Six Tips for Giving (and Receiving) Super Social Introductions
If you’re serious about making new friends and meeting new people (whether for business, romance, or just general feel-good networking) you need to be asking your friends and colleagues to make introductions. They can be real-life introductions; they can be digital introductions. Either or both. But if you’re love-hunting or job-hunting, or just trying to build a better social network, there’s nothing that replaces the old-fashioned, “Hey, Bob, do you know Sue? I think you two should meet.” Then say why. What do they have in common? How can they help each other? What’s the end game?
Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind as you ask your tribe to do this for you – and as you reciprocate by doing the same for them:
Do your due diligence.
That means do your homework. This could include looking them up on social media, asking around amongst the friends you have in common, etc. In my line of work, I use a short database profile form. I have my client fill it out, answering honestly, and refer to some data point from the sheet when making the introduction so that both parties will know what I think the common thread is.
Take the no-pressure approach.
People are going to be much more likely to introduce you to the kinds of people who can propel you forward if they know you’re chill about it. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t find the person as amazing as they do. Show that you’re the kind of person who can find the silver lining in any cloud, and they’ll be a lot more likely to open up their network to you.
Have some talking points in mind.
When your mutual friend makes the introduction, they’re probably going to excuse themselves, saying, “I’ll let you two take it from here.” That’s your cue to keep the convo rolling.
Follow some rules of decorum.
For my matchmaking clients (and the dates I introduce them to) I have a sheet of guidelines for lady-like and gentlemanly behavior. Though it may sound quaint and old-fashioned, it actually helps avoid confusion about things like who pays, expectations around sexual behavior, etc. It’s always best to err on the side of etiquette. (You can always spice it up, if appropriate, on a subsequent meet!)
Find out how it went after you made the introduction. Or, if you were the one receiving the introduction, let the kind person who made it know what came of it. Are you doing a business deal together? Going on a second date? Getting your kids together to play? Letting the connector know that the outcome was a good one could motivate them to do it again! And if the meet was a complete disaster, tactfully let the person who made the intro know why. Just do it in a way that doesn’t burn bridges.
If you hire a pro matchmaker, my clients pay my fee, so that arrangement is clear and easy. If your friend makes a solid introduction for you and you benefit from it in some way, you should take him or her out for a drink or lunch. If that doesn’t seem feasible, you might bake them something or give them a gift certificate. We live such busy, information-cluttered lives, that we often fail to say thank you in concrete ways. A little bag of nuts or box of chocolates could go a long way toward making you memorable – and introducible!
Connections. Introductions. Matches.
If your friends and co-workers won’t do it (or they don’t do it well), I will. I’m a professional dating coach and matchmaker and I’ve been “constructively meddling” in people’s love lives and social lives for decades.
Until we meet . . . I’ll continue to share social tips and dating trends here in this blog. Let me know if there are any burning questions on your mind you’d like to see addressed here!