The 4 types of introductions

Introductions (not referrals) play a huge role in the business world, it's crucial that business professionals understand the different types and what to avoid.
Hot introduction

Introductions (not referrals) are the absolute best way to grow your business. Whether you’re looking for clients, employees, members, volunteers, donors, or other key people to support you through the next level, nothing beats an introduction from a happy person to someone else who is a good fit for you and what you do.

Why, then, do the vast majority of people struggle to get the quantity or quality of introductions they truly want?

The number one reason is that we typically don’t clearly understand the psychology of getting introductions and how we should categorize different types of introductions in our business. Without proper knowledge and awareness, we often end up sounding like the typical salesperson saying things such as, “The greatest gift you could ever give me is a referral to your friends and family.”

Cheesy lines like this make most people on the receiving end cringe and respond with statements like, “No one comes to mind, but maybe next time,” which almost always means it never will happen.

Research shows that the majority of people are willing to make introductions if they are happy with your products, services, how they were treated, and if it was a comfortable and easy process for them. In order to do that, we must first have a process for categorizing different types of introductions.

If we dissect it, there are only four types of introductions:

  • Cold Introduction – simply providing a name and contact info. It often sounds like this: “You should contact Bob Jones. He could really use your services.” This is okay; however, it is often a waste of time as it only produces a positive outcome 0-10% of the time.
  • Cool Introduction – similar to above, but the person making the introduction calls ahead to help out. It often sounds like this: “You should contact Sue Smith, she could really use your services, and I let her know to expect your call.” Slightly better than the Cold Introduction however still only produces a positive outcome 20-30% of the time.
  • Warm Introduction – provide a name and contact info, call ahead to help, and that call includes a personal story of engaging your services. The story shares details of the interaction, outcomes, etc. This increases the possibility of a positive outcome up to 40-50% of the time.
  • Hot Introduction (AKA Awesome) – similar to a warm introduction, but it is done live, where the three of you interface together (ideally in person), and the introduction source shares the personal story during that meeting. This dramatically raises the probability of a positive outcome up to 80-90% of the time.

Having these categories defined in your organization and a system for navigating them is the best way to continuously get top introductions. It is the basis of building a tremendous way to improve your speed and ability to get the things you want. It seems simple but is not easy. Truly getting better at securing introductions takes effort, energy, and time.

Now, let me ask, are you fully maximizing your ability to get introductions in your business? How about your team? If you got better how much faster and better could you reach your business growth objectives for sales, hiring, recruitment, fundraising, etc.? How much wasted time, energy, and money could you save on things that don’t work as well as hot introductions? If you don’t know or don’t like the answers, find a business growth consultant who can help.

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About Mike Crandall

Mike Crandall lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. He is a Consultant, Coach, Trainer, Speaker, and Author focused on the Subconscious Psychology of Human Interaction and Motivation. His firm specializes in Sales, Management, and Leadership Development for Proactive Business Growth. Mike is based in Oklahoma and serves Visionary Clients across the United States. He can be reached at Mike.Crandall@Sandler.com or at (405) 844-1700.