The Networkers Guide to Making Introductions
In business, relationships are king. Our relationships with our employers, partners, clients and employees are what lay the foundation of our successes or failures. How we treat people and how we interact with one another is directly related to how well we do in business. One of the most powerful and important aspects of business is the power of an introduction.
An introduction can be the differentiator between a good hire and bad one. An introduction can be the difference between closing a round of funding or failing to raise a round completely. It can also be the difference between meeting your quota this month and missing it.
Introductions can make the world of difference but a lot of people find asking and making an introduction awkward. Have you ever been asked to make an introduction and instantly feel awkward as you ponder what to do next?
If you find introductions awkward, there are usually a few reasons for that:
- You don’t know why you’re making an introduction for someone
- You don’t really know the person you’re introducing
- You don’t really know the person you’ve been asked to reach out to
- You don’t believe the person you’re going to introduce is ready for an introduction
In all four of these cases, you should politely decline the request to make an introduction or ask a few more questions. Be honest with the person if your reason is 1, 2 or 3 or ask them a simple question like “What do you want to discuss with them? I know they’re quite busy.”
If you’re not feeling awkward because you know both parties and agree that they should meet. It’s time to make an awesome introduction. Here’s how you do it:
Start with a Personalized Subject Line
The emails subject line is the first thing someone will see when an email lands in their inbox. The subject can quickly determine whether or not an email is opened, deleted or archived. As such, it’s important to write a subject line that is worth opening.
Studies show that using a persons name in a subject line increases the chances of them opening it. When you’re making an introduction to someone, a great approach to writing a subject line is using the name of the two parties who you’re introducing. Something along the lines of this: “You Should Chat: Person X Meet Person Y”
Explain Who is Who and Why You’re Writing
Typically when you make an introduction for someone, there’s one party who wanted to connect with the other. In some cases, it’s just you looking to connect people who you think would work well together or could benefit from knowing each other. Either way, when you make an introduction for people, it’s important that you educate Person One on Person Two and Person Two on Person One.
The first paragraph should include text along the lines of “Person X, I’d like to introduce you to Person Y. Person Y is….” from there you should describe their talents, what they do and exactly why you’re introducing them to one another. From there do the same thing for Person X and show why you feel these two people should connect and why there’s a benefit for each of these parties to meet each other.
In situations where one person is benefiting more than the other, it’s important to highlight why you still think it’s a quality introduction. For example, if you’re introducing someone who is looking for a new job with a potential employer, let the potential employer know that you can vouch for this persons skills and talents. If you’re introducing a student who is simply looking for mentorship, let the potential mentor know that this person is eager to learn and wants to grow.
Value Focused Conclusion
The final part of your email should be short, quick and to the point. At this point, you need to use a few sentences to quickly summarize the reason for making this intro and what you hope they can get out of it. You don’t need to drive home a hard sales pitch at the end but finish it with a light send off with best wishes. Something like this will usually do the trick: “I hope you guys can connect as I really think you both could benefit from the conversation. I’ll leave it to you guys to connect.”
At the end of the day, relationships are what allow businesses to thrive. If you can help great people connect with other great people, there’s an increased chance that great things happen. Now get out there and start making introductions.
Trust me, a template this will help you and your connections open their circle to greatness. And if you really want to make your introductions special, follow up after the introduction to connect with the two parties on your own time individually. A lot of people forget about their own relationships and only focus on building others. Don’t make that mistake.
How do you make introductions for people when asked? Do you put your introductions through a checklist before making them?
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