We all crave quality introductions from our contacts – be they friends, colleagues, peers or clients and of course, we then follow up immediately, make necessary appointments and do business together, don’t we? Well that’s what’s meant to happen.
I was reminded of this only yesterday when with a contact. Not two weeks ago, he had passed me an introduction along the lines of,â€ Mike and Paul, I would like to introduce you guys to each other as you have complementary skills which I believe could each benefit the other. Attached are your contact details. I know you are grownups so I will leave it in your capable hands to make contact with each other and see where it leads…â€
Dutifully, within 48 hours I sent Paul an email, full of excitement at the prospect of having a conversation and thanked Freddie kindly for his introduction.
Two weeks later I meet with Freddie again and what could I report to him? Absolutely nothing. Paul had not responded to me and I had not followed up again. I had failed to enter Paul on to my system as a prospect and so had not diarised to contact him again. The only reason why it sprung to mind was because I had by chance bumped into the introducer. That is poor practice.
Why should Freddie ever pass me another referral or introduction if I:
a) don’t have the courtesy to keep him in the loop of progress being made?
b) quite obviously don’t respect the quality of his introductions as I only attempted to contact the person once?
c) don’t set in motion a simple process to ensure that progress is made?
Interestingly, I have seen this from the other side. I have a contact at the moment to whom I have passed a couple of introductions over the past few months. The last time we met I asked him how things were going with the introductions. His response was, â€œWell, nowhere really. I made contact with them straightaway and never heard anything back, so…â€ How do you think that made me feel? Quite obviously this particular contact doesn’t respect my reputation in the business world or the quality of my introductions to bother putting in a reasonable amount of effort into developing the connection.
Now I know we all have times when we fail to follow up on immediately on connections and introductions. We might lose the business card or receive an answer phone message from someone we don’t know and just not bother calling back, or worse still, be given a clear request for help and then neglect to do anything about it.
How much money have you â€œleft on the tableâ€? How many serious opportunities have you let slip because you just didn’t get around to following up on the? If you don’t want introductions then don’t ask for them! If you do get them, have the courtesy to follow them up in a professional manner, with the right level of effort that would make your introducer feel happy to refer you again and again and again.
Remember that you are wearing the introducer’s brand. What you do or do not do impacts on their credibility with their contact. If you are anything but professional when dealing with introduced connections, you are damaging your introducer’s brand. Respect each and every introduction.