Reaching into the mail-bag today – Oliver was asking about introductions. He wanted to know when the “right” time was to make one.
Let’s see if we can help him out.
I’m not going to cover the mechanics – grab your own copy of the book or scour previous articles for that aspect.
But we all know that introductions allow you to reach out to 2nd and 3rd degree contacts and have your 1st degree contacts write a letter of introduction.
They’re as powerful as they sound.
On the “more is more” philosophy, you could send an introduction out to anyone who might be a potential prospect with no advance research or information.
And such a thing might just turn off the prospect as well as your connection.
That’s like saying “I haven’t bothered to learn anything at all about you, but thought you’d like to hear about me!” And I can’t imagine any business professional taking that well.
So let’s compare this with the careful requester. John Smith has just completed and returned the “send me information” postcard or website form. This LinkedIn user then reaches out to get introduced through Jane Doe…
This might actually be taken badly as well. Wouldn’t John be saying “Hey – I asked you for information, why are you now introducing yourself through Jane?”
And so, I’ll suggest a middle course – prospecting and researching before asking for an introduction.
You’ll search LinkedIn because you’ve already targeted a company and want more information and a means of contact, or you’ll target key words or situations where your product has been well received in the past.
And then you’ll ask for an introduction:
John, we have a mutual friend, Jane Doe, and I thought it would be beneficial if Jane were to introduce us. I’ve completed three supplier evaluation projects in the past six months with companies similar to yours. In each case I was able to offer manufacturing components at the same or less cost with deliveries that allowed the organization to reduce inventory by 40%. I’m not certain what we can do with your particular situation, but it seemed like a conversation that would be of benefit…
And while you might not be supplying manufacturing parts like my example above, you probably have a good story to tell.
And you can do enough research to find out if this is something that will be of interest to the prospect.
Then you’ve got a compelling story and reason for the introduction.
I’m all ears here – what’s your most interesting introduction story? Haven’t used that feature yet? Get going already!
To your continued success,