What to Do When Someone Doesn’t Want an Intro

By Michael Roderick  -  On 21 Apr, 2015 -  0 comments

Making introductions is a very powerful activity. The surprise element of it can often be thrilling and seeing the reaction on a person’s face when you make an offer to send someone their way that can help them can be truly invigorating. There is one side to offering to make introductions that can be difficult for those who decide to engage:

When the person receiving tells you they actually don’t want the intro.

In some cases this can really rattle you. As someone who has decided to follow the double opt-in model of introductions, I make an offer to give an introduction all the time and there are always times when one person tells me that they’d actually rather not meet the person I am suggesting to them. When this first happened, I would sometimes get defensive and try to push the other person to take the meeting, but I eventually came to learn that this never really works for either party because both end up feeling like the connection is uneven and in some cases a waste of time. I now have made it a point to pay attention to certain things any time I get a negative response to an intro offer. Here are a few questions I ask myself after I get the email saying thanks but no thanks.

  1. Was I clear enough about why I wanted to make the intro? - Sometimes in reading someone’s bio we can see the opportunity to collaborate very clearly. In other cases, a short bio on the person doesn’t give us enough information to make an informed decision. If I get a no I usually take a moment to ask myself if I truly explained the reason I thought a connection made sense. If I feel I didn’t make it clear enough I look for that the next time.
  2. Is this a connection, a referral, or a favor? – If I am offering to make a connection my thought is that the two people will enjoy meeting one another to discuss their businesses and maybe they also have a personal connection as well. If I am referring someone business my thought is that I am sending them someone who I have already spoken to about their service and who has requested the intro. If I am asking for a favor, they have something they can offer to the other person like advice and the other person will likely be receiving some kind of mentorship or guidance. Depending on which of these I am offering in the introduction, the response tells me a lot about what the other person is open to right now. Depending on what I sent and how they answered, I can know for next time where their focus is.
  3. Am I dealing with someone hyper focused? - Many times when someone turns down an introduction offer they will also tell me that the only want to meet a certain type of person at this time or that they are busy working on a book, project, etc. and simply do not have the time for new meetings. I always take note of that and start to look at making offers of intros only through that lens.
  4. How many times have they turned me down? – If I make multiple offers and the other person almost never takes them, it usually means that there is something going on. I make it a point to check in with these people and ask them if there are specific people they are looking to meet or if they are just too busy to take introductions at this time and I take careful notes on this.


When you take the time out of your day to make introduction offers, you want to make sure that you are not wasting your time as well as others’. Asking more questions and being hyper observant whenever someone says no can help you save time and effort.

The more you can discover about why someone is saying no, the more you’ll learn about how to get to a yes.

So if you get turned down when you offer an introduction, don’t get upset.

Get inquisitive.

You’ll learn more about both parties and you’ll become even better at making meaningful introductions.

Then there will be a lot of people who will want to meet you.