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Posted by on Apr 18, 2011 in Differentiation, Influence, Marketing, Networking |

4 Terms of Engagement

4 Terms of Engagement!

Engagement is a term that is recently popping up in applications other than the military: “rules of engagement” and marriage: “we’re engaged”! Now the term in increasingly more often found in reference to business relationship development. So what exactly does engagement mean?

According to the French engager can mean to pledge or commit to, to involve, or to encourage, and the suffix ment is from the French mentum and means the result or product of an action (Online Etymology Dictionary). CAUSE & EFFECT! To me this is poetic. Just as a marriage engagement requires two people to be committed to each other, engagement in business relationships also implies reciprocation among two or more parties.

Wiktionary offers 6 definitions of engager, but I will focus on 4.

1. to pledge, commit Here you understand the value of this person and commit to them, to learning about them, what is important to them, what needs they have, and if you can help them in some way. You commence interaction.

2. to involve Your audience begins interaction with you because of your active commitment to them, shown in your verbal and nonverbal, online and offline communication

Engaged and Connected

2nd Term of Engagement ~ Involved

3. to encourage This made me think of the phrase, No one likes to be SOLD, but Everyone loves to BUY. This is where you motivate them through added value to stay engaged with you or your brand.

4. to enlist This is the Active Stage where your call to action is heeded based on their response to the previous 3 steps. This is where sphere of influence becomes influenSPHERE as they identify with you and your brand. They are now in varying stages of customers, clients, and raving fans. This is where Return On Relationship happens. (Thanks to Ted Rubin for ROR terminology!)

There are a lot of people really excited about Social Media these days because they think that it’s a short cut to engagement. While it IS an additional tool, it is NOT a short cut. I don’t think it makes the other Tools in the Toolbox (like letter writing) obsolete. The offline tools for building relationship STILL WORK. You still need a hammer to build a house, but now you can draw and share your plans online! Social Media is another tool to add depth to our engagement, and it just may be MORE work, because we have to fight harder for people’s attention. But it is SOOOO worth it. Just ask Ted Rubin. Click HERE for Ted’s Bio.

How do you engage your audience, clients, customers, influenSPHERE?