Investor Introduction Template
One of my favourite ways things to do is to introduce great people to each other. It's about 3 people. You, me and them. If it's done well, it can be like alchemy. But it's not automatic.
This is my method and it gets more than 50% response rate from very high profile people (investors, advisors, customers).
I get a lot of bad emails asking me for introductions.
Here are my thoughts;
Mutual Respect First
I need to respect you before I introduce you, because if you do a bad job, that makes me look bad. If I already do, great. If not, then help me get to know you. The hardest part of this is time. I’m not going to spend hours doing it. Here is how I’ll invest my time.
- 5 seconds: I will read a subject line or first line in an email. If it’s personalized to me, short, clear and related to what I do, then I’ll read on. If it’s clearly a form email/spam, generic (like “New startup idea” or “I’d like to pick your brains,” then I’ll stop and never go back to it.
- 1 minute: read the next paragraph, click a link or maybe open a pitch deck. If what I read is good quality, relevant and clear, then I’ll keep reading. If not, exit and I’ll never come back.
- 5 minutes: I’ll read through the rest, watch a video, look through the rest of your deck.
- Homework: At this point, if I’m still interested, I’ll ask a few questions back to you. This is testing to see if you’re throwing out 100 of these or if you really are paying attention.
- 15 min call: If I like your answers and responsiveness, I’ll send you some options for a brief call. In the call I’ll ask what you are doing, what you need and then tell you how I’d like to help.
2 Things I Need
1. Target List
Send me a link to a Google Spreadsheet which lists down the exact people or an email with job titles plus company names. If you just ask for generic people, then you haven’t done your homework. I’ll go through the list and see who I know. I’ll use Linkedin to see if I’m connected.
2. Intro Email
Send me a different, fresh email that I will forward on to others. This is the format I’ve found works for me with notes. Don't put any specifics in there because I'll send it to a range of people. It needs to be a concise, simple but clear and generic message.
A big reason why this is so useful is that I can hit forward and send your intro onto 10 people. If I have to cut and paste and do work I probably won't send it at all. Make my life easier to help you.
I only need just enough information for someone to be able to decide if it's in their area of interest or not. Good people get too many emails and so it has to be very inviting and easy to scan. The subject line has to do a big job - get them to look at it, then get them to open the email. "Intro" "Pitch deck" "Fintech startup" will not cut it. We need to get their attention.
Then the body needs to be really easy to read, and give me more info if I want it - via a very short attachment under 500k, 5-6 slides or a link to a video.
The aim of the body is to;
- Tell me what industry you're in.
- Tell me it's a really big market
- Tell me something special about you -team, product,
- Tell me where you're up to - just starting, growing, scaling.
Here is an example template I use:
Sunnysalad.com - Climate Tech, B2B, 12 customers, $35k MRR
Hi Mick, thanks for the call.
- http://sunnysalad.com : B2B Energy Optimisation with IOT and ML
- $14B market, 12 active customers, 62% NPS, $35k MRR
- Next 6 month focus: Bringing on 3 distribution partners, get sales to $1M ARR
Intro deck attached.
We are open to introductions to people deep in this area for a call or meeting.
+55 555 555 555
I will then forward those on to people I think fit what you want. I’ll ask them to see if they are interested. If they respond, then I’ll introduce you. If they don't respond or don't want an intro, then I won't intro. We gave it a shot, but it didn't work out this time.
I normally start with 2–3 introductions. If I get good feedback from them, and a follow up from you, then I might do some more.
No Capital Raising Info
Notice above I didn't mention capital raising. That's intentional. The only time I'd mention capital raising is if you are at at least 80% of the round done and it's definitely going to close. And still I would only send it to my personal network of close allies.
If you approaching a capital raise, it's better to focus on the business, the customers, the problem, the momentum and the team. Do enough to get a meeting and then if they really like you, they'll ask about capital.
Ask for feedback, build a relationship as you build the business, and the investment may follow.
Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash