’s your experience of networking as the ultimate level of relationship marketing?

Do you measure an ROI from networking events? Do you prepare and customize a message for each event? What’s the best lesson you can offer

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