A big part of my work is done via email, so I have quite a few tips & tricks on how to make the most out of it. Today: how to get people to do intros for you. And it’s not that complicated, really. You need to understand one thing and one thing only:
PEOPLE DON’T HAVE TIME.
People you usually want intros from are the “connectors”. And, well, the connectors get tons of email. I think it’s somewhere in the 150 – 400 range, with an average of 350. They also have very little time each day for doing email, probably between 1 and 2 hours per day. Let’s say 90 minutes. That means they need to process & reply 3 emails / minute. Not to mention they need to write their own.
SO, 3 EMAILS / MINUTE and you want them to write an intro email for you? FOGGEDDABOUTIT!
Instead, do this: ask them to FORWARD an email for you. Forwarding takes 5 seconds. Write a few lines on why you want to talk to that particular person and simply ask the connector to forward it. It always works. Except when it doesn’t, of course.
The moments it doesn’t work is when the connector realizes all you want to do is meet Sean Parker for a coffee. Well, guess what: connectors become connectors because they help people. If you just want to have coffee with Sean Parker, chances are you’re just wasting everybody’s time. To avoid that, do this:
Link your intro request to a very recent event, and explain how you will provide value. As in: I saw the company X just started doing stuff in the video space and I think we could help them make some money. TA-DA!
Without further ado, here’s a quick template that always works for me.
Congrats for the new pet [or some other recent event that shows you care].
I recently saw that Company X just started producing videos, and I’d like to have a quick chat with them and see if they’d be interested to make those videos interactive. It would help them engage viewers and potentially generate sales. Do you think you could forward this email to John Smith, their CEO? (I know you sit on their board).
Many thanks in advance!