Questions

How can I request an intro to a high-profile entrepreneur/investor?

I just want to meet him for a quick coffee (I know time is valuable and when visiting from another country, these kind of people are generally open) and I do know some people that know the person I want to reach out to, but I don't know how to ask them.

7answers

Your assumption is not true. They don't care where you come from. Time is money regardless of where in the globe you come from.

Ask for advice not money if you are going in cold. Don't send your deck, don't attach anything to that email and make sure the email is max four short sentences.

Here is how to get a response:

Subject: Seeking advice

Body:

Line 1. Name.. working on a product in X space that does Y.
Line 2. I saw you have experience with X space and Y products.
Line 3. I would like your advice on (user acquisition, scaling, blah, blah). Make sure you do your homework on what area the investor is an SME.
Line 4. Ask one very specific question.

Thank you for your time

Name

DONE! It works and if you want to talk I can explain further which VCs this has worked with.

As the saying goes ask for money you get advice. Ask for advice you get money.

In an ideal world you want to have a warm intro. But hey those are not always easy to come by so you do what you have to. What is the worst that can happen investor says no? Or doesn't respond? Who gives a shit you tried.


Answered 5 years ago

Start by writing a one or max two paragraph summary of who you are, what your company does and why you want to meet this person. Be brief and to the point and write it to stand-out. Keep in mind that in-demand people get many of these requests and can't oblige all of them. So you need to put whatever information you can to be someone they want to meet. Lastly, be specific in your request as to why you want to meet them.

Happy to talk through more details on how to successfully network and build your allies in a call.


Answered 5 years ago

Have a read of this excellent blog post from Noah Kagan (ex-Facebook, Mint, high-profile blogger) on exactly this topic:

http://okdork.com/2013/04/18/cold_email/?hvid=O3hU5

He goes through in step-by-step detail a real email someone sent him asking to meet for a coffee and explains exactly why it worked and how you can replicate it.


Answered 5 years ago

Referrals are considered one of the strongest means to get in touch with a new contact, especially one with a lot of public visibility and a full inbox. Find a common interest that they have with you. Check out their activity in social media like Linkedin or Twitter. You can remove the "cold call" aspect by engaging them indirectly by joining a LinkedIN group and contributing to a discussion or replying intelligently to a tweet they have made. I would then follow-up with a referral by explaining to your contact the benefits you expect to achieve in connecting with them and if your referrer is a new contact, a short bio of you and your company. Anything you can do to increase familiarity and differentiate yourself from everyone else getting in touch with them will help your cause. On top of that, if they are part of the Clarity network, use an expertise request as a first chance to talk with them live.


Answered 5 years ago

James Altucher (famous investor/author/entrepreneur) has some advice for this. As an entrepreneur myself, I totally agree and virtually any other strategy is wasting your target's time. The advice is (I'm summarizing here, it's not 100% accurate to Altucher's words):"Give-Give-Give-Give-Give, Ask". In other words: do a number of things for him/her for free, without asking. Send him/her your own (solid) suggestions about capturing more of his/her company's market, with a lead-in like "I know you're trying to dominate Industry X with your Company Y, I noticed there are three critical things your competition isn't doing that you guys can, here they are and why I think they are important" etc. etc., then do something like "I read your interview with Inc. Magazine about Product X, and when commenter James Doe said that Product X has no use today, I countered him with these 3 salient points..." etc. etc.....Then another time, email him with "I noticed your company Z has no lead generation on its site. My suggestion is offer this white paper I wrote for you on your industry, and offer it as an incentive for people to sign up to your mailing list (thus generating an email list of targeted customer. Oh, I use Email Platform ABC for that on my site, if you need some help implementing it, I'll be happy to advise you." Etc. Etc....THEN after you've given-given-given-given, ask her/him for 'coffee and 15 minutes of his time, no more" because then he/she will be like "ok this guy/gal has been helpful and he/she hasn't wasted my time." Good luck!


Answered 5 years ago

You don't mention why you want to be introduced to this high profile person. If it's to sit down for a networking coffee that's fine, as long as it's not just a pretense for asking for money or advice.

On the other hand, I think you're making too much out of this. If you already know people who know the person, just reach out to them, tell them why you'd like to meet this person, and ask if they would be comfortable making an introduction.

Just make sure you're honest about why you want to meet. Otherwise you'll destroy the trust with this person and with the people in your referral network.

Good luck, and feel free to set up a call if you want to discuss further.


Answered 5 years ago

You may be able to get a meeting just by asking, but it is not likely. However, when you have something to offer, getting the meeting is much easier. Secondly, if you make it clear that you will only take 5 minutes of his or her time, you may be more successful.
I speak to a lot of high profile people through LinkedIn. If you start by asking if you can write an article about them on your blog or to be posted on LinkedIn they will usually agree to that. By getting your foot in the door and giving you are actually using the marketing tactic of reciprocity. People are willing to give to people who give something to them first.

Don't Stop and Take Massive Action.
Regards,
Michael T. Irvin
www.michaelirvin.net
My books are now available on Amazon.com by searching for books by Michael T. Irvin


Answered 5 years ago

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