The Art of the Email Introduction
I love connecting people in business! I love the moment where someone I meet MUST know someone in my world. I love seeing someone with a need and having a solid and trusted resource for them to connect to for the solution they seek.
I pride myself in making powerful and purposeful introductions. It came from a series of experiences early on my entrepreneurial journey where introductions were made for me that left me wondering, “What was the introducer thinking?”
Here’s my always successful formula for creating winning introductions that will have you being remembered as the ultimate connector.
Having a purposeful subject line
If you are connecting two people who could work together, say so. If you are connecting them as a resource, say so. If you think they are two amazingly awesome possums who need to get on each other’s radar, say so!
The point is information is coming at us faster than Scotty could beam up Captain Kirk and Spock – so get to the point in the subject line so it’s clear what this email is about.
If you were at a networking or social event, you’d have good manners when introducing two people. “Mary this is Sue, Sue this is Mary.”
Email introductions should be the same. When I start an email intro I want the two people to have some quick context to have them both feeling comfortable.
Explain WHY you wanted to connect these two people
Most people in my world aren’t mind readers. Give them the real 411 on why you wanted them to meet. Is it because one of them mentioned in passing that they need the services of the other? Is it because one of them wants to do market research, and the other is in that market? Is it because they are both business bad a$$’ who you KNOW need to know one another.
Tell them the prompt behind the email.
Make it personal
You are the common thread in this new relationship. Let them each know how you know the other. EVEN if you’ve told them privately in an earlier conversation.
Or share something you know the two of them have in common.
Close the loop
If you are the one receiving the introduction. Always let the connector know in a separate email the result of that introduction. If you scheduled a virtual coffee, thank your connector and let them know the date is set. If you connected and the connection wasn’t spot on, that’s ok – let the connector know where the miss was so they know for the future.
It is good business manners to say thank you, even if the intro wasn’t a perfect match.
Here are three examples of recent email intros by me (some of the names have been changed):
For someone seeking services – and I have a match
Subject – Introducing two awesome women for a business match for the ages
Mari, meet Abbi, Abbi this is Mari.
Mari, Abbi was the FIRST women I ever met at eWN in 2007. Our initial conversation turned into a most treasured friendship and business connection where we both are champions for one another's success. Knowing your LOVE for the more challenging parts of your work when Abbi recently mentioned it might be time for her to consider making a change in service providers I immediately thought of you. Both she and her husband are business owners and have a host of things that your expertise could prove invaluable to them going forward.
Abbi, Mari has been an eWN member for a few years now, and I have recommended her services to clients and colleagues, ALL have been immensely satisfied. She is super sharp at what she does and really wants to forge a partnership with her clients beyond just the service she provides.
I will leave the rest of the connecting to you capable ladies.
Best regards to you both,
For a new connection and potential business strategic partner
Subject – Introducing possible strategic partnership
Tracy, meet Christine, Christine this is Tracy. Tracy is a new eWN member launching an innovative consulting company. When we had a one:one and I learned more I immediately thought of you and the work you do at your company. I believe the two of you over time could become strong business allies!
Tracy, Christine is the owner of a boutique bookkeeping agency in Bellevue.
I'd love the two of you to connect so you can begin learning a bit more about one another and perhaps over time as I mentioned become strategic partners.
I'll leave the rest to you two.
For a trusted colleague seeking market research
Subject – Introducing two great people for information
I want to connect you to one of my oldest friends and a trusted colleague Al who is the founder of local tech start-up at this stage of his company he is intentionally connecting with businesses in your industry to gain a better understanding of they market to customers and where and how they determine where to invest their marketing dollars, and looking to see where the value would be to a a company like yours to have the ability to directly market to your ideal customers while they either in the area or immediately thereafter - digitally.
When Al and I recently met and he shared this next level of conversations he was seeking and asked who I might be able to confidently connect him to for conversation and deeper understanding, I immediately thought of you, because of your knowledge of the local industry and business culture.
I've known Al for over 30 years, he is someone who will value your time, and will look for ways to champion your continued success.
Al, as I mentioned, Sue is a colleague I originally met through a local women’s network, and has been around the local industry culture for a number of years, and currently is the manager at Company X. She will be a great resource for you as you continue to gather your information. She and her husband are great people and grow produce that would rival yours!
I will leave the rest of the connecting to the two of you!
With great respect,
In each of the three cases I followed nearly the same formula. Some of these people I have known for a VERY long time, others not so much. Each of them knew why that introduction was coming from me and what I hoped for each person in the introduction.
Yes, I am decent with words, and so are you. My desire for purposeful introductions has come as a result of wanting to put out into the world, the kind of introductions I want to receive. All in all it’s been a successful investment of time to create meaningful connections that have turned into many business partnerships and alliances.
It might take a little longer to craft these introductions, but it certainly elevates my credibility in the business world and it will do the same for you!
Debbie Page Whitlock is an award winning entrepreneur, business coach and leading authority on cash flow for women entrepreneurs. She teaches and writes about all things related to creating sustainable, scalable and potentially salable businesses and other useful bits of business wisdom she’s acquired on her 20 year entrepreneurial odyssey.