ASK! Before You Make That Well Intentioned Intro

By May 12, 2017January 26th, 2019No Comments

The “you two should know each other” email…or “dump and drive” as I refer to it…JUST may be the greatest networking irritation. When I was writing #BYDN, I asked the folks who appear in case studies in the book about it — and IF I’d not edited their answers, let’s just say #BYDN would have a brown paper cover along with a parental warning. The irritation was expressed in rather, let’s say, colorful ways.

 Let me put it politely this way: always ask before you introduce. Always. Not most of the time or when you remember…make always the rule, and not the very, very, very rare exception.

From #BYDN (in the Chapter of Networking #Fail):

Back in March 2013, First Round Capital’s Chris Fralic wrote a post for Forbes.com on the topic of e-mailing busy people (like venture partners). I still refer people to Chris’s timeless post, “The Art of the Email Introduction: 10 Rules for Emailing Busy People.” As Chris states in rule 1, “The Ask”:

Sometimes it makes sense to just make the introduction when asked, but in most cases I think it’s a best practice to ask for and receive permission before an introduction is made. This makes it a choice for the recipient and doesn’t create an obligation.

Adventurer Alison Levine is equally adamant about this networking taboo. Her biggest networking tip is never, and she means never, make a “blind introduction” to someone. Always ask their permission first, and give them detail and background about why you are making the introduction.

J. Kelly Hoey

J. Kelly Hoey

Kelly Hoey is the author of Build Your Dream Network (January 2017 / Tarcher Perigee). She has been lauded from Forbes (“1 of 5 Women Changing the World of VC/Entrepreneurship”) to Fast Company (“1 of the 25 Smartest Women On Twitter”) to Business Insider (“1 of the 100 Most Influential Tech Women On Twitter”) and Inc. (1 of “10 Most Well-Connected People in New York City's Startup Scene”). Empowering A Billion Women By 2020 included her on their list of the “100 Most Influential Global Leaders Empowering Women Worldwide”. Not bad for a former corporate lawyer. She’s a limited partner in two emerging tech funds (Laconia Capital Group and Lattice Ventures) and can frequently be found on Twitter @jkhoey.