Of course we get tons of cold emails and contrary to popular belief – we go through them all, ask questions if relevant and reply as needed. We obviously cannot follow up each and every one of them but that’s life. However we make sure each and every valid email gets a reply. I think it is important.
The other set of emails is people looking to meetup or get help or advice. Again – I always reply but I have to pick and choose who I can help since if I helped everyone, I am pretty sure I would have no time to actually work. I explained once to someone who asked me why I could not mentor them -because I think I owe my team and my portfolio companies my full attention. Weird that one has to explain that.
One of the new things I am trying to do is structure how I can help a warm lead. Warm leads obviously get the most attention since it means they were introduced to me by someone who knows me. Usually means that the person or company might be of interest but even with that filter some of the intros are not a fit. That’s okay. I appreciate the intro.
What I am trying to do now is see if there is someone in my network that might find the intro even more relevant than I do. Then apart from my reply I will offer to introduce them to someone that might be a better fit.
If everyone tried this we might be able to help more people.