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As some of you will know I believe in the huge power of relationship, referrals and making introductions when I can see a good fit or think somebody can help someone else I know or have met.

Most of the time I make the introduction at my own suggestion rather than being asked to do it, but there are the odd occasions when I do get asked to make an introduction and almost every time I don’t have a problem with doing this to help people to move forward faster.

However, there are times when the person asking for the introduction doesn’t always approach it in the right way or make it as easy as it could be to help them.

I think that there are some simple rules to follow when asking for an introduction.

  • Ask politely! This way the requested introducer is more likely to make the introduction if you ask nicely, consider their time and make it as easy for them as you can.
  • Be realistic about who you want to be introduced to – do you really have anything in common with them, is there going to be a good fit, what synergies do you have with the person? Don’t waste the introducers time asking them to introduce you to someway way out of your league – For example if you’re a virtual assistant then asking to be introduced to a corporate CEO is probably not going to work well.
  • Explain why you want the introduction. – what benefit it would be to the person you wish to be introduced to. Not only does this help the introducer to ascertain whether they want to be associated with the introduction, it make’s their life easier when making the introduction as they have the information to hand to explain clearly and concisely the synergies between you and the person you want to be introduced to.
  • If you don’t have a particular person in mind that you want to be introduced to, but feel that the person you are asking has a wide group of connections that might be able to help you, be specific about what you are trying to achieve, the types of people you find interesting or the types of companies you are looking for. That way the introducer, if they know their connections list well, can quickly think about who a good fit might be and don’t have to spend their time trawling through their address book looking for potential people for you.
  • Be patient. You might not get the requested introduction straight away, after all the introducer has a job to do as well. Give them a chance to make the introduction when they get around to it, although I’m sure most people wouldn’t object to a gentle nudge if the introduction hasn’t been made after a couple of weeks.
  • Don’t always be the one asking for introductions, make introductions as well as this is a great investment for the future when you might need to ask a favour and reiterates you’re a great person in their mind.

Introductions are a great way to keep your relationships alive, prove that you are thinking of people, considering their needs first and highlighting your credentials and credibility. It is always good to be front of mind!

Finally, don’t feel obliged to make an introduction just because you have been asked to. If you don’t feel the fit is right, then don’t just ignore it but respond and let them know why you are not going to do so and if there is anyone else that might be a better fit for their needs.

23 October 2019