How to ask your investors for help

Every time you communicate with one of your investors whether it’s over email or over the phone, ask for something.  The right way to do this is to be specific.  Below are examples of the wrong way and the right way.


The wrong way is to be too broad.  For instance, “we’re looking for talent in the area,” or “please make intros to any enterprise class customers you know.” These comments are too broad and the broader the ask, the less likely it is you’ll get help.  Your investors aren’t going to reach out to any professional they know or make email intros to every enterprise class client in their rolodex.   Additionally, broad asks don’t indicate an urgency of need.  The above comments sound like nice to have’s, not real problems, so it makes it easy for your investors to focus elsewhere (on other portfolio companies).


The right way is to be very specific.  For instance, “we’re having trouble finding good account executives.  We’re looking for someone with 3 to 5 years of b2b sales experience.  I’ll send you the job description now.”  Similarly, “do you know anybody in the marketing department at Starbuck’s? We’re having trouble breaking into that organization and are looking for a warm intro.  I’ve got a paragraph you can use to open an email intro and will send that over now.”


Do you see the difference? Be specific, ask for something every time, and your investors will be better positioned to hopefully add the value they bragged about prior to becoming your investor.


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