I have recently noticed I am introducing more people to each other. It’s enjoyable and something that falls into my “pay it forward” bucket.
But, through this process I have also learned how to properly execute an introduction so both people get the most out of the experience. The last thing you want to do is burn a contact by flooding their inbox with unwanted introductions, placing yet another time commitment on their already full plate.
It takes a bit of social intelligence to best set up the introduction. Here are a few thoughts as you go about connecting people in your life.
- If someone you know asks you to introduce them to another contact, first determine what they are looking for so you can determine if it’s actually a good idea, and something you are willing to associate yourself with.
- If not, graciously decline or let them know it doesn’t seem like a good fit for what they are requesting. Maybe offer someone else you think might work better.
- Then, touch base with the requested person first and brief them with the idea of introducing a contact to them. Answer their inevitable question of “what do I get out of it?” If they are favorable, ask them if they mind if you email intro them to this other person.
- Do not just throw an unwanted email into their email box without first checking with them to see if they are willing to respond and follow through with meeting the person.
- If you get the green light, send an email with both in the TO: field.
- Give the email a subject such as “Jane <> Joe” so it’s obvious it’s an introduction.
- Give a short description of each person and why they are looking to meet the other, make it brief but pointed and include why the two people will add value to each other. The person’s ask should be front and center.
- Suggest a coffee meeting, phone call or chat over a beer or something that sets the expectations of the interaction.
- End it by saying “I’ll let you two take it from here” so you can step aside and allow the two people to communicate without them feeling like they need to keep you CC’d or included in future emails.
Although basic stuff, if not executed correctly email intro’s can do more harm than good. Take note!
Note: I am writing this because I have seen a few intro’s botched in my day, and if not careful, a person can burn social capital by annoying people they are connected with. Also, when you are on the receiving end of an intro, acknowledge and thank the person doing the introduction and place them in BC, so they are them removed from future communications.
Image by flickr user n_corboy
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