Network Access: The best way to get a referral

My network is my most valuable asset and connecting good people is one of my greatest joys. Everyone has their own style but here’s how I like to do it:

Foundational Principles

  1. Double opt in. Always. This creates a lot of extra work for me but it’s the only way that I can maintain my credibility w/ all parties. I even do this friends and family so don’t take it personally.
  2. Win/Win(/Win). The main reason for rule #1 is to confirm with all parties that there is (at least the potential for) valuation creation on all sides.

Format

Please send me a separate, forward-able email that includes:

  • Who you are
  • Who you want to connect with
  • What you want out of the connection
  • Why the connection will be beneficial to all parties
  • A link to your profile, your teaser/one pager, and any additional material needed to evaluate the request

Please Do Not:

  • Respond on the same thread. Then I have to draft a new email, write my own subject, and copy and paste your text which either screws up the formatting or loses the links. Make it easy on me, baby.
  • Write the intro as if I am writing it. I know some people like this but I do not. It’s inauthentic and therefor ineffective. I would never just send something along without context. I always give my take on why an intro could make sense.

All of this can be done in 5–6 sentences. To nail it home, here’s an example of how one might ask me for an introduction to famed NYC investor/heartthrob, Dave Tisch:

Template

SUBJECT: Intro to David Tisch @ BoxGroup re: BunSpace (Facebook for Rabbits) seed round

Brett,

Thanks for the offer to connect us with David Tisch @ BoxGroup. As discussed, my co-founder Hazel and I are raising a seed round for a new rabbit-focused social network called Bunspace. We’re adding over 2000 bunnies every week and, while it’s still early, we’re already seeing 25% free to paid conversion on our new service, “uber for carrots”.

We’ve heard great things about Dave and would love his take on Bunspace given his experience with cute, furry animal related investments including RebelMouse, FoxCommerce, and Bark and Co. Our watership is touching down in NYC two weeks from now, so we’d love to get on his calendar if there’s interest.

Deck attached. Please let us know if there’s anything else we can provide.

Best,

BigWig

CEO, BunSpace