Applying product development principles to business introductions
I make a lot of introductions between people who might benefit from speaking with each other.
The introductions should provide value on both sides, per this post from Steve Blank on how to get busy people to make time to speak with you, which you should read.
Moreover, we all want to avoid the double-opt-in blind introduction, as covered here by Fred Wilson.
I have a standard format for those introductions that has yielded the greatest response rate from the second party, the one who is asked if they will accept the introduction.
Yes, I have A-B tested the timing and the language.
I wanted to codify the process here so that I can . . .
- Refer people to a single place for the process
- Save myself time
Here you go, and, as always, feedback appreciated.
(So that that we are on the same page.)
Straightforward, but I have to ask that you precisely follow the steps below.
- If you haven’t already done so, make sure to customize your LinkedIn URL.
- Research the hell out of whomever you are looking to speak with, as this makes the conversation much better.
- Send me an email in the following format on SUNDAY evening for each of the people that we have discussed. (This step is the third-most mangled step in the process. Do not freelance on the note below. If it is too long, it won’t be read by me or the other party.)
- Subj Line: “Intro to [name]”
Dear Ty, Thank you for the offer to introduce me to [name].
Historically, I have done [what you have done in your work career.]
Here is my background: [link to your customized LinkedIn profile link].
I would like to have a short conversation (less than 30m) about [the thing you want to talk about] as it relates to [whatever you are trying to do].
Regards, [your name]
What I do after I get your material
- I send it on MONDAY morning, Eastern time, as that has generated the best open rates, historically.
- I put you on bcc:. To be clear: DO NOT CONTACT THE PERSON. The bcc: is so that you know that the note went out. (This step is the most mangled step in the process. Do not respond to the email. YOU ARE ON BCC. I have to withdraw the invitation if you do respond to the note where you are bcc:ed.)
- When/if I hear from the other party, I will introduce you two in a new thread.
What you should then do next, if we hear back from the solicited party
- Put me on bcc: on the FIRST REPLY only. This lets me know that you have responded. You should say, in your response,
Dear Ty, thanks for the intro. I have put you on bcc: to spare you scheduling emails.
Dear [name], please let me know when you might be free to speak on the phone or in person. Thank you in advance.
- Don’t delay, respond that day. You don’t want the other person beating you to the response. (This step is the second-most mangled step in the process. Do not let the person you are trying to speak to beat you to a response. Anything over an hour is unacceptable.)
- Let me know after the meeting happened that the meeting was worthwhile or not.
- Send a “thank you” note to the person you spoke with.
Always happy to amend with your feedback via notes or comments.