The First 3 Steps After Someone Introduces a Business to You

Connecting people is at the foundation of all businesses. Whether it is with a journalist, with an investor, with a potential partner, or with anyone else. The best way to connect with people is through introductions. You can always cold call someone but having a trusting relationship will always make you more effective.

We’ve already talked about how to ask for and make an introduction, but what should you do if you get that email after introducing you to a friend?

Here are the first three things you should do:

First and foremost, express gratitude for the introduction.

So far, I have come to the conclusion that unfortunately common sense and common decency are not so common.

As soon as someone, call that person David introduces you to someone else, let’s call that person Jennifer, thank you for the introduction David, but it goes beyond that.

Let me tell you a little story. A friend of mine came to visit Tel Aviv from New York. He asked me to introduce something, which of course I was happy to do.

Over the next few days, I started seeing photos of all my friend’s meetings that took place as a result of my introduction.

What he should have done is thank me after every such meeting for letting me know that I was introduced to that meeting and how much he enjoyed it.

Gratitude goes a long way and when someone goes out of their way to help you through the introduction, don’t forget to thank them.

Make sure you include some praise for the person making the introduction in your initial thank you email.

Again, somewhat obvious and perhaps trivial, but rarely done right.

That initial email response after you get introduced to David, your response shouldn’t be something like “Thanks David and hey Jennifer. Let’s connect.”

Instead of “David, you’re the best. You introduce the best. Hey Jennifer, I’ve heard wonderful things. Would love to jump on the call or have a coffee. Will this work for you and if so, when is the best.” ?”

Let’s dissect that reaction.

At first, you praised David, which makes both of you look good to Jennifer, but it makes David want to introduce more to you.

Another important component of that email is that you don’t leave it succinct and that you have a specific request to engage further.

You also make it easier for Jennifer to respond by asking her if she wants to meet and when.

People don’t have time to respond to long emails, so keep it brief, and end with a specific question that’s easy to answer.

Ask what is the most convenient time to connect and then send a calendar invite.

This is a major pet peeve of mine. If we’re talking about a scenario in which Jennifer asked to introduce you, she should be the one who offers flexibility when you meet and as trivial as it sounds, she should be the one sending the calendar invite.

Alternatively, if you ask David to introduce you to Jennifer because you want to pick her mind or pitch her on something, you should offer flexibility and send you an invitation.

Again, this may seem minor, but sometimes a nice gesture can go a long way and vice versa. If you asked me to meet and then you put me to work asking me to set up a calendar event, that sounds a little weird.

The bottom line is that, without an introduction to business, there will be no progress, but even if someone introduces you to a potential customer, your response to that email can make or break a deal, depending on your answer.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.