How To…..Write a Request for an Introduction

I was doing some mentoring this week at Springboard’s Internet of Things Accelerator and was talking to the legendary Bindi Karia on the train home. Bindi has been the go-to person at Microsoft for the last 8 years and has now taken over as a VP at Silicon Valley Bank in London.

She came up with a great recipe for How To Write a Request for an Intro, that I thought I’d share.

By way of context, when you’re mentoring teams like the Springboard ones, the meetings often conclude with the mentor making an offer to make various intros to others that the teams would find useful. All the teams are great at following up and reminding you of your promises and I’ve been guilty that, despite best intentions, I haven’t got around to following many of these up.

Bindi’s advice is to take the pain away from the introducer by sending them an email that they can simply forward on to their contact, with no more explanation that a “hope all’s well at your end” type of personalisation.

As an example, if I want Bindi to introduce me to her old boss, Bill Gates, the wrong way to do it would be:

Hi Bindi

Great to meet you last week. As we agreed, it would be great to get an introduction from you to Bill Gates, at some point.

Many thanks.

Russell

Now the onus is on Bindi to remember who I am, why she offered the introduction in the first place and figure out how to position my company to the great man.

Instead:

Hi Bindi

Great to meet you last week. As we agreed, it would be great if you could make an introduction to Bill Gates.

My company invests in early stage startups in the mobile area and I think Bill might come across such companies from time to time that could benefit from our hands-on approach to nurturing companies in this space.

There’s more information at www.ballparkventures.com.

Many thanks.

Russell

When Bindi receives this, no thought is needed – she just forwards the email on (or not!). So you have your speedy intro and Bindi mentally classifies you as a useful person, who makes her life easier.

And if this sounds obvious, why does no one do it?

I’m thinking about putting a link to this post on my business card!

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