On Email Introductions: Tip #2
If you don’t pre-screen your introductions (more on that in the next tip) make sure that both parties are aware of why you introduced them. You can include this in your email introduction and it can be as vague or specific as you’d like but give them something to go on.
Explaining why you’re making the introduction not only helps to break the ice but it gives the conversation some fuel before it’s even started.
There are some people who will take the introduction and run with it, even if they have no idea why you introduced them, but those people are a rare type. Most people need the beginning of the path to be laid before them and, while they might choose to leave the path and ultimately connect with the person you introduced them to in way you could not have anticipated, the introduction could never go anywhere without that initial bit of guidance.
Some of my favorite “this is why you should talk” tricks include:
- You both have open philosophies on connecting and I think there could be some synergy there. <– this is very open and vague; it could lead to the people introduced becoming referral partners or even friends.
- Patrick, Susan runs a graphic arts company that specializes in creating infographics. I know you are looking for ways to boost you visual content on the web; I think she could definitely help you with that and she might suggest other resources as well. Susan, Patrick started a co-working space that is rapidly filling up with amazing entrepreneurial and start-up ventures. <– this is very specific: Susan can help Patrick — maybe he’ll even hire her — but it also gives Susan some information so she can prepare some ideas in advance. If this were a real introduction I would provide a link to both companies’ website so both parties can do further research in order to have a targeted conversation when they do connect.
- Jake, I was catching up with my friend Margaret today and she mentioned how nervous she is about her upcoming move. It’s the first time she’s having to find a new apartment in NYC and I know you had a wonderful experience with your broker a few months ago. I told her a little about it and Margaret said she would love your broker’s information but I also wonder if you’d be willing to give her some advice on what to look for in a new apartment. I believe her search has similar parameters to yours and I know she’d appreciate you taking the time to give her some expert tips on moving in the city. <– in this case Margaret already has been given some information on Jake and the person sending the introduction simply has to fill Jake in
Those are just some examples of ways you can handle explaining the introduction you’re making. Find your own style and test what seems to work best (a tip on following up will be coming soon). However you choose to share this information what matters most is that you actually share it!
I have been party to a number of email introductions that came out of the blue and were given no context, leaving both of the receiving parties confused and sometimes having that awkward conversation around, “Why are we supposed to talk to each other?” That’s not what the person who made the introduction intended but without the clarity of “this is why I think you should know each other” sometimes it’s hard to make the connection work.
Be clear. State your purpose. It will only help everyone involved and you can let the people you’ve introduced take it from there.