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Hi ^_^

Chances are that if you're reading this, then we ended up meeting and I was grateful to connect so well with you!
Otherwise, I'm just as grateful for your stumbling upon this blog post! Welcome. 
Either way, I hope you're up for a qualitative walkthrough on how I manage introduction emails between connections.


Being an introduction facilitator, to me, is a service, and you can decide whether to give a high-quality service, a low-quality one, or something in-between. Here I want to highlight what a high-quality introduction-as-a-service experience has come to look like for me.
There are 3 main stages that I'm going to use as buckets to help breakdown my introduction experience.
1. Introduction Prep - Here I focus on preparing someone to be introduced.
2. Introduction Emailing - Here I focus on the all the emails that may be written when making and managing an intro.
3. Introduction Feedback - Here I focus on the aftermath of a successful introduction, and where things ought to go next.

Part 1: Introduction Prep

I like to prepare an intro paragraph which I'll use to introduce you to others in my network. Once you approve of that paragraph, I'll go ahead and make any introductions I see fit. Please look out for an email soon regarding your intro paragraph! 

For me, writing an intro paragraph about someone I've just met is an incredibly useful exercise in and of itself. It helps me showcase my attention of you, as well as it reminds me of what I liked about you and so bothered to go through such an exercise in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for taking the time, and boy do these take time. Thankfully, I have a template for writing these paragraphs, written as a Standard Operating Procedure to such detail that even my virtual assistance team can come in and support me with some of the writing efforts upon request.

As well, I now also have an AI generator tool that I can feed a connection's LinkedIn, Website, and even our intro call transcript (thank you Fathom!). The generator will then spit out 3 different paragraphs which I can then splice from and edit into a final version. 

That was my preparation. When it comes to my connections', they of course need to know that I'm going to be writing this paragraph for them, and that I'll want their final approval before using it (Hint: That's an email template - In fact its the first one - Subject: Networking Next Steps) As well, I need to explain to my recent connections about what they can expect from me when it comes to introduction emails...

Part 2: Introduction Emailing

I always like to check-in with my relationships before making any intros, meaning, unless we've already talked specifically about an introduction that I thought would be a good fit for you while on our call, then I'll send what I call an intro offer. Intro offers are exactly that - offers. You can turn them down if you're too busy, or you don't think it's a fit. All I ask in return is context around why you turned an intro down. This way, I can make better offers in the future! Please look out for any intro offer emails I send your way! 
My goal is to send a reminder 2 business days after offering an intro, should I not hear from you. If I don't hear from you by the end of 5 business days, then I feel the need to consider you unavailable, and from there, I'll let the person I'm offering to introduce you to know that I haven't heard back from you, and that we can certainly still wait, but I wouldn't hold my breath (nor theirs!). I strongly believe in providing good closure across any point in the introduction workflow where communications can drop off. This is just the first point of potential drop off.
You're always welcome to - and I encourage you to - reply to an intro offer even if it's already "late". I'm a fan of better-late-than-never, and there may still be (usually is) interest on the other side! Of course, if you're perpetually late to answer, then I may consider you less and less often for an introduction offer (and more and more as a potential prospect? ^_^)
If one of you ultimately declines the intro offer, I'm going to let the other person know. I won't necessarily say why, unless I feel it would be of value to other person (good feedback for them, maybe my introduction context was off, good intro but not right now...) and I will ask your permission first before sharing that information.
Otherwise, both of you would have accepted the introduction offer, so that means I can now officially give you each other's emails, and set a tone for what's to come next. Please note: If you're looking for more around all my various introduction emails are written, I'm covering that in a separate blog post.

Part 3: Introduction Feedback

I like to follow up after every intro I make to you in an effort to organize feedback. This allows me to make better intros in the future! Please be on the lookout for my intro feedback requests, and also please be detailed in your feedback. 
When I send an intro feedback request, again I'm going to follow my rule of checking back if it's been 2 days and I haven't heard anything. After 5 days, I'm going to assume you're unavailable, and again I'll think less about introducing you to others.
You may not have met the other person yet - totally fine! Just tell me. And also where things are with (re)scheduling an intro call. Is the other person not responding? Are you not responding? What's going on? I want to help where I can, and by the way, here we have another potential drop-off. If life gave you lemons, and you've got to go run a lemonade stand, I get it. Again, just tell me, and we can square things out with the other party in this intro. Yeah, I won't feel great about you deserting an introduction, but at least you haven't deserted communicating with me...
If you were successfully able to meet the other person, great! Tell me all about it! Be specific. What made it great? Did you get along super well, did you foresee mutual business opportunities, are you able to network with each other? I can't network with every cool person I know all the time, but if you can take some time with them and learn something because of my efforts, then I'd like to ask you to take some time to help me learn something about them because of yours.
Maybe things don't go as well as you had thought it would, maybe I was off on the context behind why I thought this would be such a great call... maybe you felt like you met with someone incredibly rude, selfish, and for all intents and purposes, was unaware of how they were coming across. I want to know everything (within reason) that happens with the people I connect with, so that I can provide business intelligence in kind, and help ensure all parties are well on their way.
After I feel we're on the same page as networking connections (meaning we've done this process well, possibly a few times), and there's a definitive reason for us to get serious about referrals (i.e. we're making potential business transactions happen on either side, or very much plan to), then it has become especially important we have a clear referral partnership relationship agreement, which I'll share more about in a separate email.
That's pretty much it.
From there, any updates to your introduction paragraph will be made via your request or mine (often to reflect the evolution of our relationship). From there, any new introduction opportunities will go through the same process above that I just outlined, and yeah, it can come down to quite a fun if/then tree of email workflows, but you know what?
That's good communication. That is well awareness. That's what matters to me.

Post-Networking Next Steps

Once you understand (and hopefully accept) my methodology for introductions (i.e. you reply to my email), you should then receive the following emails from me:

1. A "Ready to Network With You" email which will have my networking intro paragraph of you. Again, I'll be using this introduce you to others, as well as offer to showcase you in my "In the Looop" Networking Newsletter;
2. An invitation to subscribe to my "In the Looop" Networking Newsletter, wherein I do my best to highlight those I've met or reconnected with in the week prior. Rules on that newsletter are straightforward: Ask and you shall be (offered to be) introduced.
3. When applicable, A "Well Aware Referral Partnership" email detailing how I'd like to offer we officially refer one another business. I like setting clear standards for we should compensate one another for closed business, even if that compensation is set at 0%. Usually I try to match your policy on the value of referral introductions, so long as it is sustainable.
If you like my workflow process for making and managing introductions, then I invite you to take what you can from this blog post, and make the most of it. In kind, if all this feels like too much work to do, and yet you feel strongly that this is how you should be doing your introductions (or at least to some degree - of all that I do, being punctually responsive is what matters most), then I invite you to consider working with one of Well Aware's virtual assistants. Our team has been trained to understand the entire introduction management process, and to in kind address all steps of the introduction management workflow, among many other things. 
To learn more, please reach out.
Thank you for reading. Be well, and aware ^_*
Post by Conrad Ruiz
September 15, 2023