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How to Make a Skyhook
A practical way to introduce two people to each other like a pro.
Last week, we discussed how connecting people to each other is a powerful force for good in the world. But, how do we do it effectively? Just a simple “Jack, meet Jill” probably won’t cut it. This is where a skyhook comes in. “What on earth is a skyhook?” you may ask. I’m glad you asked, because I’m excited to tell you.
I first heard the concept from my mentor Vance Crowe. He used it to describe how to make an introduction between two people who you know who don’t know each other yet, but who should. Essentially, it’s a relatively brief way to introduce two people to each other while providing context about each of them.
There are three key elements to an effective skyhook.
1) How you know each person
Provide a quick explanation of why you know each of them. It doesn’t need to be a whole timeline of your history; just a simple “I met Jack at a conference last week” or “Jill is a good friend of mine from high school” will suffice.
2) The “spark” they have in common
Like we discussed last week, the spark is something they care about deeply and sparks in common are key indicators that two people should know each other. Mention each person’s spark, but don’t feel the need to share their entire life story. The goal is to share just enough that each person has some questions to ask the other person.
3) Why you felt it was important they know each other
Finally, make the purpose clear: explain why you saw the connection between their interests or needs. You can use phrases like, “when Jack mentioned his interest in agtech, I immediately thought of you” or “since Jill has spent several decades learning how to communicate effectively in high-pressure situations, she will have plenty of wisdom to share.” Make sure to mention the mutual benefit in the connection, too--you may be connecting a younger person with an older person primarily for the younger one to learn, but the older will likely appreciate something about the younger’s perspective.
While those are the key elements, here are a couple other things to note when making a skyhook:
Weave in complementary language about each person. Don’t use excessive flattery, but each person should know you think highly of the other.
It works in just about any format! You can send a text with an abbreviated version, or shoot an email, or even make the skyhook in person if both people are in the same place.
You don’t have to tell them how or when they should follow up—just let them know they can take it from there, but you wanted to make sure they knew each other.
For those of you who, like me, appreciate seeing real examples, here’s an example of how you might send an email to skyhook your friend James with your mentor Nathan:
Nathan, I hope you’ve been well! I’ve enjoyed seeing your LinkedIn posts on the new projects your team is working on—we should catch up soon.
I’m writing to connect you with a good friend of mine from college, James. He’s one of the most curious and ambitious of my peers, and has recently been doing research on real estate investing strategies; when he told me of this interest, I of course immediately thought of you and your business. I know James could learn a great deal from your story and you would appreciate hearing his perspective as he starts his own endeavors.
James, as I mentioned the other day, Nathan is a well-established real estate investor with experience in both commercial and residential properties. You will appreciate his humility and candor.
I’ll let you both take it from here!
All the best,
Journal Prompt of the Week
Who is someone who comes to mind that you could connect with someone else you know? How would you make a skyhook to introduce them?
Share with the Community
Has anyone ever used a skyhook like the example above to introduce you to someone new? How did it make you feel?