I recently shared with the team at Akkroo my method for responding to requests for introductions. Vito suggested that perhaps others might also like to read this too, so that's why I've shared a copy here. I would prefix this advice by saying that my approach has been heavily influenced by the types of introductions I've seen made by Joel from Buffer make in the past, and which I feel are some of the best I've seen.
For me, it's a two step process:
If I’m asked to make an intro to someone I know, I always check with the person I’m being asked to make the introduction to beforehand. It’s really uncomfortable to find yourself being asked to do something “cold” especially when you don’t want to; and it's disrespectful of their time to involve someone in a process they don't choose to be part of. It also often makes the relationship awkward later if the ask can’t be met, so I generally make a courtesy enquiry in advance to check I’m not asking too much.
If I get approval, I use this email format - by which time everyone is already expecting the email:
Subject: Kim <—> Donald
[Note: In the subject, I put the name of person who asked for the introduction in second place; as Dale Carnegie says in How To Win Friends & Influence People, the most important sound in the world to someone is their own name, so prioritise the name of the person you're making the request of]
From: [email protected]
To: [email protected], [email protected]
Hi Kim & Donald,
I hope you are both well! I’d just like to take the time to introduce the two of you as having chatted with you both in the last few days, I think you could find some common ground together.
@Kim - I’ve known Donald since [his time on the Apprentice TV show]. He’s [a really enthusiastic guy] and he asked me if I knew anyone who could help with [the nuclear disarmament of the Korean Peninsular]. I thought you’d be the best guy to speak to.
@Donald - Kim is Supreme Leader of the DPRK and [very knowledgable about the nuclear capabilities of North Korea]. I’ve known him for many years and is a very smart guy. [Note: The aim here is to encourage the person making the “ask" gives due respect to the person I'm introducing them too. It’ll be my reputation on the line if I make a poor introduction or waste someone's time.]
Hopefully there is some value in you knowing each other. @Donald, perhaps you could reach out and share what you’re looking for? Kim is very busy, however having chatted with him a little already, I hopeful he can help. [Note: I always propose a next step for the person “asking" at the end of the email since they are the one getting the favour done, and it also means no one is left guessing what should happen next.]
Hope to see you both soon,