Making the effort to connect people whose relationship may be mutually beneficial is a habit of all great networkers. The introductions you make add value for all players—you build your own value to your colleagues and connections, and simultaneously demonstrate positive regard for members of your network. Making introductions is like corporate match-making. When we meet a person who appears to have parallel interests with someone else in our network – we can determine if each is interested in the connection, then make the introduction. Our effort compliments both people, regardless of the outcome.
One important note: when a colleague makes an introduction on your behalf, do acknowledge that compliment by following up with an update. I only learned how meaningful that update is when I didn’t receive one.
I’d met an accomplished executive when I added her to my engagement team. She had a deep background as a subject matter expert in a specific field. As I got to know her, I realized how important being selected for additional engagements was to her financially. With her permission, I introduced her to two former colleagues of mine—one who owns her own firm and often has work she outsources, and the other a highly sought-after consultant who is often in the position to refer subject matter experts.
Both my colleagues thanking me for the introduction but, to date, I haven’t received any feedback about subsequent calls that took place. Being in that position really drove home how important it is for me to complete the communication circle with the person who introduces me to a new contact. I think of it as good networking manners, and as an investment in the future of my relationships.
There may come a day when we need to contact that person (or someone in our network) to make or receive an introduction. Be ready to ask for support by following introductions etiquette. Establish yourself as someone who makes and receives introductions, expresses gratitude when we’re introduced, and acknowledges our colleague’s effort with an update. You’ll be increasing the odds you’ll receive the support you request.
We’ve developed (and tested) a guide to help you RETOOL your Linkedin profile so consulting firms who are looking for someone with your talents will find you.If you’re interested in receiving a complimentary copy of the guide: RETOOL Your Linkedin Profile to get noticed by Management Consulting firms and being part of The Consultants Toolbox network, click this link: