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How to get an introduction

…and network for a job.

In 2013, networking for a job will become more important in your job search as hiring professionals improve their processes to find the best candidates. If you aren’t familiar with the term crowdsourcing, now is the time to learn about it.

For shy people and those of us with quiet personalities, this isn’t good news.

Peter Giannitti is a highly successful entrepreneur who relates to those of us with a quiet personality. In an interview he offered the following insights and suggestions.

Mr. Giannitti: It’s hard when I don’t know someone to just walk up and introduce myself. It’s a lot easier if someone has already mentioned my name to them or introduces me through email or in person.

Dr. LaReau: How do you choose from the people you know?

Mr. Giannitti: Finding the right person for the introduction is key. Once I have identified someone I want to talk to, I think through the people I know and find out who has a genuine relationship with them.

I look for someone who is more than an acquaintance. So I ask what kind of relationship do they have: Is it business, a friendship, or are they an acquaintance? Then I ask if the introducer has a good reputation or positive persona with the person of focus.

Since the first impression is key. I like to find someone who has a positive business relationship with the person of focus.

Dr. LaReau: Once you’ve selected someone to introduce you, how do you approach them and ask for the introduction?

Mr. Giannitti: I think it’s important to be concise and direct. I tell them why I am asking for the introduction and why I think they are the right person to give it. The introducer needs to understand the context of the introduction to set up the first conversation.

Here is an example, “Hi, I was looking to connect with John Smith and learned that you have done business with him. I’m currently growing my network as I look for a new job. I’d really appreciate an introduction.”

If I have a strong connection with the introducer I will ask them if they are comfortable making the introduction.

Of course, it’s important to follow up with a note of appreciation.

Dr. LaReau: Once you’ve received the intro, what are your next steps?

Mr. Giannitti: If you want someone to react positively to an introduction, you have to motivate them to speak with you. I might start out with something like, “John, it’s wonderful to finally speak with you. I’ve been looking forward to a conversation.”

Then I get right to the point but without being too direct. They should be intrigued and want to help. I do my homework and acknowledge their business, their website or their accomplishments. It has to be genuine.

Next, I ask for an opportunity to meet up for coffee and explore opportunities for mutual benefit. Sometimes I say, “I would love to sit down with you for 30 minutes and pick your brain about….”

During the conversation I determine if and how helpful the person can be. Regardless, following up with a thank-you note is important.

This article is written by Peter Giannitti and Marcia LaReau, Founder and Owner of Forward Motion, LLC.

If you aren’t getting job offers, you need help. Consider a Forward Motion Differentiation Workshop.

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