Networking is a powerful tool for business. It can expand your knowledge, connect you with new customers, create partnerships and raise your profile. But while it’s certainly an indispensable method for boosting your business, networking also has its awkward moments.
If you have a respectably sized network, people will likely reach out to you asking you for introductions. But how do you connect them with other business professionals in your network? Better yet, should you make the introduction at all?
If you facilitate this connection, you could be held responsible for the outcome. There’s always a chance the introduction isn’t well received, which can harm your reputation. Here’s how to make a business introduction:
Let’s say you receive an email from someone you used to work with asking you for an introduction to one of your coworkers. Why does he want to connect? Will your coworker be displeased with you for distributing her contact information?
If you’re considering introducing two of your connections, remember it’s okay to say no. Take a look at the relationship between the two people. Is a junior person coming to you asking to be connected with your CEO? Will you be wasting one party’s time with an unwanted connection?
At the end of the day, remember your network is your own. You’ve worked hard to build these relationships and while it’s beneficial to build your network, you don’t want to jeopardize it by being responsible for unwanted connections.
Before you make an introduction, give the person a heads up. Cold intros can catch people off-guard, making them feel uncomfortable and annoyed. To avoid this, make sure to send a preliminary email letting your connection know that you plan on setting up an introduction. In this note, briefly explain who you’ll be introducing and why. Depending on your relationship with the person, you might want to ask their permission before initiating the introduction in the first place.
Send an email that introduces both parties and explain the reason for making this connection. For example, “Hey, _______. I’d like you to meet my friend ________. He thinks our company would greatly benefit from his agribusiness products.”
Business introductions can be time consuming and uncomfortable. If you don’t want to waste time dealing with awkward introductions, you can simply connect with your network on Koble. With the option of account based targeting, the Koble platform automatically allows your mutual connections to get in touch with each other.
In the case above, if your friend had at least one connection within your company, he’d have the ability to target everyone in the account with mutual business interests. Once posted, only people in your company who have their preferences set to “buying agribusiness products” will see his post, easily connecting him with the right people without the need for an intro.
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