This morning I had my Tuesday morning radio visit with Karen Salmansohn on her terrific show, The Be Happy Dammit Hour, on Sirius Satellite radio’s, Lime Channel 114.
We talked about the hows to introduce people – a subject I think about often. Meeting people is both part of my personality and part of my job as a journalist. But lately, as I’ve been promoting the book, I’m meeting even more people than usual. And many of those are people that friends and colleagues have told me I “need” to meet. These conversations start off much the same. There’s a conversation — or an email — in which Person X tells me I need to meet Person Y.
From there, it goes down a few paths — and here’s where I could use the help of a flow chart designer or some tool in addition to words (That’s a slash I haven’t mastered yet, so you’re stuck with mere words. Should a design-oriented reader care to illustrate this for me, I’d be more than happy to post it!)
Path #1 — Person X then writes a lovely email to Person Y raving about me before I’ve even had a chance to ask how to proceed, ensuring that person Y is receptive to my contact when it arrives. This delightful behind-the-scenes maneuver can also happen through phone calls or in-person meetings. X might copy me on the email (open or blind) or forward it after the fact, whichever her style.
Path #2 — Person X suggests that I contact person Y myself using Person X’s name — the old “referred by X” method. This has mixed results and usually means that Person X doesn’t know person Y all that well or is kind of luke warm about me. It can also mean that Person X is overextended and swamped. Or a bad networker.
Path #3 — This is my current favorite. In this version, Person X doesn’t even bother to tell me the wonderful, generous introduction she’s making on my behalf. She just does it. Then suddenly, like a tulip in spring, person Y contacts me or shows up in some way, eager to make my acquaintence. Someone recently did something in this category for me and it made me realize that this method far outdelivers any other.
That said, there are plenty of times when I resort to paths #1 and #2 myself. And plenty of times when those are enough.
Oh, I guess I left out Path #4 — That’s the one where Person X tells you they want you to meet someone and never does anything about it. Never sends you Person Y’s contact details. Never mentions it again. Acts like it never happened. Lots of things could be going on here. Most of them are bad.
I have a feeling I might amend these over time, especially after if I get some comments. So please, comment.