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How to Write a Good Introduction Request on LinkedIn
byScott ShpakMay 01, 2014
Making the most of LinkedIn means building your first-level connections, those people with whom you can directly network, share information and generally stay up-to-date. Getting effective results means stepping outside the generic LinkedIn boilerplate to create a compelling and personal query for a first-level connection, persuading her to assist you. A good introduction request includes a strong subject, personal connection, clearly stated intentions and a way for your connection to decline, delivered sincerely and gratefully.
"Make your subject line count. So many suffer email overload these days that a routine subject may be completely unnoticed," advises human resources manager Elizabeth Ball of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Writing in Forbes in 2013, Carol Ross suggests a personal and relevant subject. Using a bit humor is a great touch, if it fits your style. A subject like "I need an introduction" is doomed to fail, says Ross. A good subject line draws your contact in with interest piqued. "Personal pronouns really work in subject lines," adds Ball. "You" and "your" draw people's eyes, which leads them to the sender's name before making a read/no read decision."
Start your introduction request by placing yourself in your connection's world. Ross says that since you may not know your first-level contact all that well, an opening sentence that reminds the connection how you're associated makes it easier for her to place you. Kevin Nichols, writing at Wealth Management, says that a good introduction is both thoughtful and gracious, so a brief personal and informal opening is appropriate. Even if your first-level connect might say "Of course I know you," this type of opening suggests deference and humility on your part, and that's a great way to lead in to the favor you're about to ask.
State Your Case
Come to the point but do it in a careful and courteous way, says Nichols. Let your connection know why you're asking for an introduction to her connection. Career consultant Robert Hellmann suggests a short explanation of your intentions with the introduction. Your contact may be comfortable with introductions for some kinds of networking and not with others, so it's fair to let her know what she's getting into. If you think the introduction will be beneficial for the second-level connection, say so, says Hellmann. Your request is more likely to carry through if your first-level connection feels she is doing a favor for both of you.
Not all of your connection's LinkedIn contacts will be close. Just as you have contacts from whom you wouldn't ask favors, so might your connection. Nichols suggests giving your connection a way out. Being pushy won't get results. Hellmann agrees, advising that you want to keep a respectful relationship with your connection. Say that you understand if your connection doesn't feel comfortable making the introduction. If you're asking for a favor, offer to return it, suggests Nichols, who also feels expressing appreciation is a lost art. Acknowledge the favor, say thank you and mean it. You're making a personal request through an impersonal medium.