The Art of Introduction

Cody Hill, Marketing Coordinator serving Vaco Raleigh, interviews Sid Mitchener, Managing Partner serving Vaco Raleigh, on the art of building relationships and the importance of authenticity.

Introducing yourself to someone might seem like the easiest thing in the world to some, while others find the idea frightening. Sid Mitchener, Managing Partner serving Vaco Raleigh, has had years of experience on the topic. His expertise on introductions and networking has given him and his team much success over the years.

“The art of the introduction is based on relationship,” Mitchener said. “If I’m looking to develop a relationship, I’m looking to add value or add a benefit before I ask to add value or add a benefit.”

Professional relationships, like personal relationships, are about the other person. There is a saying that said, you must earn the right to ask for something.

“Vaco is based on relationships, not transactions,” he added.

Even if there is nothing to be gained, Vaco is still willing to form a relationship. When it comes to introductions, you must approach them authentically. You must be yourself.

New York Times Best Selling Author, Brené Brown, said, “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”  

This impacts our relationships and our ability to form them. Be intellectually curious and get to know the person on a personal level. One of the most important aspects of forming a great relationship is to find out what their goals are so that in turn, if you want to play the role of a connector, you know who would add value to them based on what their goals are. If you can help them, they might be able to help you in the future.

Listening and sincerity are two key factors in mining that introduction and forming the basis of a good relationship.

“The best way to make an introduction,” Mitchener said, “is to be thoughtful about the introduction. Thoughtfulness comes through the genuine relationship that you have with that person to be able to articulate who they are, what they are all about, and what they want to do…You can surprise people by remembering the little things. That usually goes above and beyond what most people do. People are typically blown away by the thoughtfulness of the introduction and the connection especially if it is the right connection. “

In the end, introductions aren’t as intimidating as one may think. Being authentic and allowing yourself to be vulnerable will cover a multitude of sins.

Mitchener surmised it best by saying, “You want people to like you for who you are, not for who you are trying to portray.”


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