I make a pretty insane amount of introductions for people I meet and know. For me it’s just beautiful to see what happens when you introduce the right people — it can be magic (and sometimes determine the fate of a venture). All based on one simple (email) introduction.
Having said that I still find way to many of my contacts making the same mistakes after being introduced via email.
Here’s what Heretics do when they are introduced via email (note that this is mostly true for the “active lead” in the introduction — usually an introduction is between someone I just met or spoke to and someone else in my network. The first one is the active lead, the other the passive one):
- Follow up. Immediately. If you don’t follow up within 72 hours you’re disrespectful. Disrespectful to the person who made the intro and disrespectful to the person you were introduced to. No excuse.
- Treat the other person like the messiah. I just put my reputation on the line by introducing you to someone in my network. I expect you to treat her like the messiah. No exception.
- Put the introducer (e.g. me) on BCC in your initial response. That way I know that you followed up without being copied on your back and forth to find a time to meet (which I really don’t need to know about).
- Let me (the introducer) know what came out of it. Remember — the introducer puts her own reputation on the line when she introduces you to someone in her network. She’s doing so without any expectation for return but for the sheer joy of seeing magic happen. Pay her back with telling her what came out of her intro. Plus it helps her fine-tune her introductions in the future.
Be vigilant about following these rules and it will pay back handsomely. Violate especially rule 1 & 2 and it was the last time I (or someone else) introduced to you anyone.