The Art of Proper Introductions

Knowing how to make a proper introduction can go a long way to helping you get properly introduced, too. You can always introduce yourself to others, but there are occasions where it is desirable for someone else to make the introduction for you.  The functional axiom is that what others have to say about you is more important and usually carries more weight than anything you could say about yourself.

A proper introduction helps to establish trust and rapport between the parties involved.  It makes starting a discussion exponentially easier than a cold call – particularly with established veterans and professionals in an industry.  Introductions help to expedite discussions toward more productive ends.

Proper introductions are valuable for anyone, which is to say – they may be beneficial to mobile app developers, too.  They apply directly to helping you get in front of people who can satisfy a specific need or business objective:

  • Specialized mentoring from a successful professional.
  • Helping get a key member for your start-up team.
  • Getting a friendly starting point with a potential sponsor, investor or strategic partner.
  • Arranging discounts or special terms on products or services that you need or offer.
  • Virtually any type of business deal or arrangement.

A Friend of Yours is a Friend of Mine

Introductions have historically carried a great deal of weight.  Some organizations, most notably fraternal orders like the Masons, developed their own protocols to make it easier for their members to “vet” one another.  Trust is a big part of any business relationship, but it usually takes time to build, sometimes too long.  Who are you going to trust more – someone you’ve known for twenty years or someone you just met?  Following that logic, are you likely to trust someone referred to you by a friend of twenty years more than someone who just emailed you a business proposition?

Vetting is a natural, normal and sane approach to business.  Today there is some friction between that which is known as the “Good Ole Boy Network” and “Transparency” – suffice that even where transparency is required in business, there is also a vetting process involved to make sure those applying for a contract (as an example) have the capabilities of fulfilling it.

You are responsible for the introductions that you make – they are representative of your reputation and judgement.  Introducing someone who turns out to be a problem for the person they were introduced to will likely hold that you in association with that problem, too.  Leastwise, you always want to strive to make favorable introductions – based on honest evaluations of how favorable the interests of those being introduced are met.

The Introduction Itself

Easy enough to do, a proper introduction includes:

  • A Personalized Opening.
  • Who – The person’s name, their company and position.
  • Where – Where they actually live or do business, and web site.
  • What – What they need, offer or their objective.
  • Why/How – The reason/s why both parties should talk.
  • When – Usually relating to the term of the relationship with the person making the introduction but would include any associated time-sensitive components.
  • A Qualified Closing

Here’s a basic example of an introduction that you might send via email:

Hello Jake,

It’s been a while since we last talked but I remember your business keeps an eye out for promising mobile apps. In this regard, I would like to introduce you to John Smith from Copenhagen, who is the founder of myuniqueapp.dot.com.

John is interested in possibilities for joint marketing opportunities and strategic partnerships. We’ve been talking about the things he is able to offer for about three months. It looks to me like it would be good for the two of you to talk. He will be attending the conference in London in December, so he could meet with you personally.

We’ve known each other for a few years, and as you know I do my best to send qualified opportunities your way.  I think John has something for you to consider – and with that, I will leave the floor to him.

Best of luck to both of you,

 

The format can be customized as the situation dictates, suffice that it provides everything to get discussions rolling on a productive basis.

There’s quite a bit more to cover regarding introductions – which I will do next week.  Perhaps an unusual topic as relates to mobile app development, it should not be.   Making business deals is not something most would call easy – and is probably even harder for most app developers.

The process of introducing and getting introduced is itself a “strategic initiative” that the vast majority of businesses ignore – quite often to their detriment.   Most organizations are suffering from an excessive reliance upon “tech” and not enough involvement with the “human” side of the equation.

As with everything, there are processes to follow – and we will get to them.

Project Manager at the Opera Mobile Store providing Sales-Marketing support. Content development and research.

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