If you’re a budding entrepreneur, it’s a lucky thing if an established, successful entrepreneur shows interest in being your mentor. One of the most important things a seasoned businessperson can do for you is to make introductions to fellow entrepreneurs who might be able to help you, the business hopeful, on your way.
A first-time introduction can be a delicate dance that allows the introducer to size you up and see how you handle the interaction. If you make him or her look good, you’ll most likely receive a stream of follow-on introductions — a great start to building your professional network. But if you blow it, you’re unlikely to get a second chance.
Here, some tips for acting like a pro from the get-go and, consequently, receiving further introductions:
1. Respond to an introduction within minutes
World-class entrepreneurs always seem to be dialed in. If you can’t respond quickly when selling yourself, one can only imagine how your communication habits are lacking during other, equally critical situations. Don’t try to play it cool by waiting hours or days to respond.
2. When the introducer requests information from you, respond promptly
I keep a running top 10 list encompassing my entire professional and personal life, and my priorities change daily. I’m not unique in that respect — everyone’s priorities evolve, which means you have a limited window before falling out of someone’s top 10.