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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 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 is a problem solver who believes that most professional challenges—whether funding, landing a board position or getting a new job—are solved by tapping into networks.Kelly is a popular speaker on networking, community building and investing issues, especially as they relate to women, and has worked with the IEEE, PGA, Bank of America, Apple and countless others. Follow Kelly on Twitter @jkhoey and on Instagram @jkellyhoey and join the #BYDN community at