Every once in a while, you’re going to need to introduce one of your colleagues to another by email. Before you do that, have the person you’re introducing write their own intro email to send to you first.
Photo by Wonderlane.
Roy Bahat, head of venture capital firm Bloomberg Beta, suggests that before you introduce someone, have them send you what he calls a "forward intro email". The goal of this email should be to explain why you want to be introduced, who you are and begin a new conversation. Sending an email to a new person that says "You can just dig through this old conversation I had with someone else" is a terrible way to introduce yourself:
First, why do I ask for this, specifically? (Compared to, say, "please send me a blurb about your company," or "draft me an email I can send" or some other way to get things going?) It lets you do the things you're best at -- describing who you are, what your organisation does, why you want to talk to the receiver, speaking in your own voice, etc. And I do only the things I'm best at -- knowing the receiver, and sharing my opinion of you. It also optimises for me spending as little time as possible, so I can make your introduction as quickly as possible.
When you send me this kind of forward intro email, I'll literally hit "forward" and write something like "Hey James, I just met this founder and thought she was onto something -- take a look at the below, do you want to talk?"
As the person doing the introducing, this allows you a few benefits. First, you can edit the introduction before it's sent, so you don't risk sending your friend someone that's only going to waste their time. More importantly, you take a lot of the gruntwork out of the introduction. The smoother the introduction goes at the start, the easier it will be to make that connection.
Introductions and the "forward intro email" [Roy Bahat]