WASHINGTON, October 3, 2012 — Just try to introduce people properly to each other during one of those too-loud, too-crowded networking events where everyone must read each others’ lips. A better bet? Morning-after email introductions are actually getting more useful. Properly done, they can convey more information to each person than you can at that crowded, noisy, distracting event.
Here’s a useful formula you can use over and over again to enhance the unique quality of your business networking introductions.
Email subject line
Don’t just type “Introduction” here. Until you tell them otherwise, the two individuals you’re writing to will figure they have nothing in common. But that’s not exactly right: they have you. You’re the common denominator between them, so remind them of that right away. Type: “An Introduction by [Your Name]”
Don’t omit your “greeting,” even in the email format. At the beginning of the body of your email introduction, write “Dear” or at least “Hi,” before the names of the people you’re introducing. To retain the sense of social balance, I swap the order of names I’ve inserted in the address line of the message header. This means that To: John@xxx.com, Mary@yyy.com in the address line becomes “Dear Mary and John” in the greeting.
Next, in a separate sentence, begin with something simple, like:
“It is my pleasure to introduce you to each other,” or “I’d like to tell you more about each other than I could at [zzzzz] the other night.”
Now the ice is broken and you can move along to the information you’re going to exchange.
Swap names again, and give equal attention to the details you provide about each person. Don’t sweat the word count. There’s no need to be OCD about this. Here’s an example:
I’d like to introduce you to Mary. She’s a college-planning specialist who works with parents and their high-school age kids. I met her yesterday morning at BNI. Mary told us she can help parents save as much as $10-15K per year in college costs (plus help them get accepted), which I thought was pretty impressive.
Here’s her contact info:
I’d like to introduce you to John Jones, who is a private writing tutor. He works with grades 1-12, including kids w/ADHD. I know that essays are an important part of college applications, but so is the ability to write in order to survive in college and in life, and that’s where John can be really helpful.
Here’s his contact info:
Provide information that will connect these individuals to each other without demanding a lot of effort of their part. For example, the introduction above can be rounded off with a sincere compliment:
“You both seem to be dedicated to the success of children as they move into adulthood, which in my opinion, is pretty hard for kids these days. So it seems to me that introducing you to each other makes a lot of sense.
Best wishes and success to both of you!”
[Then sign your name.]
After you introduce people to each other via email, there’s no need for you to follow up with another email, and there’s no need to mention your introduction the next time you see either of them, even if they happen to be at the same event. You’ve already accomplished your objective of putting two people in touch with one another.
Now it’s up to the friends you introduced to take that next step. Your work here is done. And better yet, you’ve accomplished it gracefully and unobtrusively. Simple, easy, and effective.
Frances Ponick’s book, Only Angels Can Wing It: How to Prepare a Eulogy Quickly and Present It Compassionately, is available in paperback from the author and is now available at Amazon.com. She coaches written and verbal communications and is the writer’s block expert at AllExperts. Feel free to ask questions there, or connect with Frances at Twitter, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn.
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