Edward is one of the most effective networking clients in our program. Although a relatively-older candidate from a non-target school, he was able to meticulously follow our advice on networking to eventually build a very effective support network of partners and consultants at his preferred offices. This wide-ranging interview is important because it demonstrates the primacy of our networking approach.

Firmsconsulting believes that if you take the time to do the appropriate due-diligence and build sincere reasons for joining an office, this sincerity will come through in any discussions. It is interesting to see how Edward developed this approach over a 5 month period through trial and error to eventually secure strong endorsements from very senior partners.

On a personal note, I do believe Edward is one of the most impressive alums of our program. He is steeped in our tradition of values and ethics before all else and to us, that is what matters the most.

Training by ex-McK, BCG et al. Partners

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11 responses to Edward on Networking with BCG Partners

  1. Hi SG,

    Your criteria seems logical. However, if one is not able to impress the partner in a coffee chat or a call, then chances are that one will not be able to impress him/her in the interview. So spending time on number 3 will be futile.

  2. Hello SG,

    Yes, that is a good set of criteria to use.


  3. Michael, given that networking with partners is such a high-risk/high-reward strategy, would you suggest the following for candidates who lack sufficient coaching for managing such calls:
    (Note, this is provided that the candidate already has a strong profile/resume)

    1. If you don’t think you can impress a partner, don’t bother…it’ll just end up hurting you
    2. Networking with junior consultants likely won’t work at all, so also don’t bother
    3. Rely on your resume strong points to pass the screen to the interview process

    Thank you

  4. Got it, thanks for the response!

  5. Hi Dhaivat,

    Edward was neither. He was merely a reader of the site who wrote to us often and eventually started speaking to us. We are first and foremost a values-based firm. If someone matches those values and has the capabilities to succeed, we see no reason not to guide them.


  6. Hi Michael –

    Was Edward just a subscribing client or a client you coached using the 1-on-1 method. I ask because Edward appears to have had a lot of access to you and your feedback.

    Thank you in advance.


  7. Chhabra, I will take the like button as a recommended new feature. I would also pay attention to the Quarterly and Podcasts since we load material weekly. Thank you again for the kind words.

    All of Edwards notes may be found here: http://www.firmsconsulting.com/clients/prescription-for-networking-with-bcg/

  8. S

    Michael and Edward, Although I’m not an ardent user of Facebook / Twitter, but while listening to the podcast, it made me think – Where is the ‘Like’ button ? I enjoyed listening to the podcast and taking notes. It had lessons not only for networking calls but also how to work effectively with a coach and how to be proactive, gradually move from hand holding to taking independent decisions. I had listened to the podcast on Wistia where you talked about Edward’s networking strategy but listening it directly from Edward in the form of an interview was much more beneficial. Thanks to both of you for this discussion.

  9. As much as from Edward’s networking story, this podcast also teaches some great elements from the art of interviewing. Pay close attention to how Michael guides the conversation or even interrupts it slightly to bring out the more intricate and interesting elements of the speaker’s story.

  10. Hi J Kamler,

    Thank you for sharing these interesting statistics. They are pretty similar to that of our clients. I would like to draw attention to the following insight.

    Off 100 requests sent, you basically had 3 referrals and I think from that only 1 or 2 may lead to a formal referral for an interview. That is pretty standard. I suppose the referral rate could be higher but that is dependent on too many things you cannot control.

    The issue is that many send just 10 or 15 invites expecting great results but the ratios above show this is close to impossible.

    The other insight is about timing and this is very important. If you start networking very late, you ultimately will be forced to send invites to 100 people in a short space of just days and a few weeks. This will also be concentrated across a few offices so it ends up looking very desperate. You have to do this in batches. Send 10 and learn from your mistakes. Send another 10 and learn even more. That means you network over something like 3 to 4 months.

    If you want to network with fewer people, target partners but have your A-Game with you since those are tougher to manage.


  11. I used a modified version of this technique and want to share the results. My approach:

    1. LinkedIn invitations were sent to 2nd degree connections at target firms where I felt the majority of our common connections would provide a positive referral. These invitations were limited these to 10/day to avoid LinkedIn account banning.
    2. The invitations stated why the request was being sent – that I was looking to pursue consulting, for which their firm came to mind, and I’d like to learn more about their experiences with the firm.
    3. When connections were confirmed a thank you message was sent, along with the request to connect on the phone.
    4. For any connection that sent me a message but then fell quiet for two weeks without scheduling a call, a quick single reminder note was sent re-asking for a phone chat.

    For every 100 requests sent:

    29 accepted (most accept 2-3 days after the request)
    17 sent messages to chat
    8 telephone calls
    3 referrals to others for telephone calls
    1 preferred to answer questions via email

    12% uniform hit rate across all seniority levels (consultants to partners). Any strong conversations were then used to send new LinkedIn requests.

    One caveat – make sure you have a detailed LinkedIn profile before sending invitations.

    Good luck!

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