In business, it’s all about the strength of your network. Tapping into the resources you already have, like your own personal network, is a powerful way to pay it forward.
But just because a warm introduction is made doesn’t mean the relationship will flourish.
With this in mind, here are 10 techniques for creating more powerful business connections:
1. Connect the dots for them.
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.
2. Show that you’ve done your research.
The great thing is, almost everybody is eager to help with introductions, but you get far better results by explaining exactly why the person you’re seeking to meet is the best person for the connection. When that research is covered, you won’t feel like you’re burdening your network and you’ll feel confident in initiating a mutually beneficial connection.
3. Acknowledge a person’s impact.
Job titles are readily available through a Google or LinkedIn search, but it’s best to look at the impact a person has on the world. Recognizing people for their contributions shows you appreciate and value their impact and not just their job titles. Also, slow down and take the time to listen rather than being in a hurry to get your message across.
4. Sing both contacts’ praises.
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.
5. Make it personal.
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.
6. Cover the key talking points.
If you want a friend or contact of yours to introduce you to someone, write an email for them–this ensures the introduction has all the key talking points. If you’re going to write an introduction on behalf of a friend or contact, ask that person to send you the talking points or to craft the email for you. This ensures that you’re covering exactly what they want you to cover.
7. Make the connection in person.
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.
8. Find the personal overlaps.
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 basketball fans, grew up in the same province or even have Facebook friends in common (besides you!). Allowing the introduction to extend beyond work and business allows for a more genuine, non-transactional connection between the parties.
9. Explain the mutual benefit.
Whenever you receive a warm introduction, the first thing you ask is, “Why should you care? Why is this valuable to you?” A good introduction will make this clear immediately to both parties, providing specific reasons why a conversation could be mutually beneficial.
10. Make sure both parties are on board.
When someone asks you to introduce him/her to another person in you network, 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.