Opt-in intros are the new new standard

I often get asked by fellow entrepreneurs and/or business associates to intro them to someone. It happens all the time. I am sure you know what I am talking about.

Linkedin and Angel List makes it so easy for anyone to figure out who you are connected to. We should be able to leverage this data. But you might be surprised to know that most don’t.

You get the random email “Hey Xxx I’d love it if you could intro me to Yyy”.

Since I do care about the people in my network and their time a request so poorly formulated doesn’t work for a couple of reasons:

1) you are forcing me to think about WHY I should intro you and THEN do YOUR work of writing a Narrative that would make the person on the other side interested

2) Even if your narrative is great and I make the intro, the person on the other end of the line might not want to talk to you. For no other reason that they are busy and can’t afford to take an unlimited number of coffees or skype calls.

Instead here is what I suggest you do.

I learned this 6 Years ago from Jared Kofp when I asked him to intro me to Reid Hoffman (yes the founder of Linkedin. Sigh. -

Write something like this.

“Hi Sal,

I have noticed that you are connected to Frank.

I recently read his piece on Wired regarding the disruption of the Energy industry. Frank strikes me as someone who understands the problems and stakes in the industry and I’d love to have him as an advisor.

We @ BIGEnergy (put the link) have thought long and hard about this problem and have come out with a solution that we think will revolutionize the way Energy is produced and consumed today. By harnessing photosynthesis - the plant transformation of light energy into chemical energy we are able to generate 2X the energy it would take a solar panel to do in the same time at 1/5 of the cost. We have been developing this technology for the past 1 year and recently commercialized our first product generating our first 10 sales.

Here is some blog post we wrote on the topic (put the link) and some stats re: our progress to date (link and or image).

I’d love it if you could forward this message to Frank and ask him if he’d be willing to use 15 min of his time to take a call.



This gives me the opportunity to do an opt-in intro and ask Frank whether he’d like me to make the introduction.

End result is: both parties have manifested interest, no time has been wasted, resulting into a more genuine interest and quality conversation.

I have been using this approach for the past 8 years and never went back.


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