I often get asked to make intros. Usually, it’s by an entrepreneur at a networking event after shoving a business card into my hand. To be perfectly honest, I love making introductions. I think they are an essential component of the VC industry, and we all depend on personal recommendations coming from friends, co-investors and colleagues.
However, I am also in a daily battle to conquer my inbox and end up meeting hundreds of new people each month.
Unless you actually follow through with the forwardable email I ask for, the likelihood is that I’ll probably not remember you or your company within 20 minutes of us meeting.
What does it actually mean when I ask for a forwardable email:
Make it short – very short. In Latin America, entrepreneurs tend to be wordy. I don’t need an intro paragraph about how you happy you are that I have agreed to help. I just need you to ask me what you actually need help with.
Send a draft to yourself and view it on your phone. Seventy-five percent of my emails are read on my phone. If I can’t see the entire email in one swipe down or less, I’ll probably decide to come back to it later … and promptly forget about it until that one awkward Sunday night six weeks later when I start clearing out my inbox.
Two paragraphs max. One to two sentences about your company. Two to three sentences about who you want me to introduce you to and what you want from them. That’s it! 1-2 sentences about your company.
Pay it forward. Our entire ecosystem depends on people helping each other out. Be a nice guy and if someone asks for an intro and help them out.
Here is an example:
Thank you for offering to introduce me to Andres Barreto. As I mentioned, I am currently building a solution to solve the problems of native advertising not being scalable for ad networks, and his experience working with publishers and advertisers with Onswipe will be relevant finding the right partners.
I look forward to syncing up with him when I am in New York next week – my afternoons on Wednesday and Thursday are open.