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get a partner referral via networking calls

cold email McKinsey Partners networking Referral
Recent activity on Jan 22, 2019
3 Answers
2.2 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jan 20, 2019


I am interested in public sector consulting, and I tried to reach out to partners focusing on the public sector cases in some companies I applied to via LinkedIn. Two of them replied to me and I have scheduled phone calls with them recently.

I wonder how would I be able to impress them in a short, cold phone call? I have just graduated and have no working experience before, is it possible to get a referral from them? What should I do to maximize these phone call chances?

Need your suggestions and many thanks for your time!

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replied on Jan 21, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


It will be super hard to impress them since you have no experience at all. Thus the chances of getting a referral are close to zero. Unless you have some research / side projects / unique background that will be interesting / relevant.

I recommend expressing your interest in the public sector, asking really smart questions about the industry and asking for advice on how to proceed further. Also don't forget to send a Thank You note. But keep your expectations low.


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Anonymous C updated the answer on Jan 22, 2019

Whatever you do, make sure you speak directly and plainly. I can't tell you how many friends of mine have botched networking opportunities because they either 1) tried to fit 10 minutes of information into 2 minutes, or 2) sounded too desperate/rushed over the phone.

Remember, you're not on these calls to knock their socks off; you're on these calls to 1) express your sincere interest in their work, 2) show that you are willing to learn, 3) prove that you are articulate and intelligent, and 4) be generally likable to them so that they would be willing to continue speaking with you and eventually speak to recruiting/HR on your behalf.


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Anonymous B replied on Jan 21, 2019

Hello Anonymous A,

Getting two partners to respond via a cold-LinkedIn message is an impressive feat.
Could you mind shedding some light on what exactly you wrote, and did you have anything else in common with those Partners, such as school?

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Ying_kit on Jan 22, 2019

hi Anonymous B, I believe I did not send anything special than the networking sample you can find online. And nothing common with these two who replied me. I think I'm definitely very lucky. You may want to try as much as possible so you may find those who are very kind themselves eventually.


Vlad gave the best answer


McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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