Have you ever wanted to help a friend by introducing them to a professional you’ve worked with? Perhaps your friend came to mind during a conversation with your attorney or after a great experience with your car mechanic. What an opportunity to help!
But then you start second guessing yourself. What if they aren’t the right fit? What if they already have someone who does this? Or worse…what if they’re offended?
This is a very common experience. In our world at Alterra, this is usually someone thinking about referring a friend, family member, or colleague for a financial planning discussion, but it comes up in many situations: inviting someone to your gym, recommending your CPA, or making a connection to a trusted doctor. You genuinely care and think this introduction could help them reach a goal but worry that it won’t go well.
It’s easy when they ask for a recommendation. But what if they haven’t asked? What can you do? We’ve found that everyone can make an effective introduction with a clear intent and tactful approach.
A clear intent
When making an introduction, it’s important to remember your intent.
I care about my friend and want to help in any way I can. If I find out later that she needed this Advisor in her life and I didn’t make the recommendation, she might not reach her goal and I could have helped!
People know when you truly care, especially a good friend or other close connection. With a clear intent, you just need the right words.
A tactful approach
While a clear intent is important, it doesn’t give you the words to say. So, here’s an approach we’ve found helpful.
You came to mind recently in a discussion with my Financial Advisor. She mentioned a situation they helped a client with and it reminded me of you. You might have this all taken care of, but if not, I’m happy to make an introduction.
It can also help to share your personal experience, especially what your first interaction was like. At a minimum, your friend knows you’re thinking of her. But it’s possible that she’s been looking for someone like this and you’ve saved her from the grueling process of searching the internet, hoping to find someone she can trust. We hear this all the time!
They want an introduction. What’s next?
With your clear intent and tactful approach, you’ve learned that your friend would appreciate an introduction. Now what? You can simply pass along a name and phone number to your friend, but we’ve found that making a quick connection (with their permission) can really help. A quick three way email can be very effective, often sounding like this:
Hi Jill, from our recent conversation, I’d like to introduce you to Mallory at Alterra Advisors, our Financial Advisor. I’ve copied Mallory on this email to help find time for a conversation to see if the Alterra team is the fit you’re looking for.
Mallory, Jill is a good friend of mine and was interested in a conversation with you. I’ll let her fill you in on the details. All the best!
For someone who wants to have a conversation, this very simple three way email starts the ball rolling rather than sitting on an endless to-do list. This step is often the difference between a connection actually happening and a well-intended introduction being forgotten.
Most importantly…you’ll make a difference!
With a clear intent and tactful approach, you can make a good referral, whether that’s a financial advising team like ours here at Alterra or any other trustworthy professional. More importantly, you’re better equipped to help those you care about by introducing them to professionals that can help them increase their own impact and reach their goals more quickly…and don’t be surprised when they thank you for it!
The “Alterra” name was coined by joining the Latin roots “alter”, the origin of the word “altruism” with “terra” meaning earth or land. This name reflects the company philosophy of “clients before profits” and providing firmly grounded advice.