connectionContacts from out of the blue are not particularly compelling.

Yes, we are all hungry for new business. Yes we are busy. And please appreciate this: a referral from you to me of a third party is very much a kindness and expectation that I will handle your contact well.Rest assured.

But please give me some context.

In a LinkedIn introduction, I need to know how to get a hold of the referred party, what they are interested in, briefly, so I can arrange my thoughts ahead of contacting him or her. That’s all. A few more keystrokes.

In two situations early this week, well-intentioned, respected colleagues each referred me to someone they wanted me to help.

In the first instance all he did was say, “Hey, Marc,  you and N are great networkers, go to it” N sent me a LinkedIn connection request knowing as much about me as I know about him: not very much. Yes, I did look at his LinkedIn public profile right away and I am still not sure how I can help him as his profile is muddy and self-aggrandizing, so he has slipped to the lower echelons of my priorities. I will get to him soon. Yes, I know it’s probable that there’s gold in them thar hills, but I am not seeing it yet and other referrals indicate more promise.

In the second instance, the referer sent an multi-addressee email to my “intended” and me, mentioning nothing at all about what they do, who does what there to help me identify roles, and how they need a specific service I provide. Fortunately, they soon sent me an email arranging for a phone call in mid-June, 6 weeks from now. I cc’d my introducer with  their reply, thanking him, and he emailed me back saying mid-June misses the date of the fundraising event he wanted me to help them with. So what do I do now? Not being sure how the politics and culture there work, I asked my introducer to email them and impress on them we need to work together so that I help them right away, not 6 weeks later.

How inefficient were both instances! I guess it’s time and lack of attention that causes these missteps in introducing me. Their hearts were certainly in the right place, their minds on something else, their fingers on the next email.

Think about these referrals you make and act like the 2 parties you are putting together need your special TLC to get the ball rolling. You will still be thanked.