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To reach out to consultants, what are the best questions to ask them via text?

Anonymous A

I won't be able to have physical coffee chats with people at consulting firms because I won't be in the country, but I would still like to connect with them online. I would also like to reconnect with colleagues and alumni that I have already met at these firms. So my questions are:

1) What's the best way to start a conversation with consultants/analysts whom I haven't met before via linkedin, email, etc. Likewise for people I have already met but want to get in touch with them again such as school alumni? I'm a bit anxious in asking them about the recruiting process because it would just seem like I am only talking to them for that sole purpose.

2) What are some great questions to ask to learn more about the firm?

3) I find it really hard to build a strong connection with a consultant via text so do you have any advice on how to do so effectively?

Thank you!

(edited)

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Francesco replied on 05/12/2018
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for coaching sessions (1400+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Anonymous,

it is totally feasible to obtain referrals starting with written communication, even when you don’t know anyone in the firms or you don’t have personal connections with people working there – you just have to follow the right steps.

As general tips:

  • Don’t use LinkedIn for your communication – emails work a lot better. There are several tool nowadays that allow to get very quickly the email of someone. You should target at least 30% conversion for your messages – if you are not achieving that there is space for improvement in your message.
  • When you write to your target connections, your goal should not be to ask questions, rather to organize a call. Then in the call you should ask the right questions to create a link with them.
  • Whatever questions you ask during the call, you should have a closing question to ask (indirectly) for the referral. Don’t leave that to chances.

For more information on the process and for the exact steps to obtain referrals, please feel free to send me a private message.

Best,

Francesco

Vlad replied on 05/11/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi,

First of all - what is the objective? Just contacting people for the purpose of contacting is probably not the best idea.

There might be 2 objectives:

  • Getting a referral - I assume it will be extremely hard in your case since you can only connect offline. But it's still possible
  • Asking for a Mock Interview - in your case, it will be online.

There can be multiple strategies here:

  1. The best strategy is just to connect via friends and friends of friends and ask for the mock interview. To be honest, this is so much better than called calling, that I highly recommend using just this option
  2. Talk to people on the events and send Thank You notes. You've mentioned you want to connect with people you talked before. After each event, there is a Q&A session where you can talk to consultants 1 on 1 or in a group. Ask for contact info or send a thank you note after the event ("I just wanted to thank you for visiting our University... It was especially interesting to hear about... Would be happy to keep in touch and apply in the nearest future.). You can also ask for another call in a thank you note. The best rationale is a career advice. All people like giving an advice. So don't hesitate to ask consultants for a career advice. Tell your story and ask how consulting fits into it
  3. Talking to partners If you are an experienced hire I suggest to talk directly to the partners in your industry or the partner responsible for experienced hires (in consulting partners also have additional roles). Get an intro from the HR or from your friends working there. Partners care a lot about experienced hires with relevant industry expertise. Chances to get referral are much lower though. They also will not be interested in giving mock interviews.

Best,