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By Erica Skoutas

In this digital age we live in many people resort to texting, email, or Facebook to make connections with people and we often forget the importance of personal contact. However, sometimes distance or personal situations may play a role in connecting two people and Email introductions may be your only option. If this is the case you should make sure you follow a few guidelines when initiating an introduction.

First and foremost you should always ask permission from both parties. Be courteous because one person may not be interested or they may simply be too busy at this time. Making sure both parties are in agreement to be introduced is very important.

Next you want to be as detailed as possible with your introduction. Do not send an email to both parties saying “Pete, meet Joe.” You should formally introduce them by naming the individuals and explain who they are and what they do. Explain your intentions and why you thought it was a good idea to connect the two people.  You may even want to mention key details such as their current location and if they are retiring from the military and when. Each situation will be unique but the more descriptive you can be, the better the introduction will look for everybody, including yourself.

Keep in mind that when you introduce two individuals you have the advantage of knowing both parties. You would want to help out your friend or colleague by letting them know why they should “meet” each other and how they could both benefit from this. Focus only on their accomplishments and positive attributes that they could offer each other.

You should always suggest the next step. Mention something like, “You should exchange phone numbers and discuss your upcoming career change.” or “Pete will be flying out that way in two weeks, maybe he could take a tour of the company and discuss some options.”

Once the introduction is over you should follow up with both parties to see how things went. After that, your job is done and you have potentially helped both people by initiating this introduction. You should feel proud and enjoy the fact that you helped two people make a connection and do not expect any favors in return. It is important to remember that either person does not owe you anything but a “Thank you.”

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