Sam would like an intro to Person A from Ben. Sam may have found this contact by looking at Ben’s network on LinkedIn, Twitter, or another social media platform. Or, Ben may have mentioned the person in a conversation and offered to do an intro. Instead of a direct email intro addressed to both parties, which can make assumptions about Person A’s interest in being connected to Sam out of the blue, a double opt-in is a more appropriate means of introduction. It gives both parties a chance to express interest/openness to the intro, and generally results in high quality conversations. However, people are busy, email is a nightmare, and not all Ben’s connections on LinkedIn are his bosom buddies—some folks will not respond even when Ben thought they would 1,000% be interested. (It should be noted that, even with opt-ins all around, all intros have a fairly high failure rate, so don’t place all your hopes and dreams on the back of a single intro.)
So, how does this actually all happen?
- Sam sends a forwardable email†, written to Person A, to Ben.
- Ben forwards Sam’s email along to Person A. (Ben may add some color text, but he should be able to forward Sam’s email verbatim.)
- Person A responds saying, “yes, I’d love to talk to Sam” or “nope, doesn’t sound like a fit”, or maybe even doesn’t respond at all 😱
- If the response is “yes”, Ben cc’s Sam onto the forwarded thread. Sam is now introduced to Person A. 🎉
- Sam does his best to reply to this intro within 24 hrs and moves Ben to bcc. (If there’s no response to this initial follow up, Sam follows up a second time in 7 days.)
- If the answer is “no”, Ben communicates that to Sam. 😢
- If Person A does not respond to Ben, then maybe Ben thought they were better friends than they actually are. He can follow up with them after 7–14 days if he feels it’s appropriate—people are busy after all.
- If Ben doesn’t do his job to let Sam know that he forwarded some or all of the emails, Sam follows up with Ben in 7 days.
Important Note: It is best to send intros on Monday afternoons or Tuesday mornings. This avoids snowed-under inboxes on Mondays but gives the recipient the maximum amount of time to respond the same week. This means Sam should schedule intro requests to go out on Monday mornings and Ben can then send them out as soon as that afternoon or Tuesday morning.
†The forwardable email (aka a Self-Contained Forwardable Email) is a minor art unto itself. It is short, relevant, and includes: a hook, who you are, what you do, and how you’ve gained traction. Also, it must have a link to your deck and/or a customized reason for the intro. After writing the example below, I feel like it is a bit long and maybe could be tightened up a bit more.
Read the entire piece by Ben Lachman on Medium here.