I frequently get asked for help to connect people, which I’m happy to do as long as I can see future benefit for both sides.
Three types of introductions I make:
- Executives on the move
- Internships for ambitious college kids
- Mutually opportunistic business
All three of our reputations are on the line.
Here is my process:
I ask the person who is looking for the referral to put down a 3-sentence bio that I can cut and past.
- Background? Give a 1 sentence background on your most recent and relevant experience. Remember, the people who read this may not be coming from your same technical background so keep it at a business reading level.
- Ex. I have deep experience in all fronts of merchandising/buying, such as importing, product development, vendor relationships & negotiations, and I’ve leveraged those skills in multiple channels including e-Commerce (Target.com), Brick-and-Mortar (Best Buy), and Video Commerce (ShopNBC/Evine).
- Thrive? Where have you done your best work? An army of one; a deep dive specialist; a collaborative energizer?
- Ex. I thrive in natural growth environments and even turn-arounds, as I can leverage my attributes to deliver new levels of business performance.
- Value? This is specific to the company, role or opportunity. Usually requires some research on your part.
- Ex. I believe I could provide merchandising and operations leadership for ________ to help expand their product mix and sales portfolio with my deep vendor and industry relationships. This will drive sales and financial opportunities, and ultimately help the company find new channels and customers, and grow even faster. (Two sentences, I know, but it was good.)
Subject: Merritt meet Jerry. Jerry meet Merritt.
You two should meet.
Merritt has a business that he is interested in selling and passing along to the right buyer.
Jerry and I met during my research of the M & A market in the Twin Cities. His company is a boutique M&A firm that specializes in the lower to mid-market. I have found Jerry to be a good listener with a patient approach that gets good results for clients that are in the market to sell their business.
Merritt and I met while he was working with a destination vacation club. Merritt is part sales enthusiast, part organizational leader, and part entrepreneur. He’s been incredibly successful inside the world of travel and tourism for the past twenty years. He’s currently diving deep on those three parts mentioned above, and fine tuning what his next chapter is going to look like. With his proven commitment, passion, and drive, I’m confident his next step will be a pivotal one.
Here’s Jerry’s contact info:
Jerry’s mobile #
Jerry’s LinkedIn profile
Here’s Merritt’s contact info:
Merritt’s mobile #
Merritt’s LinkedIn profile
Merritt, I will put it in your hands to reach out to Jerry when the timing is right for a conversation.
I trust you will both enjoy the conversation.
Here are some people that I would like to call out as introduction champions:
- PK Kriha – Marsh & McLennan Agency– Sr. VP Employee Benefits – PK has made it a business practice to know her clients so well that she is constantly on the lookout for ways to improve their world whether she provides them, or someone else does.
- Judy Zimmer – Coachology.us – Executive Coach – Judy literally called someone within the first 10 minutes we met to make an introduction.
- Jackie Schneider – Field Nation – Chief Revenue Officer – Jackie has introduced me to future key employees (thanks Tony Biel) as well as connecting numerous people in all kinds of businesses.
- Jim Stelten – Bergen KDV – Partner – the only CPA I know that actively networks and keeps score. Jim has made over 600 introductions in his career.
- Dave Bremer – Boulay – Partner – Dave has not only made it his mantra to introduce good people, I have had the chance to talk to key people in his firm that credit Dave personally for their migration into Boulay.
Be clear about what a good introduction and potential opportunity looks like for you:
For my company, Dynasty Leadership, I’m looking for:
- A CEO in their first three (“Freshly Minted”) or last three years (“Transition Ready”) of leadership.
- Their company has at least 30 full time employees.
- The CEO and leadership take at least 2+ vacations per year.
- History of success with consultants.
- A strategic problem in the business that the CEO is committed to fixing.
Super-narrowly defined and even a little odd, right? Exactly, I would not want to waste anyone’s time or reputation. (I’d be happy to share the story behind each point and the decade of client interactions that lead me to those criteria if you want to drop me a line or give me a call.)