Hey David,As I mentioned, Larry is interested in a role at [COMPANY].
Larry,David is a good friend who has been at [COMPANY] for two years. He’d be a great person to field your questions. I’ll let you take it from here!
3 Principles for Replying to an Intro Email
As a baseline, remember to keep in mind that if your friend introduces you to one of his contacts, in a way, he’s vouching for you. Don’t take that for granted.
1. Be the first to reply
If you’re the one that’s going to be asking for a favor e.g. a referral, be the first to reply to the intro email. You don’t have to respond within minutes, but when you first see the email, go ahead and reply.
Don’t wait for the other person to offer to connect with you. Chances are, if you don’t reply, they won’t reply. Plus, if you respond quickly to the intro, it shows enthusiasm. If days go by without you replying to the intro, it just comes off as you’re not very interested or this intro isn’t important. Of course there are situations when you can’t reply quickly, but if you ask for an intro, make sure you follow up, sooner the better.
2. When you ask for something, give them an out
Generally, if you’re getting introduced to someone, you’re going to be asking them for something. Make sure you make a very specific ask, but also give them an out. Give them an easier or less time consuming way to help you out.
For instance, a common ask is to “meet up for 30 minutes over coffee to learn more about ‘Company X'”.
This is a perfectly reasonable ask, but understand that while 30 minutes isn’t that much time, there’s travel time to get to and from the coffee shop, there’s context switching in the middle of the day, and there might be some hesitancy to meet up with a stranger that you’ve never met before.
If your primary ask is for an in-person meeting, give them an out to connect over the phone, which is less of a commitment:
Would you be up to meet for 30 minutes over coffee so I can learn more about Company X? If coffee doesn’t work, happy to schedule a time to connect over the phone. Either way, if you’re up for a coffee chat or a phone call, I can send over a few times to find a time that works best for the both of us.
This is a very considerate way to ask for someone’s time. Notice that I not only give an additional, smaller commitment ask, but also, I first ask if they’re willing to connect at all. I then follow it up by saying I’ll take on the burden of scheduling if they agree. I’m trying to make it as easy as possible for them to help me.
As a rule of thumb, when offering an out, suggest the one level down from your primary ask in terms of commitment. So if you’re asking for an in-person meet up, give them an option for a phone call. If you’re asking for a phone call, give them an out for you to
“send over a few specific questions via email.”
3. Show that you’ve done some research
I saw that [Company X] just launched a new [insert feature]. That’s super exciting, I think it has a lot of potential to gain traction.
Remember, your friend is vouching for you!
Keep in mind that both your friend and his connection are doing you a favor. When you reply to an intro email, set a tone of gratitude and excitement. Being gracious and enthusiastic goes a long way, especially when you’re asking for something!