How To Make Better Introductions

Making introductions is a life hack.

You make an impact on two peoples lives instead of one.

And it also feels great when you help two people potentially unlock a new relationship.

Particularly if you’re leading with a ‘how can I help?’ mentality.

As opposed to a ‘what’s in it for me?’ one.

Introductions between two connections should be frequent fixture as you go about your networking.

Not just at events, but outside of them via email or message too.

Which is what I dive into in today’s edition.

Unfortunately, many make introductions to feel useful.

And often the introduction benefits one person, but not the other.

The ultimate introduction is one that helps both parties.

Which is why I suggest a two step process to making introductions:

  1. Asking for permission
  2. Connecting people that will both benefit from meeting each other

It’s known as the ‘double opt-in introduction’.

First, what’s a single opt-in introduction?

It’s where you are introduced to someone via email without them giving you a heads up and getting your consent to make the intro.

Sound familiar?

For example, John wants to introduce Steve to his friend Lucy.

Using the single opt-in introduction method, Johns sends an email to Lucy and cc’s in Steve:

Hey Lucy,

Wanted to introduce you to Steve (cc’d) who runs Bad Intros Inc. They are really disrupting the introduction space.

Think you guys are doing similar things so you should chat.

I’ll leave it to you to connect.



This is a terrible introduction for a few reasons:

  • No respect for time – it takes John 30 seconds to write, then Lucy feels pressured to jump on a call or get coffee with Steve (because John thinks it would be a good idea?!).
  • No context – it’s vague, general, and lazy. Lucy has to go look up Steve and see if he really is doing something that is interesting.
  • Makes Lucy look bad – if she ignores the email and doesn’t connect with Steve. She’s the one that’s got this introduction out of the blue, and she looks bad?!

Don’t be like this John.

How could he have helped himself?

By using a ‘double opt-in introduction’.

In other words; the non-lazy, respectful, and mutually beneficial way to introduce people.

Let’s look at the two steps.

Continuing to use John, Steve and Lucy.

Still with me?


Step 1 - Asking Permission

Before the connection is made, John would reach out to Lucy to gain permission to make the introduction.

This goes a little something like this.

Hi Lucy,

I was chatting to a connection of mine, Steve from Bad Intros Inc, to make an introduction to you to discuss the work they are doing in the introduction space that

Given your work in the introduction industry too, I thought it was a nice fit and chance for you both to build your networks.

But I wanted to run it by you first.

Let me know if this is of interest or would be useful. If so, I’ll make the connection.

If not, no problem.



John is awesome here because:

  • He’s providing context on why Steve might be interesting and relevant to Lucy. And it’s clear he’s given thought to why Lucy and Steve should connect.
  • He’s letting Lucy opt-in. She is not under any pressure to accept and offers an easy out if she is busy or uninterested.

If permission is granted, it’s onto Step 2.

Step 2 - Making the Introduction

Now - time for John to connect Lucy and Steve!

Here’s how he could do that:

Lucy meet Steve. Steve meet Lucy.

As spoken about, here’s the introduction between you both.

Lucy, thanks for acknowledging my previous email re this intro. Steve [insert why Steve asked for an intro and how this will benefit Lucy; e.g. interest in their business, potential cross selling opportunities, potential to pass and receive referrals to in their sector].

Steve, Lucy [why Lucy is a good fit, and why they would be better for connecting with each other].

I’ll let you both take it from here. Let me know if I can be of any further help.

But happy to make the intro between two good people!


Two people connected that were expecting it, opted in, and have the context to establish a sensible next step.

Be more like this John.

Wrap Up

The ultimate introduction helps both parties.

Don’t make an introduction for the sake of making an introduction.

A one sided introduction makes the other person feel used.

So next time you’re about to make one:

  1. Slow down
  2. Ask permission
  3. Get opt-in
  4. Make introduction

You’ll make a more impactful connection.

You’ll be remembered more positively as a result.

Happy Networking and happy connecting.

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