A limitation of LinkedIn introductions is that you must wait for that introduction. You are at the mercy of the person through whom you are being introduced, as well as the person to whom you are being introduced. You have no control over how fast your contact will make the introduction, nor how rapidly you will receive a response once that introduction has been made.
It can seem like you are waiting forever. Here are some tips that can actually prevent that “stall” from occurring in the first place.
- While your contacts are connected to the prospects you want to meet, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your contacts are well-enough connected to make effective introductions for you. It’s a good idea to ask your contacts beforehand how well they know your prospects, and if they would feel comfortable introducing you.
- Explain to your mutual contact, when asking for the introduction, how the person you are asking for the connection with will benefit from the connection. Provide a simple explanation that your contact can easily repeat (or you can write it) so that your prospect will look forward meeting you.
- If you don’t hear back in a few weeks, follow up with your contact. You can say something along the lines of, “I know how busy you are, so I wanted to reach out and find out if you’ve heard back from Bill as to whether my direct contact would be okay with him.” If your contact has not yet made the connection, such a message may prompt him/her to do so. People are busy, and just because this connection is high on your priority list doesn’t mean it’s high on your contact’s list.
If you’ve followed these tips and still haven’t been able to connect with your prospect, here are some steps you can take to regain control over the situation and meet this person anyway.
- Make sure the prospect is exactly the right person, and the introduction will truly benefit him or her.
- Use a LinkedIn InMail to personally reach the prospect and clearly explain why being connected with you will benefit him or her.
- If the prospect doesn’t respond to your InMail, you can reach out directly by phone or email. Research to find the person’s work phone number (you can often find free research tools at many public libraries). You will also need an email address as reaching out by phone and email in combination is most effective. If you can’t find your contact’s email address, find out the email address format for the company (a PR contact email is usually listed on the Press Release section of the prospect company’s website). From there you can guess at your contact’s email address. Confirm the email address by calling the business and asking them to verify that the email address you “have” is correct. Helpful assistants will often correct you if you are just one or two letters off. But, if you ask for the entire email address without saying you have one, they rarely give it to you.
- Be ready to explain why being connected will benefit the prospect. Be clear on what you are asking him or her to do. If you want a meeting, ask for one.
While stalled introductions can be frustrating you have options to keep the process moving. And remember, when someone asks YOU for an introduction, treat the request with the same level of priority you want someone to treat yours.
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