The Differences between Consultants and Partners in Management Consulting

The difference between Partner and Junior consultant is not just a million dollar in salary but many other things.

As every consultant aspire to become a partner one day coming up with a game plan from day 1 can smoothen the journey.

It becomes much more imperative in consulting companies like Mckinsey which has a policy of “UP OR OUT“.

The key differences between Junior Consultants and Partners can be summarized in three points:

Purpose at the Firm

A partner primary goal at the firm is to acquire clients. Quintessentially, partner is a sales guy. However, they are not selling to single individuals or households but to entire departments or even corporations.

As a consultant however, your primary purpose is to assist the firm’s partners in delivering the sold service.  In essence, you do not worry about how to get new work and new clients, but you deal with the work that’s already there.

So basically you are are the maintenance guy.

if you want people to think of you as Partner material you need to move from being not just a farmer but a hunter as well.

You need to make sure you are not just adding value on the assigned client but also looking out for new opportunities.

Responsibilities/Work Content:

Due to a partner’s primary goal being acquiring new clients your daily responsibilities include attending numerous meetings with
potential (and existing) clients.

As a direct consequence, a typical week might be full of flights and stays in different hotels. Many partners I know stay in four different cities and countries per week.

As a consultant however, you are more concerned with carrying out the analyses that have been promised to the clients by the partners.

Mostly working at the client’s site 4 days per week you will use lots of excel and powerpoint in order to analyze and convey project-related findings.

In a consulting world you are rarely left with anytime. But make sure all the time you are left with has to go in building network.

I have never seen a partner in any Partner without a wide network of friends. They are part of many clubs and trade associations. And that is how they get new clients most of the time.

A strong network takes year to built so make sure you start right now!

Compensation

The compensation of partner include a large incentive component. It is therefore mostly dependent on how many new projects you are able to sell and how large (in terms of project value) they are.

Consultant?

You also do have an incentive component, but it is much smaller. It mostly makes up around 10%-30% of your base pay – depending on your seniority.

But that shouldn’t be your motivation at this time. You need to follow the concept of delay gratification. Though you are not incentivised to bring new clients, you need to include it in your personal job description. And once you start working on attracting new clients to the firm, you wouldn’t need to do anything to differentiate yourself.

Interested in Management Consulting?

Make sure to check out this YouTube video with advice for new management consultants:

I have worked in management consulting for more than 3 years before transferring to the wonderful world of venture capital. On my YouTube channel, I specialize on providing personal insights into 1) how to enter, 2) how to work successfully in and 3) how to exit the management consulting industry.

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The Differences between Consultants and Partners in Management Consulting

The difference between Partner and Junior consultant is not just a million dollar in salary but many other things.

As every consultant aspire to become a partner one day coming up with a game plan from day 1 can smoothen the journey.

It becomes much more imperative in consulting companies like Mckinsey which has a policy of “UP OR OUT“.

The key differences between Junior Consultants and Partners can be summarized in three points:

Purpose at the Firm

A partner primary goal at the firm is to acquire clients. Quintessentially, partner is a sales guy. However, they are not selling to single individuals or households but to entire departments or even corporations.

As a consultant however, your primary purpose is to assist the firm’s partners in delivering the sold service.  In essence, you do not worry about how to get new work and new clients, but you deal with the work that’s already there.

So basically you are are the maintenance guy.

if you want people to think of you as Partner material you need to move from being not just a farmer but a hunter as well.

You need to make sure you are not just adding value on the assigned client but also looking out for new opportunities.

Responsibilities/Work Content:

Due to a partner’s primary goal being acquiring new clients your daily responsibilities include attending numerous meetings with
potential (and existing) clients.

As a direct consequence, a typical week might be full of flights and stays in different hotels. Many partners I know stay in four different cities and countries per week.

As a consultant however, you are more concerned with carrying out the analyses that have been promised to the clients by the partners.

Mostly working at the client’s site 4 days per week you will use lots of excel and powerpoint in order to analyze and convey project-related findings.

In a consulting world you are rarely left with anytime. But make sure all the time you are left with has to go in building network.

I have never seen a partner in any Partner without a wide network of friends. They are part of many clubs and trade associations. And that is how they get new clients most of the time.

A strong network takes year to built so make sure you start right now!

Compensation

The compensation of partner include a large incentive component. It is therefore mostly dependent on how many new projects you are able to sell and how large (in terms of project value) they are.

Consultant?

You also do have an incentive component, but it is much smaller. It mostly makes up around 10%-30% of your base pay – depending on your seniority.

But that shouldn’t be your motivation at this time. You need to follow the concept of delay gratification. Though you are not incentivised to bring new clients, you need to include it in your personal job description. And once you start working on attracting new clients to the firm, you wouldn’t need to do anything to differentiate yourself.

Interested in Management Consulting?

Make sure to check out this YouTube video with advice for new management consultants:

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