One of the best things you can do to build social capital is to make introductions to people who could mutually benefit from the connection. Yesterday I mentioned that introductions are actually great both for the person making the intro and the person receiving one.
Today I want to suggest a tactic for making a proper introduction over email.
Although it may seem less personal, I have found that email is the best way to initially introduce people. Arranging a phone introduction is awkward â€“ better to introduce two people over email and then let them discuss their business without you and at their convenience.
A good email introduction has a subject line such as â€œSam Meet Ben. Ben Meet Sam.â€�
When writing an introduction I like to address one person directly and then suggest that that the other person initiates the next communication. For example, if Ben asked me to introduce him to Peter, I’d write something like
I wanted to introduce you to Ben. Ben is the product guru and a founder of Workstreamer.com. Based on your mutual interest in online collaboration I think it would be worthwhile for you guys to connect.
Ben â€“ I’ll let you take it from here.
Etiquette is then for Ben to CC both Peter and ME on his first reply so that I know that the intro went through.
Now let’s say I want to meet someone but don’t have anyone who can make the intro for me. In this case I would cold call them using a subject line such as â€œIntroduction: Sam Huleatt, Workstreamer.â€� Not pretty but it gets the job done and it’s clear what I’m up to. I also would try and make sure that I a) find something we have in common and b) try and complement them.
Here are a couple of other posts discussing email introductions