One of the most significant aspects about growing your business network is through the giving and receiving of referrals.
One action in networking that is sometimes overlooked is making introductions to others that will lead to long standing relationships. Unlike a referral, where people are put into contact with others who need their specific services, an introduction is getting two people together whose businesses and/or services would be enhanced by working together in some way.
Some people think that once an introduction has been made and the two people have shared contact details that these people will somehow magically form strong professional bonds. What must be considered is all the background context that accompanies each introduction.
Essentially, an introduction does two things:
- Endorses the two people you’re introducing.
- Provides information on whythe two people should connect.
These two things cannot be effectively done without you as the introducer having:
- 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.
Once you have built strong business relationships with others and know and understand them, it is easy to do the introductions online.
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.
So remember, introducing business people to each other can gain you a good reputation, if done correctly!