There is the correct way and the less-effective way to make business introductions. A good business introduction is like a nugget of gold – and a deposit in the “karma bank.” It can strengthen your connection and value to and with the people you introduce. You look like a star because you were able to help someone find a potential solution to their problem. And the vendor you refer is grateful for the lead and also thinks you are amazing.
However, the way you actually make the introduction is very important, and can greatly impact whether this introduction converts into business for the people being introduced.
Let me give you an example.
One of my clients, I’ll call him Mike, was asked to submit a proposal for a project. He was very qualified for certain pieces of it but lacked some of the knowledge needed to properly scope and price the project. On top of that, he was on a deadline with a client of his and didn’t have time to write the proposal to meet the deadline.
So I introduced Mike to another client of mine, Donna. Donna had the complementary knowledge that Mike needed to see the whole picture of what the client required so he could come up with a price. In addition, Donna was a strong writer and had some availability. The cherry on top was that I knew she had recently bid on something similar and had already gone through the thought process so it wouldn’t take her very long.
I could have done something lame like just sending Mike Donna’s e-mail, but I think you need to position your business introductions: I think you need to tell each person WHY they need to talk to the other person. Basically, I am recommending that you sell it. So my e-mail went something like this.
“Donna, Mike is a long-time client of mine. He is a top-notch writer and copy editor. He has a proposal opportunity for <institution> that he needs some help with. It’s a website build-out from basic landing pages to version 2.0. The details are very similar to the <other project> you were working on in some ways. The really good news:
• The institution has use-it-or-lose-it funding that they have to spend before July
• Mike has worked for multiple groups within <institution> and is currently swamped with project work for them – so he is a strong candidate
Mike is a great writer but needs your technical knowledge and marketing strategy savvy to round out his offering <link to Mike’s website>.
Mike, meet my client Donna <link to Donna’s website> who has a background that includes website design, SEO, and marketing. She also has some <relevant industry> background and recently did an expert presentation about <relevant topic> at a conference in Atlanta.
You guys need to connect in the next day or two.”
Do you see how that is much more powerful than just a bland connection with an e-mail address or phone number? These two professionals are now RELEVANT to each other. They will actually be talking and possibly doing business together (not playing phone tag for weeks).
Mike and Donna are still waiting to hear back on whether they won the project or not – but it is looking pretty good. I love it when a plan comes together.
Catherine Morgan is the editor of Business Unplugged ™, an engaging speaker, and the founder of Point A to Point B Transitions Inc., a virtual provider of coaching services to individuals who are in business or career transition. Catherine is the author of the eBook Re-Launch You: Discovering Your Point B and Embracing Possibility. An experienced independent consultant and former employee of three of the former Big Five consulting firms, Catherine combines strategy development with accountability coaching. Her productivity tips and career transition advice have been featured on WGN AM 720 and WIND AM 560 The Answer in Chicago, and on WCHE AM 1520 in the Philadelphia area. Catherine speaks frequently on topics related to productivity, career transition, small business, and entrepreneurship. She doesn’t take herself seriously, but takes her subject matter very seriously.