As a small VC firm, we are challenged with balancing the time we give supporting our existing portfolio companies vs other companies that may ask for our help in the community. The people that know us, know that we love being incredibly helpful and supportive to anyone trying to grow their business. Our region needs it.
So, as part of this support, we get asked a lot to help make email introductions. The volume of requests have grown considerably over the last year. Obviously, most of this comes from our portfolio companies, but a growing percentage comes from others in the business community. This includes entrepreneurs, job hunters, other VCs and service providers.
But here is what I found interesting lately. When someone asks me to make an introduction, I ask that person to put together an email that introduces themselves and presents what they want. It can be very brief. Basically I am looking for an email I can easily just forward to the person they want to be introduced to. I am trying to cut down on the time I would have to spend putting it together myself. Plus, it helps having all the facts right rather than me screwing it all up in pitching the wrong message.
The person I am talking to ALWAYS agrees to take the first step and send me the email. But you know what REALLY ends up happening? Nothing. The person rarely takes action in following up and the ask disappears.
I would say me asking for an email like this cuts down intros by about 80%. Seriously. I hope I am not being a jerk, but I feel like it is effective in screening out people that aren't willing to put the simple effort in. And if they're not, why should I care? Most importantly, I feel like this allows me to really focus on the people that need it most.