Deb Arnold of Deb Arnold, Ink. is a terrific businesswoman and one of my favorite people. We met a few years ago through an introduction from our mutual friend, consultant Ron Scott. Ron introduced us by email like this:
Lynn and Deb, I am pleased to introduce you two.
Lynn, Deb Arnold is a Seattle-based communication consultant. Deb guides organizations to create and deliver internal communications that help achieve enterprise and department goals more effectively and efficiently. Thinking there is high potential for mutual benefit in you two meeting, I suggested that she call you to schedule an appointment. Thanks in advance for meeting with Deb.
Deb, Lynn Gaertner-Johnston is Founder, Syntax Training, a business writing training firm. Her office phone number is XXX-XXX-XXXX.
Deb and I emailed each other, met for coffee, and became great friends. Ron Scott’s gift of introducing us brought us something precious.
Why Introduce People?
Personal introductions pave the way to new relationships and possibilities. By introducing people, you can help them:
• Expand their professional and personal networks
• Create opportunities to mentor others
• Get to know a new company or geographical region
• Find people to hire
• Make friends
Helping people meet and get to know each other, you will enhance your own business relationships. Introductions build huge amounts of good will.
Choosing People to Introduce
Think of two people you know and like who do not know each other. Consider individuals who have, as Ron Scott says, “matching or complementary values, beliefs, and behaviors.” Perhaps they have common interests and goals. Or maybe they are in a similar place in their personal lives or careers.
Think about how a business relationship might benefit the two people. Could they swap insights on marketing their small businesses? Is one of them in a place to mentor the other? Is one looking to hire an employee or contractor, and the other seems like a possible match? The introduction should please both people.
Making the Connection
You can bring people together by email, Facebook, LinkedIn, or other online services that help you share messages and contact information. This sample email introduces two people who work at the same company:
Subject: Susan, Meet Ralph; Ralph, Meet Susan
I am introducing you two because I think you would enjoy meeting and sharing your knowledge.
Susan, Ralph is an archivist in our San Francisco office. He moved there from Seattle four years ago and can share lots of insights about the SF team and the city. He is a foodie and a baseball junkie.
Ralph, Susan moves from Portland to SF next month. She has been with us seven years as a database expert. I bet she can share wisdom to help with your project. Susan is excited about her move into the big leagues of the company and baseball. Go Giants!
You now have each other’s addresses. You can take it from here.
This example introduces two people who share professional interests:
Subject: Introducing You Two for Networking
Hi, Marta and Jeff. I’m delighted to introduce you.
Marta, I met Jeff about a year ago and was struck by his passion for collaboration, mediation, and leadership; his wide breadth of knowledge for a young man, and his engaging demeanor. Jeff is a delight to get to know.
Jeff, I have known Marta for many years. She is a gifted collaborator, an incisive thinker, and a wonderful person who is passionate and active in social justice issues. Much of her work experience has involved mediating on environmental issues.
I believe meeting would be a rich experience for you both, and I hope you will connect soon.
Tips for Making Introductions
Apply these tips to make flawless introductions that your contacts will welcome:
- Have one or more reasons for making each introduction. Mention the reasons in your email.
- Share a few details that will jump-start the connection.
- Ask permission from each party before making the introduction unless you know that the individuals are open to introductions. Asking shows respect and an awareness of people’s privacy needs.
- Include phone numbers only if you are certain that sharing them is acceptable to the people involved. Otherwise, just use email or an online service.
- Avoid making introductions to the same person continually unless he or she encourages you to do so.
- Do not introduce someone you are not proud to present. If you find a person arrogant and pushy, assume others will too.
Now it’s your turn. Think of two people who might enjoy getting to know each other. Then take action.
My book Business Writing With Heart shares tips on how to introduce yourself to strangers, how to reintroduce yourself to someone you have met professionally (and what to do if you don't get a response!), and how to introduce yourself online in forums and business support groups.
Grammarly checked this blog post.