“Hi! How are you? I know you don't know me very well, but can you take a few hours to put your reputation on the line and introduce me to everyone in your network so that I can pitch them my multilevel marketing business idea?”
Ahh, online introductions.
Done right – proper online introductions can lead to more business and great friendships.
Done poorly – you risk getting blacklisted by the very influences you seek to connect with.
Yeah – I've had people send me emails like the quote above.
Worse are ones that are super long from people I barely know with no action request – it take me 15 minutes to decipher what they even want from me!
The fact is many online introduction and introduction requests are done VERY poorly.
Hence the need for this article on how to properly make online introductions.
So let's fix the problem!
It is important to note that making online introductions is not entirely the same as making introductions in real life.
Granted, there are still a few similar rules, but there is a world of difference too, which is why we decided it was good to be ultra-specific.
Today, we've decided to tackle the world of online introductions, and tell you about 7 no-brainer tips on how to do them properly, so that the next time this potentially tricky situation comes up, you will be more than well-equipped.
Tip #1 – Ask For An Introduction
Before you go off to make any introductions, it is so important to know if it is even okay to do so in the first place. Some people may not even want it, so get this tiny but important detail out of the way.
Of course, it makes sense that the skill of actually knowing if the introduction is wanted may take some time to develop, so when you are just starting out, please feel free and ask the person you want to introduce if he minds the introduction.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but really, there are some people who have so much opportunity coming their way that they can be hesitant in having more introductions made.
If somehow has approached you to ask for an introduction to someone, but the other person just has too much on their plate, the tough but right thing to do is be honest, and go back to that person saying that unfortunately, you cannot make the introduction and they may have to find some other way.
Another important thing to note is that when you immediately jump to introduce everyone to everyone in your network, then this can have a negative effect on your value. Doing so may dilute your network value to others. With that said, let's go to the second tip, which is somewhat related to what was just mentioned.
Tip #2 – Make Sure The Introduction Is Useful
The important thing to note here is that each introduction is supposed to be valuable. I'm pretty sure that all of us have had introductions made to us with someone who isn't even in our business.
Don't get me wrong, as it is great to get to know people and have random meetings, but if it is a business introduction we are talking about, then it is so important to make sure that the introduction will be useful to both parties.
If it is only of use to one party, then it is not a symbiotic relationship, and for that, you have to consider if the person who has nothing to gain from the introduction is even open to mentoring people, or if he even has the time.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of talking to a person even if he has “no value” to you, because you are fond of the person who made the introduction, but at the end of the day, this introduction will have no use to that person, and this will put the person doing the introducing into somewhat of a bad light.
The way to avoid putting yourself in a bad light is to make sure that each introduction you make is useful- that both parties will have something to gain from it.
Tip #3 – Always Be Respectful
Now, we're getting into the actual introduction. When you do decide to make one, always make sure that you are using the proper name, as well as using the proper order in making the introduction.
This actually stems off in-person introduction etiquette, so the same rules apply whether meeting someone in person or online.
If you have someone new who you want to introduce to a more established person, such as an industry leader, always start by introducing the newcomer to the industry leader. If both parties are somewhat on the same level, then you can go by age and show respect to the older person by introducing them first to the younger person.
Another thing to take note of is men to women introductions. Traditionally, it is always the man who is introduced to the woman, so it is also safe to go by this rule when introducing two people online.
Tip #4 – Use The Right Name
Some people will have two or more different names, maybe a nickname that they go about at home, with friends and family, as well as a professional name. Regardless if you know someone personally, always introduce them by the right name, or the name that they want to be used.
Of course, in a professional setting, it is more likely that this person would prefer to be introduced by his professional name, so don't go with nicknames.
Another thing to take note of is the spelling of the name. Be very mindful of the spelling of someone's names and see to it that you are spelling it correctly. Double-check this if you have to, but make sure that it is spelled right.
A person's name is not the only thing you have to get right. Equally important is someone's contact information too.
It can get very annoying to get introduced to someone but have given the wrong email, hence leaving you no way to get in contact with said person.
In some way, this fifth tip is related to the first tip, as you have to be mindful of not giving away information that a person does not want to be published.
Some people will have special and personal email addresses or phone numbers that they don't want everyone but a few select friends to have access to, so do pay attention to those details.
Make sure you are only sharing the correct, and the requested contact information so that you don't get into any sort of hot water.
Tip #6 – Keep It Short And Sweet
There have been times when I have personally gotten online introductions that have been a thousand words long. And to be honest, I really don't have time to read this. I am not speaking for everyone, but most people may find this sort of introduction too long-winded too.
As the person doing the introducing, always respect the other person's time. Try to put together a one-line introduction, stating why it is relevant that this person is introduced to the other. There is really no need to put in a person's bio, or the college that they studied, or other information like this.
What the other party cares about is how the other person is relevant to him. This can usually be accomplished in one sentence, so really, there is no need to go on and on.
Tip #7 – Let Them Know That The Ball Is In Their Court
Oftentimes, introductions that aren't done right can leave the persons being introduced unsure of what they should do next.
It is up to you as the person who arranged the introduction to take the bull by the horns and say something like OK guys, you two have it from here, and I'm pretty much out of the conversation.
Say this line casually but do make sure to mention it, as it will prevent you from perhaps being cc'ed in every email going forward.
When you excuse yourself out of this introduction, then it really is up to the two parties how they want to proceed. You've done your job, have done it well, and you can give yourself a little pat on the back.
To wrap up, those are 7 very simple, no-brainer tips that can really make a difference in an online introduction. Hopefully, you've found them useful. As usual, comments and questions are very much welcome. I look forward to delving into more of this with you.