By botching enough introductions I’ve discovered the three reasons why most of them fail.
The three factors:
- You forgot to seek opt-in from both parties.
- You fail to consider the workload of both parties.
- You haven’t explained why the introduction will benefit both parties.
A better way to make an introduction
My introductions are successful when I provide each party with an opportunity to opt-in. While you might think there’s value to the introduction, you don’t know if that feeling is mutual. The person receiving the introduction is usually too busy for another meeting or has no interest in meeting a new person.
If you proceed without an opt-in, it’s now on that person to either waste their time with the meeting or deal with an awkward position of having to decline the invitation. Resulting in your colleague losing respect for you.
Also, you don’t know if both parties will see the value in the introduction. If it’s a zero sum game, the connection won’t last past the first meeting. One party will feel drained and taken advantage of which hurts both people and your network. A proper introduction respects both parties and explains how this intro will benefit them.
The introduction process
If you think Steve could benefit from an introduction to Mark. You should first ask if Steve will be interested in meeting Mark. If Steve agrees, great. If not, cancel the introduction.
It’s up to you if you want to disclose who Mark is. I usually don’t because if Mark doesn’t want to meet with Steve, I want to protect Mark’s reputation. I’ll usually refer to Mark as a person who has relevant experience in a domain that could help Steve.
Now you can reach out to Mark via email or Linkedin.
Feel free to copy this template:
I hope all is well.
My colleague Steve (Steve’s name should be hyperlinked to his LinkedIn profile) works for (Organization). He is currently trying to (Insert here what he’s trying to do).
It would be great if you two could connect because (Insert here why Mark will benefit from this introduction).
If you have the bandwidth for a quick call or in person meeting with Steve, please let me know. If you’re too busy, I completely understand. I haven’t told Steve about this introduction so don’t feel pressured to accept.
If Mark accepts, use the following template in your email to Mark and Steve.
I hope all is well.
I would like to introduce you to Steve.
Being you both have interest in (insert topic here). I know you both could benefit from knowing each other.
Steve: I’ll leave it up to you to schedule the call/meeting with Mark (Mark’s name should be hyperlinked to his LinkedIn profile).
After that let Mark and Steve set up the call or meeting.
By using this process you will protect the time of those in your network and increase the odds of a successful intro.
Let me know if you use a similar process or if you have any other tips or tricks for introductions.