One of the limitations of LinkedIn introductions is that you are at the mercy of the person doing the introducing. You have no control over how quickly your contact introduces you and you have no control over when you receive a response.
To avoid what can feel like endless waiting you may need to approach the situation differently. Here are a few tips you can use when asking for introductions to prevent the “stall” from happening.
- Just because your contact is connected to the prospect you want to meet doesn’t mean that your contact knows this person well enough to introduce you effectively. Ask your contact how well he knows the prospect and how comfortable he would feel making the introduction.
- When asking for an introduction, explain to your mutual contact why connecting will benefit the person you seek to reach. Provide language your contact can easily pass along so that the prospect will look forward to connecting with you.
- Follow up with your contact if you don’t hear back in a few weeks. You can say, “Knowing how busy you are I thought I’d reach out to see if you have heard back from Bill as to whether direct contact would be OK with him.” This may prompt your contact to make the connection if he or she has not already done so. Remember, people are busy. Just because this is high on your priority list doesn’t mean it is high on your contact’s priority list.
If you’ve followed these tips and still haven’t been able to connect with your prospect, here are some steps you can take to regain control over the situation and meet this person anyway.
- Make sure the prospect is exactly the right person, and the introduction will truly benefit him or her.
- Use a LinkedIn InMail to reach the prospect and clearly explain why being connected with you will benefit him or her.
- If the prospect doesn’t respond to your InMail, you can reach out directly. Research to find the person’s work phone number (you can often find free research tools at many public libraries). You will also need an email address as reaching out by phone and email in combination is very effective. If you can’t find your contact’s email address, find out the email address format for the company (a PR contact email is usually listed on the Press Release section of the prospect company’s website). From there you can guess at your contact’s email address. Confirm the email address by calling the business and asking them to verify that the email address you “have” is correct. Helpful assistants will often correct you if you are just one or two letters off. But, if you ask for the entire email address without saying you have one, they rarely give it to you.
- Be ready to explain why being connected will benefit the prospect. Be clear on what you are asking him or her to do. If you want a meeting, ask for one.