When I attend a party, I try to socialize with at least one new person. The benefit of such social gatherings, though, is that introductions are made naturally. Everyone in attendance knows at least one person there (likely the host), making it easy to be introduced to one another and avoid any awkward self-introductions.
Just as I lean on friends to build new connections in my personal life, I lean on co-workers to help build my professional network.
In fact, studies from Reppify have shown that while cold calls convert into meetings about 1-2% of the time, using a referral introduction can jump our success rates to 40 or 50%. [Click to Tweet]
Since then, I've become diligent in asking co-workers to introduce me to people I'm trying to connect with. Here's what I've seen work -
1) Use HubSpot Sales Free to find mutual connections.
Let's say I want to get in touch with the wonderful folks at Reppify. By simply visiting their website and clicking on the transparent HubSpot Sales Free* icon that appears at the top right, I can pop open a web panel that displays publicly available company information.
Scrolling down, I can also see "Email Connections" - aka, contacts at Reppify that are connected with my colleagues.
Now, I know that both Julie and Todd are potential co-workers of mine at HubSpot who can introduce me to Michelle or Chirag at Reppify.
*HubSpot Sales Free is a free tool for tracking emails and accessing contact intelligence.
2) Ask a co-worker to make the email introduction.
Now, I'm going to reach out to Todd and ask him to introduce me to Chirag. To make it easy and quick, I recommend scripting the email template yourself. Here's an example referral email template I could send Todd -
3) Send a follow up response quickly after.
Once Chirag opens Todd's initial email, he'll know who I am. But he won't know what to do next.
As soon as I see this introduction email in my inbox, I try to respond within ten minutes. I want my follow up email read at the same time Chirag opens and reads the initial introduction.
If he doesn't hear the value or reason for chatting with me immediately, he might ignore future messages in the thread all together.
Now while this connection strategy has worked for me, I'll be the first to admit I'm not the expert in this arena. I'd love to hear more ideas / stories of how people connect with others.