Are names and job titles all you’re able to mention while introducing two people at an event? Being a connector is an amazingly powerful networking tool, which can deliver lasting results for everyone involved, but you have to master it to stand out. The good news is that you just need to bring to the table the following topics, in this very order.
Start with the classical identity card material – i.e. name and origin. “Guido, this is Karly from Sidney. Karly, this is Guido from Rome”. Just mentioning names can sound dry, while adding too much information in this first line can lead to a monologue. So just go for your contacts’ hometown: it’s short and sweet, but at the same time it will build up anticipation in your interlocutors.
2) Personal qualities
After shaking hands and exchanging the classical “Nice to meet you”, your contacts will most probably not yet initiate a conversation, so just keep talking. Now it’s time to sell them to one another! Yet, I beg you, don’t identify them with their job. Focus rather on their personal qualities, ideally one that represents them and at the same time can generate interest in the interlocutor. For instance, knowing that Guido is new in town, you can go: “Guido, Sidney is one of the greatest networkers I know in Zurich!”. Not focusing on people’s profession exhibits two advantages: firstly, you are not stealing a topic they will probably touch anyway during their conversation; secondly, and most importantly: a job doesn’t make the person, their qualities do. In other words, Sidney might be the CEO of a certain company at the moment, but she might be out of work in a few weeks. Yet, she will possess those networking skills forever.
3) Their connection to you
Now is the time to actively start building rapport through a simple technique: pre-qualification – AKA commandment number 4 of my talk “The Ten Commandments of Networking“. What we want to do here is show that we have a relationship with each one of our contacts, which will in turn generate trust in them. They will be thinking to themselves: “Hm, if this stranger is friends with my friend, and my friend decided to introduce them to me, I can probably trust them too.”. So just say something you have in common with each one of them, or remember an experience you shared. This is a golden opportunity to use the powerful tool of storytelling. Something like “Sidney and I bumped into each in Lisbon two years ago”. By the way, by displaying your relationships, you are also profiling yourself: as Jim Rohn stated, we are the people we spend the most time with. As I always say, we are our network.
Make sure you let your guests comment on what you’ve just said, but don’t spend too much time on step 3, as there is an even more compelling topic: commonalities. You can’t find any on the spot? Well, two are always met: your contacts both know you (even if you just met them five minutes earlier), and they are in the same place at the same time. Mentioning unexpected commonalities works particularly well, even, or especially, in formal settings: “By the way, you guys both have a Chinese partner!”. Your tonality will definitely stand out. And once they have found out that they have something surprising in common, your contacts will be so excited that you can just give the floor to them, and enjoy the results of your perfect offline introduction.