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How to Make an Introduction (Which Takes Six Steps)


Robby

We introduce people to one another all the time. It’s a common process in business and in life. And yet, most people seem to ignore five of the six steps in the process. In fact, I think they don’t even realize there are six steps in total!

Handshake
© Flickr User Flair Candy

So imagine you have two people you know, Amanda and Barry. You’d like them to meet one another. What do you do first? You might be tempted to send them both an email, or arrange a lunch and invite them individually.

But that’s a bad idea. Instead, start here:

Step 1: Ask Amanda if she knows Barry

You want to start by determining if person A is already familiar with person B. The reason this is important is because you don’t know everyone they know. Don’t make an assumption. What happens if A and B knew each other but had a falling out? Or what if A has a friend C, who has warned them about B?

You need to start by asking Amanda if she knows Barry.

Step 2: Ask Barry if he knows Amanda

Just because Amanda knows Barry doesn’t mean the opposite is true. Barry might have any of the concerns or preconceptions brought up in step 1. Find out if he is aware of her existence before moving on!

Step 3: Get permission to make the introduction

The most important word in that title is “permission.” It’s always best to get someone’s consent before connecting them with another person.

Technically, this is two smaller steps, because you should ask Amanda if you can connect her to Barry, and also ask Barry if you can connect him to Amanda.

Because, what if they said no? What if this wasn’t a good time? What if they wanted to know why? Permission matters, and it strengthens your relationship.

Step 4: Introduce both people

Sounds easy, right? Turns out that making an introduction is an entire task in itself. You want to take the time to explain to both peopl—-in front of each other—why you’re making the connection.

And then you’re done, right? Nope. Two more steps.

Step 5: Follow up with Amanda to see how it went

Did you do a good job introducing them? Did Amanda appreciate the connection after all? Did she and Barry ever communicate or meet? It’s hard to get better without feedback.

Step 6: Follow up with Barry to see how it went

Same process, but for the other person.


Yes, there’s a lot of steps to making an introduction. But if you do them all, you’ll be appreciated, and you’ll make better connections, and you won’t waste people’s time.

Remember to do all six!

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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