Wednesday, November 30 2022


We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” and it’s often very true. Trusted personal relationships are the building blocks of business.

It is essential to build relationships early in the business and asking friends, family and business connections to introduce someone in their networking sphere could lead to an important connection. All serious rainmakers and doers understand that winning in business requires cultivating the art of networking, trust, and relationships. Until the Matrix takes over, business is between people and relationships are personal.

In the business world, after meeting someone new, you will quickly review mutual relationships. When we add to our network, the new person also becomes a first degree connection, linked to dozens of other potential connections – in other words, new possible connections. We’ve all heard about the concept of this connection on LinkedIn.

Whether you’re in a small hangout with friends and acquaintances, or you’re a delegate to a large industry conference and want to meet someone, or you’re driving business development, most of us rely on introductions from people we already know to grow our networks. As industry conferences have become digital or hybrid events, it’s increasingly difficult to meet new people and make a personal connection. While well-crafted cold communication (increasingly made possible by digital conferencing technology) can lead to a new connection, a warm introduction from someone mutually known and trusted greatly increases your chances of success and accelerates the speed of transactions.

It is essential to carefully write your “request”which often means writing a targeted and polite introduction request. Be clear about why you are asking in an introduction. It’s also important to give the person a chance to say no without feeling bad.

Here are some other handy tips for requesting a connection:

Be clear about how you know the person who will introduce you. You will usually ask a colleague or a friend. However, sometimes you can ask for an introduction from someone you don’t know very well. If so, make it easy for them; you don’t want the recipient of your request to guess who you are. Your message could start with something simple: “We met last year at the Pegasus conference during the breakout session on financial modeling. I enjoyed our conversation on big data.”

Also be specific about why you’re asking for the introduction. Explain why connecting to the specific person could help you achieve your goals and why you decided to ask the person receiving your request.

To make easy. Write a draft of the introduction for them. For example, if you want to be introduced to a venture capitalist, write an email that your contact can easily forward to that investor. When requesting the introduction, include the information you want this person to know, such as company information, or attach an investor brief. Your email should be clear, fast and to the point: “Hi John, I know you are close to the XXX team. I would appreciate the opportunity to be featured. Here are some details about what my company does, and I also attached my game. Thank you, Your help is most appreciated.”

Be brief. Make it personal. Keep your email short, to the point, and personal once it has been transmitted, it is worth taking the intro to the next stage. Each introduction must be personalized and different with the name of the person or the company. Include a line explaining why you want to connect with them and how important this relationship is to you. This will increase the chances of them agreeing to do the intro. For instance: “Hi, Susan. From your LinkedIn profile, I see that you know the HighFly team. I also work in the data world and would like to meet John. He would be invaluable to my business. May I ask you introduce myself ?”

Think about your subject line. It’s the first thing someone sees. Subject lines can increase the chances of your email being opened. The subject of the e-mail should be direct: “Introduction request to John”. Additional details in your email should include your company name and the purpose of the introduction. So when someone forwards your email to their contact asking for permission to do this intro, they’ll see the subject, your name, and you want to meet.

Double blind rule. When requesting, making and receiving referral requests, the double-blind rule must be followed. In other words, the person looking to be introduced must understand that the recipient must first ask the target if they are willing to receive a direct introduction before making it. Sometimes the target will not respond or refuse the introduction. All you can expect is that the recipient who receives your request will contact the target and make the request.

How many? If you ask the same person to give more than two presentations for the same purpose, be careful not to become a nuisance. Do not take advantage of the generosity of the person to whom you are asking to introduce yourself. If you are requesting more than three presentations, consider whether you should ask this person to advise your company first and whether you should offer to compensate them with stock options for the privilege of attempt to monetize the value of its network. This will position you to ask for more…

Once you send the request, detach yourself from the result. Your connection may or may not know the other person well or feel uncomfortable doing so. They may not respond. No response or silence is a pass – it means no, it means that for some reason the recipient or target is not available. To persevere is to waste energy. Good business people will forward a request for introduction. If you don’t get a response, you have to trust that there is a valid reason not to continue and not to take it personally or read too much.

But they could respond with some advice. Be grateful for any help you receive.

Once you get a response, show your appreciation. Regardless of the outcome, thank your contact for their time and effort in reviewing your request. End the conversation on a positive note.

In an age when business is between people who have never met in person, the value of a personal introduction from a trusted source, properly requested and given with enthusiasm, has never been higher. Following these simple rules of the road can help make driving smoother.

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