Elaine Fogel

Relationship Marketing

Guest Post by Jeffrey Gitomer

woman shaking handsHow important is face-to-face networking to sales, relationships, career, and success?

I asked my commercial insurance agent, John Cantrell, to give me a synopsis of his networking strategies. John has been a friend, client, and vendor for the past 22 years. Here are two important facts about John:

  1. His insurance business has exploded with growth over the past 22 years.
  2. He is a MAJOR business networker in Charlotte.

I wonder if these two facts are connected? (Hint: THEY ARE!)

I asked John to tell me what networking has meant to him and his business over the last 20 years. His immediate answer was, “It has been the foundation of my most valuable clients, friends, suppliers, and relationships!”

Here’s the background of how to succeed as a local business networker from arguably the toughest sales category on the planet: insurance.

Here is John’s story and tips in his own words: Continue reading

Baseball PitcherYou know who you are… LinkedIn members who send countless messages pitching your business, products, or services in your first communication with new connections. What’s with that?

Do you really think that people will receive your messages with open hearts and minds? I know I don’t.

How about creating a relationship first? Would you approach someone at an in-person networking event and immediately start selling, or would you engage in some conversation first? (That was rhetorical.) Well, LinkedIn is the same thing!

Plus, how many of these sales pitchers bother to read our profiles to see whether we fall within their target audiences? I can’t even count how many times LI members try to sell me the same marketing services that I offer! Hello? Continue reading

Guest Blogger


Guest post by Ryan Turner

One of the glories and terrors of working in public is that you do see if your output means anything to anyone.”

Jenny Holzer, conceptual artist

The act of linking good works, great organizations, and desired audiences requires a strong communications chain forged in relationships. Done well, strategic communications for social good inspire progress, in line with the expectations and needs of interests that matter. Done effectively, successful communications also enables good works to grow, thrive, and extend social change.

Relationships matter, whether it’s the internal connections that create and support organizations, or the external networks that sustain and grow good causes throughout their advocacy, fundraising, service delivery, community building, and stakeholder engagement. Connections reflect of the quality of organizations, their capacity to deliver on the promise of their social good, and their ability to foster support towards sustainable achievement towards their ambitions.

In order for good works to see the light of day, groups must first know themselves well enough to acknowledge what they can deliver to themselves and to others; understand who they aim to serve and why; and appreciate the environments in which opportunities to engage exist. Without a clear sense of focus across all touchpoints, organizations constrict their intentions and messages, and recipients struggle to find and follow avenues for participation.

While good groups build communications capacity that sustains existing relationships, great groups invest in skills and abilities that grow relationships across audiences and influencers. This is especially true as social good efforts continue to expand the language of what’s possible through digital media, online branding, social marketing, native advertising, and personalized branding.

It’s not enough for organizations to create an identity, establish a presence, and define a space online. Organizations must also develop accessible pathways for genuine interactions with, and across, varied communities of interest. These pathways, in turn, must reinforce credible, relevant, purposeful communication as an extension of shared value and mission.  More than merely creating buzz, improving visibility, or generating response, organizations focused on good works must decide which communications methods best support their visions of success.

Good works don’t require separate thoughts for communications in online and offline directions, but instead find the best opportunities to integrate channels in a manner most appropriate for their circumstances. This means infusing online activities with the values and dynamics applied to their relationships offline, while bolstering their offline interactions with the curiosity and creativity gained through online participation.

For good groups still unconvinced at the usefulness and soundness of committing to a strategic extension and harmonizing of communications resources across existing and emerging technology paths, one thought to consider: In a world where audiences seek more and better connections with resources that add value to their lives, smart efforts are anticipating, fulfilling, and stoking that desire for attainable great outcomes.

By bridging new ideas and evergreen wisdom around what works, what fails, and what’s possible, social good efforts can extend their roles as relationship catalysts towards greater overall success. The strategic intersection of technology and communications provides an added level of depth, towards a more thoughtful measure of the value of good works all around.


Ryan Turner
Ryan Turner provides strategic communications counsel for nonprofit organizations, philanthropic interests, and social enterprise/social innovation efforts in the U.S. and abroad. Learn more about Ryan at http://about.me/ansinanser or follow @ansinanser on Twitter.

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