If your New Year’s resolutions include doing more networking, whether to find a job, increase your network or grow your business, you’ll probably be both making and receiving introductions to others via email. Here are some tips on how to do that.
*Put both people’s email addresses in the “To:” field.
*When you start the message, begin by addressing the person who you’re introducing the other person to.
*Make it clear why you’re making the introduction. That is, why should the two people meet.
*Give an overview of each person and how you know them.
For example, let’s say, I’m introducing my friend, Mary Smith who is looking for work, to my colleague, John Adams who is in a field that my friend wants to get into. I would write:
Happy New Year! I hope you and Marge had a nice holiday season. (I always start with some non-business pleasantries before jumping into business.)
I’d like to introduce my friend Mary Smith. Mary works for XYZ company and manages their sales staff. She is looking to make a career transition into retail marketing. I thought you would be a great person for her to talk to to learn more about the field. I have known Mary for 8 years and am always impressed by her intelligence, warmth and can do attitude. Mary is also a talented bike racer. (I like to include some personal information as it helps them to have something to talk about.)
Mary, meet John Adams, VP of marketing for ABC Company. John and I worked together at Company A 5 years ago. John is a marketing wiz and a really great guy. And, he has two sweet dogs, Hank and Juma.
The more complete the introduction the easier it will be for the two to help each other. And, as I’ve learned from personal experience, it is really important to state why you think the two should meet. If someone introduces me to someone via email and doesn’t make it clear why I should meet with this person I will usually not proceed with the meeting.
It is usually incumbent on the person being introduced to the other person to follow-up with an email thanking the introducer and schedule a meeting with the person s/he was introduced to.
Lastly, at the very least send an email following up with the introducer thanking them for the introduction and letting them know if you’ve met with the person he or she introduced you to. Even better, send a handwritten thank you note, especially if the introduction leads to new business or a job. This is absolutely essential if you want to stay in the good graces of your friends and colleagues.
What do you find helpful when you are introduced to someone by email? Have you ever had a situation where you weren’t introduced well and didn’t know why the introduction was made?