Thursday, September 4, 2008

Classic Consulting Quotes... (Chapter 4, Part 1)

[Scene: Open workspace at the firm's* office.]

Monday.

Timmy, a 21-year-old analyst from Carnegie Mellon, has been furiously hammering away on the phone.  In front of him is a pile of resumes, culled off of monster.com, of people who currently or recently worked at a particular division of a major CPG company, on behalf of the client, another competing CPG company in the same market.  His goal; to ferret out their trade spend as a % of sales and their sales organizational structure.


Timmy:  "Yeah, hi Ralph, your resume came across my desk, and I was interested in hearing about your work experience."
   ....
Timmy: "Hmm hmmm, and what did you do there?"
  ....
Timmy: "ok great, and what types of accounts did you work on.... ok, and what were your reponsibilities with that account..... oh, so you worked with trade spend then?"
   ....
Timmy: "What types of trade spend activities did you manage?"
   ....
Timmy: "Wow, that's interesting.  Are those big activities typically?  Wow, you managed all that, that sounds great?!  .... hmmm ok.... that's like what, 7% of sales or something, right?"
 ....
Timmy:  "oh that's right, 9%."
 ....
[Timmy, having captured his information, now moves on to secondary targets.]
 ....
Timmy: "and did you have people reporting to you?  How long did it take for you to get promoted?  Was there good training involved?"
 ....
Timmy: "Mmm, I see.  So you were organized by product line, then, right?"
 ...
[Timmy continues for a few minutes]
 ....
Timmy: "I'm sorry?  No, this isn't about a job.  I work for a research and consulting firm, and we are doing a survey to understand some broad trends.  .... No, I'm sorry, I can't give you my phone number... I said my name was Timmy..... sorry Sir, thank you for your time."

[Click. Mission Accomplished.]

*  True quote, but from a previous consulting life and firm. 

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Thursday, September 4, 2008