Networking Bootcamp: An Introduction To Introductions

by | March 5, 2015

Despite what people say, no one goes it alone. No one pulls themselves up by their bootstraps and makes the world a better place without the help of other people. To achieve anything we need other human beings of like-minded interests to create with, and collaborate with. We need each other to build, to inspire, to inform and to push us… at the very least to buy what we’re selling. This fact makes introductions vitally important. In one motion you can set a new relationship, business, idea or partnership on it’s way to success.

Here’s some information on the importance of connecting and being connected through introductions, and a couple of thoughts on how to go about it professionally and properly:

Recently, David All, Founder of CivicHacks and Community Engager at AWH, did his own informal survey of the benefits of the introduction. He made 52 introductions this past January (yes he is truly a connector) and then sent a follow up survey to those individuals in February to which he received 30 responses.

Interesting data he compiled during the survey:

  • 71% of those introductions were inspired by in-person meetings

  • 7% of introductions were requested (ask for an intro. It’s always worth it)

  • Nearly 75% of introductions were met with an in-person meeting

  • 87% of those who completed the survey said the usefulness of the introduction was “very” or “good”

  • When asked to quantify the value of the introduction, a few respondents said “priceless” or “unquantifiable”

  • Nearly 60% who answered the survey said they have introduced that person to someone in their network

Those are some very eye-opening numbers that reveal how truly important and beneficial a proper introduction can be. It’s all for naught however if the introduction isn’t handled appropriately, so here are a few quick pointers to remain aware of:

  • Make sure they want to be connected. As David states:

One interesting insight worth sharing that could help you be a better connector is to understand and use what I’m calling the “Pre-Intro.” The concept is common-sense, not everyone has time at that exact moment to follow-up on an introduction. So now, if it’s someone in my network I may not regularly communicate or connect with, I preview the introduction to see if they want the connection. It has already proved valuable and helps me better connect those in my network.

  • Be professional. Only introduce people to whom you would want to be introduced yourself. If you wouldn’t do business with them don’t pawn them off on others.

  • Properly introduce the individuals you are connecting. Explain who each individual is, what they do, how you know them or why you think they’d be a beneficial connection and then leave them to it. Do not give them a number and say, “Call so-and-so and mention my name.” No one appreciates a cold call. Connect them via email, or if you find yourselves in the same room, in person.

And a final tip from David:

The next time you’re meeting with someone in your network, make a list of the one or two people that you can introduce them to. Be their connector.