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5

Networking: So What?

Hello -

I have a question about how cold networking would help? now that all events for consulting companies are virtual meeting people on campus is not an option so networking should be requested via cold emails And mostly it works (90% of the time I get a response and I get the call scheduled) , they are willing to set up 30 mins calls but the question is so what? we talk to consultants, ask about the company, the work, ask deep questions, but how is that going to help pushing the resume?

Unless someone knows a partner who might be a family friend or a friend with whom you went to school, it is close to impossible to ask them the one million $ question : can you refer me ?

I am not sure how this type of networking will help getting the resume selected for an interview.

What do you think ?

Hello -

I have a question about how cold networking would help? now that all events for consulting companies are virtual meeting people on campus is not an option so networking should be requested via cold emails And mostly it works (90% of the time I get a response and I get the call scheduled) , they are willing to set up 30 mins calls but the question is so what? we talk to consultants, ask about the company, the work, ask deep questions, but how is that going to help pushing the resume?

Unless someone knows a partner who might be a family friend or a friend with whom you went to school, it is close to impossible to ask them the one million $ question : can you refer me ?

I am not sure how this type of networking will help getting the resume selected for an interview.

What do you think ?

5 answers

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Best Answer

Dear A,

Cold mail work, but you have to work on it. In general, there is no rule of thumb how to get the referral through the cold-mails. If I were you, I've tried cold-mails to activate my network, search over LinkedIn those people, who might be heaving connections within my friends or in a broader circles. Or reach out to people directly.

Then have a very pleasant chat showing enthusiasm to the company and indirectly ask them to refer you. Then you will basically see, how the connection will go. If you would find really good person, they even might be willing to help you. But, first, you have to make really great first impression.

If you need any further help with networking, feel free to reach out.

Best,
André

Dear A,

Cold mail work, but you have to work on it. In general, there is no rule of thumb how to get the referral through the cold-mails. If I were you, I've tried cold-mails to activate my network, search over LinkedIn those people, who might be heaving connections within my friends or in a broader circles. Or reach out to people directly.

Then have a very pleasant chat showing enthusiasm to the company and indirectly ask them to refer you. Then you will basically see, how the connection will go. If you would find really good person, they even might be willing to help you. But, first, you have to make really great first impression.

If you need any further help with networking, feel free to reach out.

Best,
André

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Hi there,

First, never directly ask for a referral! Rather, hope they offer, and if they don't, you can "hint" at wanting one by saying you're interested in the company and will be applying soon.

Second, you do not need a Partner for a referral to be effective. Even Consultant referrals matter a lot.

Third, if you've had dozens of calls and still are not getting a single referral, you're doing something wrong. You need to revise your strategy, and possibly hire a coach to help you.

Fourth, this process is critical to improving your odds of getting your resume selected. 80-90% of all jobs are now obtained through some sort of connection/network (i.e. not a cold resume dump). A referral puts your name at the top of the pile. Lacking a referral, even someone forwarding your resume to HR helps increase your odds. Finally, networking with a few people in your target office increases the odds that they mention something to HR AND allows you put their names on your cover letter.

In terms of networking tactics:

a) Reach out to people in your network

b) Reach out to people once removed from your network

c) Reach out to people with a similar backgorund to you (i.e. same alma mater, same hometown, same career switch, etc.)

d) Tailor a message to them specifically both showing interest in them and their journey and demonstrating that you have done your research and could be a valuable hire

e) Play "tag" across calls you get so that you can work your way towards the company/office/role you want

f) Leave a strong impression - i.e. don't ask "basic questions". Rather, demonstrate your ability/intelligence by asking smart questions, carrying a natural conversation, showing genuine interest, etc.

g) Never directly ask for a referral, but "hint" at needing one (this is nuanced and important...happy to talk through wording)

Hi there,

First, never directly ask for a referral! Rather, hope they offer, and if they don't, you can "hint" at wanting one by saying you're interested in the company and will be applying soon.

Second, you do not need a Partner for a referral to be effective. Even Consultant referrals matter a lot.

Third, if you've had dozens of calls and still are not getting a single referral, you're doing something wrong. You need to revise your strategy, and possibly hire a coach to help you.

Fourth, this process is critical to improving your odds of getting your resume selected. 80-90% of all jobs are now obtained through some sort of connection/network (i.e. not a cold resume dump). A referral puts your name at the top of the pile. Lacking a referral, even someone forwarding your resume to HR helps increase your odds. Finally, networking with a few people in your target office increases the odds that they mention something to HR AND allows you put their names on your cover letter.

In terms of networking tactics:

a) Reach out to people in your network

b) Reach out to people once removed from your network

c) Reach out to people with a similar backgorund to you (i.e. same alma mater, same hometown, same career switch, etc.)

d) Tailor a message to them specifically both showing interest in them and their journey and demonstrating that you have done your research and could be a valuable hire

e) Play "tag" across calls you get so that you can work your way towards the company/office/role you want

f) Leave a strong impression - i.e. don't ask "basic questions". Rather, demonstrate your ability/intelligence by asking smart questions, carrying a natural conversation, showing genuine interest, etc.

g) Never directly ask for a referral, but "hint" at needing one (this is nuanced and important...happy to talk through wording)

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A referral is best when it comes from soneone with whom you have a relationship or something in common that lets them refer you easily.. If you don't have this, you need to invest time and energy building it. What this means is as follows:

1. During the call aside from other topics, express your interest in working at the firm and ask him/her what are things you can do to be a good candidate. Write these things down somewhere

2. Email them every 3 weeks to update on progress on those areas they pointed out, and also set up a follow up call in 2 months or so.

3. After 2-3 months of updating them and asking for their advice - assuming you have made actual progress you should ask him if he is comfortable referring you given the progress you have made or if there is something else he would like you to work on

Continue working on yourself and building this relationship until you feel you have earned their trust for a referral. It is long but it works well as people want to feel invested in your success

There are exceptions to this rule where people are willing to refer you sooner. You will have to pay attention to the conversation and how it is going to pick up on whether they would do that for you. Sometimes they suggest it themselves which makes it easier.

A referral is best when it comes from soneone with whom you have a relationship or something in common that lets them refer you easily.. If you don't have this, you need to invest time and energy building it. What this means is as follows:

1. During the call aside from other topics, express your interest in working at the firm and ask him/her what are things you can do to be a good candidate. Write these things down somewhere

2. Email them every 3 weeks to update on progress on those areas they pointed out, and also set up a follow up call in 2 months or so.

3. After 2-3 months of updating them and asking for their advice - assuming you have made actual progress you should ask him if he is comfortable referring you given the progress you have made or if there is something else he would like you to work on

Continue working on yourself and building this relationship until you feel you have earned their trust for a referral. It is long but it works well as people want to feel invested in your success

There are exceptions to this rule where people are willing to refer you sooner. You will have to pay attention to the conversation and how it is going to pick up on whether they would do that for you. Sometimes they suggest it themselves which makes it easier.

(edited)

Whenever I ask a question I honestly wait for your answer ! You always provide a clear straight to the point answer !! — Anonymous A on Aug 15, 2020 (edited)

Thank you! That's really nice of you to say :) — Udayan on Aug 15, 2020

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It's a good, hard question.

There's an assumption that you're making: it's all about a referall. In which case if you can't get a referral, there's no point in networking. I believe that assumption is incorrect.

Firstly, networking can help you find out about the company, which can make your application stronger. For example, what you include in your cover letter or resume and what you say to recruiters. You have to ask the right questions and work hard to incorporate the answers into your application.

Secondly, I know from personal experience that if you make a good impression on the right person, there's a good chance it will be communicated to people who do decide on those who will be invited to interview. So you need to make sure you're talking to the right people in order to do this and, of course, make a good impression.

Helpful?

Happy to talk more on this - it's a tough subject and takes experience to get it right.

It's a good, hard question.

There's an assumption that you're making: it's all about a referall. In which case if you can't get a referral, there's no point in networking. I believe that assumption is incorrect.

Firstly, networking can help you find out about the company, which can make your application stronger. For example, what you include in your cover letter or resume and what you say to recruiters. You have to ask the right questions and work hard to incorporate the answers into your application.

Secondly, I know from personal experience that if you make a good impression on the right person, there's a good chance it will be communicated to people who do decide on those who will be invited to interview. So you need to make sure you're talking to the right people in order to do this and, of course, make a good impression.

Helpful?

Happy to talk more on this - it's a tough subject and takes experience to get it right.

Thank you ! — Anonymous A on Aug 15, 2020

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Hi there,

You can definitely convert calls into referrals if you follow the right steps.

It seems you are very successful in getting calls (90% is incredibly high) but not in converting into a referral.

In your case, it seems you don’t know exactly how to ask the right question to close on the referral. It could also be that you are not leading the call asking the right questions.

You need to have a script to follow and ask the right closing question to get a referral. If you don’t, the odds are against you. Consultants are busy – why should they volunteer to help someone they don’t even know?

Most of the people hope to get a referral when they go into these calls. Hope is not a good strategy. If you have the right structure for the call, you will likely land a referral. If you don’t, at the bare minimum you will need a lot of calls.

When I applied I followed a specific script and got 6 invitations via 6 applications. I got all the referrals after the first call. So if you follow the right strategy, it works.

You can find some more details on referrals at the following link:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176

In case you have additional questions, please feel free to PM me.

Best,

Francesco

Hi there,

You can definitely convert calls into referrals if you follow the right steps.

It seems you are very successful in getting calls (90% is incredibly high) but not in converting into a referral.

In your case, it seems you don’t know exactly how to ask the right question to close on the referral. It could also be that you are not leading the call asking the right questions.

You need to have a script to follow and ask the right closing question to get a referral. If you don’t, the odds are against you. Consultants are busy – why should they volunteer to help someone they don’t even know?

Most of the people hope to get a referral when they go into these calls. Hope is not a good strategy. If you have the right structure for the call, you will likely land a referral. If you don’t, at the bare minimum you will need a lot of calls.

When I applied I followed a specific script and got 6 invitations via 6 applications. I got all the referrals after the first call. So if you follow the right strategy, it works.

You can find some more details on referrals at the following link:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176

In case you have additional questions, please feel free to PM me.

Best,

Francesco

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