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cold calling (during projects) for consulting

cold calling
New answer on Jan 06, 2020
4 Answers
2.5 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jan 05, 2020

Hello, I am at a boutique that relies (almost) on all its projects on cold calling. I have heard LEK is also known for such things. I was wondering from other experienced people if that was the case everywhere? I don't enjoy those "rough" interviews and so I am weighing my options right now. Thank you

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Anonymous replied on Jan 06, 2020

Hi there,

Are you referring to the expert interivew as "cold calling", or the process of finding such expert and convincing them to chat as "cold calling"?

I can only speak for BCG, but hope this could give you some comparison/reference. For external expert calls we use global expert networks e.g. Alphasights, GLG etc. So we don't need to scout and onboard the experts by ourselves. But we do talk/interview those experts once they are recruited by the network agencies. I don't see such conversations as "cold calling", it is how we extract the industry insights and expertise quickly. You might not incur this for every case work, but it is a very basic consulting skill. It is in a way similar to when you interview/discuss with client key personnels at the beginning of a case work - can you effectively draw data and insights from conversation?



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Anonymous A on Jan 06, 2020

I definitely enjoy talking to experts. I was referring to "scouting them". Indeed, my consultancy only pays for "high level experts", but for the rest we have to use our creativity (which can be highly challenging sometimes)

replied on Jan 06, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


It can be the part of the project if that's required. I would not stress about it too much. Try to replace your thinking patters with: Consulting job is so interesting and has so much variability that you do all sorts of things.


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Content Creator
replied on Jan 06, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


I did a lot of cold calling in McKinsey too, but only in particular projects. There were in 2 quite werid Due Diligences, in a very particular industry, where there was not a lot of firm knowledge and we interviewed dozens of experts. Some of them you pay -since you get them through an expert platform- and some you just find using your creativity.

Hope it helps!



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Anonymous A on Jan 06, 2020

Thank you Clara! Glad to know it was also the case at Mck. I was starting to feel a bit frustrated at those "cold calling". I really enjoy talking to experts, less to finding them :(

Clara on Jan 07, 2020

There are platforms that find them for you, but they charge 1K/hour :/

Content Creator
replied on Jan 05, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

Hi, are you talking about the way of selling projects?

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Anonymous A on Jan 05, 2020

Hello, I meant the boutique does a lot of due diligence / growth strategy projects and relies for the market research part on junior consultants doing lots of cold calls to either experts, companies etc

Antonello on Jan 05, 2020

Hi, thank you, I now understand. In bigger firms due diligences are only a small part of the projects. During the average engagement is common to have some call with experts (95% inside the firm, in its global network) and they are very constructive and impactful conversation. Never done in my 8 engagements interviews to externals. Hope it helps

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