The Art of the Introduction

For those of us with a career in sales, you know how important strategic introductions are to selling.

There are multiple ways to find new prospects, of which, the referral introduction is likely the best. As I’ve discussed in previous posts, a key to receiving strategic referrals is clearly identifying your target customer. If we can quickly share the business type, client need and decision maker for our target customer, our networking will become more strategic.

Now it’s your turn to return the favor. Networking is a two-way street. It’s your job to make strategic introductions for trusted contacts within your network. Here is a quick list to help you send great referral introductions…

  • Build a personal CRM — almost all businesses use a CRM to track sales. If your network is your most powerful asset, take the time to track and record the details of your personal connections.
  • Networking mentality — strategic networking is a two-way street. The referral conversation is not all about you. Find a way to give back. Make good connections for your network and they will return the favor.
  • How to help — ask the folks in your network how you can help. Seek out the details of their target customer. Write these details down in your CRM.
  • Never waste time — before making an introduction, always ask for permission first. One strategic introduction is far more powerful than ten random connections. Make sure the referral is worth the time for both parties.
  • Thoughtful introduction email — take the time to write an introduction email that shares
  1. how you know both parties
  2. short details about the business needs of each party
  3. why they should meet

If you take the time to share quality connections with your network, good things will happen. Make it a point to treat your network as the most important asset in your business career.