Well, we’ve written about writing and using letters of introduction. Now, it’s time to write about receiving them.

As written in earlier articles, letters of introductions are formal methods of introducing an acquaintance to another acquaintance. They should be taken on with great consideration and respect. The same with receiving one. A lady who receives a letter of introduction should know how to kindly and appropriately respond to the letter.

Here are a few rules you should consider the next time you receive a letter of introduction:

  1. Always respond immediately. The most proper response is to invite the stranger to dine with you. But if you are unable to do so, you can also invite the stranger to lunch, an exhibition or a performance. Avoid as much as possible giving coffee or drinks-at-a-bar invitations. They can appear as a drink-and-run maneuver, as if you are wary of the stranger. These invitations are done often for blind dates when strangers don’t want to commit to an hour long dinner. So, this can easily be perceived as rude to both the stranger and your acquaintance who wrote the letter.
  2. Do not invite the stranger to a drink at a bar. These invites are inappropriate for many reasons. Alcohol rarely makes a person look more dignified. So, these invitations will impede the stranger’s ability to provide the best first impression for you. It will also prevent you from being able to control the situation easily. If the stranger gets drunk, you will now be forced to handle it. If the stranger is a recovering alcoholic, you will be forced to deal with the discomfort of such a predicament. If the stranger does not drink alcohol or frequent bars, you risk giving offense.
  3. Respond to a gentleman desiring an introduction via email or the post. This response should invite the gentlemen for a morning or lunch visit. If you live alone or will be entertaining alone, it is preferable you meet this gentleman at a cafe or restaurant. When meeting this gentleman, do not say anything along the lines of “I am happy to meet you”. This should be said by the gentleman since you are doing him the favor of meeting him.
  4. Always follow-up. A day or two after your meeting with the stranger, you should follow-up with a call or visit. This way you can further offer the stranger your time and exchange more pleasantries.
  5. Be kind and respectful. Your acquaintance has introduced you to this stranger with the confidence that you will behave appropriately. You should not betray or offend your friend by being rude. This can lead to the end of your relationship or cause you to miss out on lucrative opportunities in the future.