One way professionals convey a powerful presence is through proper business introduction etiquette. We make introductions before important business meetings, at networking events, and at social business affairs. But unfortunately few professionals use introduction opportunities to leverage their perception as a connector of people and a savvy business person who stays on top of etiquette and protocol. Learn the art of proper business introductions to stand out as an individual who knows how to navigate any social situation as a gracious professional. Here are a few rules to help you brush up on the art of business introductions:

Prior to Intro Priorities
Prior to making introductions, think about the two people you are about to connect. Be sure you know their rank, title, and position within the firm; and give some thought to what you can say about each of them to encourage them to continue their conversation with ease.

Keeping Intros Orderly
The order of the introduction is essential, and you always want to introduce an executive of lesser rank on the organizational chart to the higher-ranking person – not the other way around. A great tip to help remember this point is that you mention the name of the most important (or highest-ranking) person first. Another important rule is that whenever you are introducing a client to someone in your organization – even the CEO – the client is always considered the most important and highest ranking person. When introducing your personal family member to a business colleague, however, the colleague is given preference – so mention their name first.

Some Examples of Introductions:
Bill Smith (VP of Sales), I’d like to introduce you to our new salesman, Chris Hammerstein. Chris started with our firm a few days ago.
Jane Stevens (Client), I’d like to introduce you to Bill Smith, our VP of Sales. Jane is a purchasing agent of the XYZ Corporation and is here today for a business meeting.
Betty Jones (Business Manager), I’d like to introduce you to my sister, Sandy Rogers.

Other Keys to a Successful Introduction
Use full names when making any introduction.
Using full names can also mean that you address him as Mr. Smith or her as Ms. Stevens – unless people say it is okay to address them by their first names.
Use a person’s title to avoid an awkward situation where, for example, an executive vice president is mistaken for a sales person or vice versa.
Give some brief information about the person you are introducing so the two people can continue a conversation with ease.
When you are introducing two people of equal rank, you may want to introduce the younger to the older, or perhaps introduce the individual that you do not know as well to the one who is more familiar to you.
Always repeat the person’s name a few times during the conversation as a way to help you remember their name after the introduction.

Now that you know a few of the basics behind proper business introductions, put this convenient and powerful business tool into practice. Doing so will ensure that you develop a positive reputation as a gracious host who effectively promotes connections, relationships, and networks.

Author's Bio: 

Sarah Hathorn is a professional image consultant, certified personal brand strategist, speaker, and author.
Her company, Illustra Image Consulting, works with high-achieving future leaders and large businesses by enhancing their corporate and personal brand image to take their businesses and careers to the next level.
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Phone: 678-528-1239 Email:
Copyright © 2009, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS
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