Effective Networking Tactics: Time for Introductions?

Here we go again – another blog post on networking…how will this be different?  Well, let me start with a short anecdote:

Recently, I attended an event and had a conversation about networking. We talked about different approaches and tactics – one idea that emerged from that discussion focused on asking for introductions from mutual acquaintances to connect with other professionals you may not know.

You may be familiar with the term “cold-call” or “cold-email” – basically an effort to contact someone you don’t know, commonly used in the context of networking or inquiring about job or internship opportunities.

While there are different opinions on the success of cold-calling and cold-emailing, I encourage you to try asking for introductions to people you want to meet from individuals you already know as part of the networking process.

Think about individuals you know and their existing contacts – one way to explore this could be through LinkedIn 2nd or 3rd degree connections. If you want to connect with someone else that shares a mutual connection with you, consider asking the mutual connection for an introduction. In some cases, introductions from individuals that are trusted can lead to a higher volume of responses and initiate meaningful conversations.

That being said, always be mindful of quality over quantity. Don’t simply focus on the number of conversations you have – the quality of your conversations is most important. And always be authentic with your introduction requests and conversations. Think carefully why you want to be introduced to someone and how a conversation with that particular individual would be helpful.

Let me know how you fare with asking for introductions from mutual contacts as you attempt to expand your network.

Do you have any examples of situations where an introduction from a mutual contact was beneficial for networking purposes?  Feel free to share them below.

Looking for more tips on networking?  Check out a few online videos and social media networking tips here: https://www.vpul.upenn.edu/careerservices//networking/howto.php