How Do You Introduce People?

January 16, 2009

“Jim this is Matt.  Matt this is Jim.”

I’d always used this format.  Simple, to the point and WORTHLESS.  If Jim and Matt happened to be standing face to face at this moment, and would probably have had to share a pleasantry anyway, they may indeed speak for a few minutes more.

If you really want to introduce people, you’ve got to give them something to break the ice.  Think about the most difficult part of a conversation with someone you’ve never met.  Many times it’s finding the common ground to get the conversational ball rolling.  From there it’s a down hill slide that most intelligent people can handle.

Let’s take this one step more.  Let your imagination wrap around this scenario for a moment.  You meet Jim at a cocktail hour one evening and have a wonderful conversation about youth baseball.  Jim runs the baseball league in a neighboring community as a volunteer and they are struggling to raise money for a new facility.  A few weeks later, you meet Matt.  Matt has just moved to your area, is in career search, but in his spare time he used to work with his son’s baseball league.  A few years ago he was instrumental in raising money to a new league facilities.  He really misses having that volunteer interaction now that his family has moved.

Okay, so it’s obvious you’ve go to introduce these two guys right?  They’re not standing next to each other so you think “I can email them.”  I know during my conversation with Matt I would have mentioned that I met Jim a few weeks ago.  I would have committed to him to connect them.  For me, that is the first part.  YOU must make a commitment to follow through with you thoughts of connecting.

Sitting in front of you computer, hands on keyboard you realize “Jim this is Matt.  Matt this is Jim” just won’t cut it.  Jim will likely be very confused.  My suggestion is address you email primarily to Jim since Matt knows it’s coming, but include them both as recipients.  Then tell Jim the story of meeting Matt.  Why you think they should meet.  Think about the first few sentences of the conversation, what would make it easier for you if roles were reversed.  Be sure to tell Jim that Matt is also in a career search.

Most importantly though, keep you email engaging.  Help each individual look forward to connecting with the other.  Paint the picture that there is obvious mutual benefit, because there is, or at least that the benefit to one party is so strong that the other feels compelled to help out a little and meet someone new.  Then leave each individuals contact information, phone and email, so they can connect on their own terms.  You don’t have to broker a deal for them.  If your that invested in the connection then I’m going to question you motives.

Use the same ideas when introducing people face to face.  You’ll be able to leave the conversation quickly and continue mingling, doing your thing, knowing that the new relationship you introduced gets a little head start.  Now it that’s not giving, I don’t know what is.

Who have you connected?
What stops you?
When is the best time for you to introduce people to one anther?
Where will you be when you’re introduced to someone who changes your life?
Why wait until then to start changing your habits?

Jason R. Thomas
Jason R. Thomas
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