Ever want to connect with a colleague from years ago, or ask someone for information on a specific topic you are far removed from? You might want to start a conversation with a person in a company you’d like to do business with.
These situations can be addressed by asking one of your LinkedIn 1st degree connections for an introduction to one of their connections. In LinkedIn-speak this person is considered a 2nd-degree connection to you. This is what’s great about LinkedIn – it’s a veritable who’s who of business professionals waiting for you to tap into its treasure.
In a nutshell, here’s how an introduction works:
Find an individual you would like to be introduced to and see if you have any mutual connections. Once you establish the person you would like to meet is connected to one of your 1st-degree connections, the wheels are put into motion.For example, my 1st-degree connection, Kathie Hartmans, Owner of Quality Bindery Services is connected to Kim Tuzzo, Admin & Communications Services of the Printing Industries Alliance. Ideally, I want to be introduced to Kim to see if the PIA could benefit from my professional speaking services for their monthly meetings.
Next, get out of the mindset “I want Kim’s business.” Get into the “Givers Gain” mindset, a Business Network International slogan that speaks volumes on the mindset you want to have for successful, mutually beneficial introductions.Rather than compose a request to Kathi for an introduction to Kim to get business, ask yourself how you could first be of help or service to Kim. In this case, PIA always needs new printing company members. Who do I know that might benefit from Kim’s trade organization? Voila! I know Dale Cooper of Foremost Printing & Graphics.
Compose your message to your 1st-degree connection, Kathie. I like to do this in Word or Notepad and just copy/paste into the LinkedIn message box. As an aside, if you’re really on top of your productivity tools, you’ll use a $30 software subscription called ActiveWords to save your template text for your next introduction.