Several years ago, What Color is Your Parachute, the famous book for job hunters, indicated that networking was on of the best ways to find a job. Today, networking is even more important both in job hunting and building a business. Networking brings opportunities, expands your reach, and allows for referrals. But for the people you meet keep you in mind, especially as they talk to others about your value, you need to make a lasting good impressions. With this in mind, we asked experts what techniques they use for best ensuring a solid, lasting connection. Their best answers are below.
A great introduction is incisive, concise and fun. Ensure both connections know why the introduction is being made in such a way that mutual benefit is apparent. Do so with as few words as possible while keeping the tone of the introduction as playful as you can if you know each connection well. The more good feelings someone gets from being introduced, the more likely they are to follow up.
Digital introductions work, but what makes an introduction memorable is an in-person experience. If you have a very important introduction to make, arrange for both parties to meet with you as the intermediary. Grab coffee or drinks, then leave early and give them alone time.
Start by briefly highlighting accomplishments of both parties, and the value each could bring to the connection. Talk about things they’d be proud of in an authentic way. People shouldn’t brag about themselves, but if you sing both people’s praises in the intro email, they will begin their dialogue on a positive footing.
If I want a friend or contact of mine to introduce me to someone, I write the email for them–this ensures the introduction has all the key talking points. If I’m going to write an introduction on behalf of a friend or contact, I ask that person to send me the talking points or to craft the email for me. This ensures that I’m covering exactly what they want me to cover.
Always use their names and look for some common ground between the two people. You can also tell a personal story or interesting factoid about each person as part of the introduction. Ideally, the story will help make the connection for the common ground between the two and facilitate a conversation once the introduction is made.–
The best way to build a camaraderie when introducing your contacts to one another is to find a personal passion they both share. Perhaps they are both die-hard Yankees fans, grew up in the same state or even have Facebook friends in common (besides you!). Allowing the introduction to extend beyond work and business allows for amore genuine, non-transactional connection between the parties.
Whenever I receive a warm introduction, the first thing I ask is, “Why should I care? Why is this valuable to me?” A good introduction will make this clear immediately to both parties, providing specific reasons why a conversation could be mutually beneficial.
When someone asks me to introduce him/her to another person in my network, I always shoot a note to the latter person asking them if they are open to the connection. This is hugely important in warm introductions. When you introduce without asking, you are putting the person in an uncomfortable situation where s/he can’t say no. Let him/her say ‘yes’ first and the connection will be more powerful.–