One of the most important aspects about growing your business network is through the taking and giving of referrals, and if you’re a networking pro it’s also making introductions that will lead to long standing relationships. Unlike a referral, where people are put into contact with others who need their services, an introduction is getting two people together whose businesses and/or services would be enhanced by working together.
It is a mistake to think that all an introduction needs is simply to say each party’s names and businesses and then, like magic, these people will form some strong professional bonds. What some people don’t consider is all the background context that accompanies each introduction.
At its heart, an introduction does two things:
- Endorses the two people you’re introducing.
- Provides information on why the two people should connect.
These two things cannot be effectively done without:
- A Strong Reputation. You need to have a reputation where the two people trust your recommendations. If they don’t, they’ll likely not take the introduction seriously and even ignore it.
- An Understanding of Each Person. An introduction uses knowledge you have about two people (who they are as individuals and how they can help each other). Being someone who is a good listener and asks good questions is critical to getting the necessary information to do the introduction.
It is important to always try and make the correct connections with people, a good introduction that leads to a productive business will increase others perception of your ability to make judgements, a bad one will have people questioning your motives.