When asking for a warm introduction, remember it’s a social contract—you’re asking a connection for a favor.
Before you request the introduction, answer these questions:
1. Do I have a strong enough relationship with the referrer?
2. Will I ultimately be able to help the sales prospect?
3. How can I make the introduction request easier for my connection?
If you can satisfactorily answer those questions, make it as easy as possible when asking your contact to help you get closer to a prospect. Here’s an example of a strong warm introduction request that yields high conversions. Let’s see how Jane, a LinkedIn Sales Solutions rep, asks Jim, a LinkedIn colleague, to introduce her to Alison, a prospect.
This introduction request is strong because it:
1. Is based on research.
2. Makes the ask and then others context as to why an introduction would be valuable for the prospect.
3. Gives the contact an out if they don’t feel comfortable making the introduction.
4. Makes it easy by providing a message the contact can forward.
If your contact doesn’t respond to your request for a warm introduction, follow up—you can’t assume they don’t want to help. They might just be busy or may have overlooked your initial outreach. Say you’re circling back up to see if the person would feel comfortable making a warm introduction or providing a referral.
If your contact still doesn’t respond, reach out directly to the prospect leveraging compelling insights to explain the reason for your outreach. You could mention that you share a mutual connection on LinkedIn.
If your main contact subsequently responds to your warm introduction request, thank the person and explain that you already connected with the prospect. If it makes sense—and you have a strong enough relationship with your main contact—you could ask that they follow up with the prospect to validate the value of speaking with you. Just be conscious of your contact’s time.
No matter what, use common courtesy and keep your connection in the loop. Even if the deal doesn’t work out, thank that person for providing you the opportunity to engage the prospect.
In cases where you have a strong relationship and high credibility with your main contact, that person might be able to salvage a seemingly lost opportunity. By stepping in, your contact may get the prospect to see the value of further engaging with you.
Deciding how long to wait
When sending a request for a warm introduction, move on both ends at the same time if you’re pursuing a transactional sale. In other words, reach out for the introduction and directly contact the prospect. If you’re pursuing strategic, enterprise accounts, be patient waiting for a response to your warm introduction request.