Email Introductions

Posted by mitch on August 02, 2014

From time to time, someone asks me to facilitate an introduction. Sometimes it’s to someone specific (“Mitch, do you know Bob?”) and sometimes it’s vague (“I’d like to meet people with problem X” or “who do activity X”). If I am able, I’m happy to help, as I’ve been fortunate to (and continue to) benefit from others helping me with this kind of thing.

A few thoughts on this:

  1. Send the person you are asking for an introduction an email, not a LinkedIn message. Depending on the person, you might call them too.
  2. Give the person a paragraph they can copy and paste or edit. Why are you wanting the introduction? If it’s to someone specific, why specifically them? Don’t make your introducer create copy from scratch.
  3. When/if the introduction happens, move the introducer to bcc right away. If the other party moves the introducer to bcc, don’t re-add the person!
  4. Say thanks. Especially if someone introduces you to multiple people in a get-go. Sometimes I introduce folks to half a dozen customer or partners and never hear any follow up. Was it useful? Were the introductions crap and I wasted everyone’s time? I have no idea.
  5. If you get connected with someone and they stop interacting, it might be ok to query the introducer, but don’t be surprised if they pass on re-engaging with the person of interest.

Related: If I introduce you to someone, I will often ping that person and ask if they are interested in an introduction before I send the first email with both of you. The only time I may not is when I am pinging a vendor with a potential new customer. Related: It drives me crazy when someone introduces me to someone without asking, especially if it’s not clear why in the email. I rarely reply to these emails.

Also related: Assume nothing about geography. I always cringe when one of the replies says, “Thanks for the intro — Hey Bob, should we get lunch?” when the two folks are thousands of miles apart. Not everyone lives in (y)our city and if I am creating the copy from scratch, I may not include geography information.

There’s probably more to say about this.