June 10th, 2019

When I started my career in the Expert Network Industry over 8 years ago, I would always have to spend the first 15-20 minutes explaining what exactly it is and what value Expert Services bring. Nowadays, given the increased number of Expert Networks available and the usage of Expert Calls (or other services) by investors, consulting companies and even corporate clients, I am faced with a different set of questions – namely “how to choose and effectively use an Expert Network”, and, at a price point reaching high hundreds of Euros or even more for a one-hour session, “how to best conduct and get the most value out of an Expert Interview”.

Given my extensive experience in the industry, I recently did a presentation to some of our clients on these topics. During the exchange session, it was very interesting to learn that while by now everyone is convinced on the need of the service and are in most cases extensive users, most are still not aware on how to take the most value out of it as there is no special training and there is a lack of shared best practices.

As this is not a topic which can fit into a single short article, I decided to do a series sharing my insights and experience encompassing sub-topics such as :

  1. Choosing the right expert network provider or a set of providers based on your needs
  2. Understanding your needs, timeline and which parts to outsource to get the most value (i.e. full research including all interviews, some interviews or only recruitment?)
  3. Handling compliance, confidentiality, and avoiding market noise
  4. Initial project briefing - information to provide and questions to ask?
  5. Managing expert network providers – save time, do not end up spending more time
  6. Scheduling made simple - we all know what a nightmare it can be!
  7. Interview questionnaire – structure, questions to ask (and not to ask)
  8. Interview preparation – as Benjamin Franklin said “by failing to prepare you prepare to fail”
  9. Interview conduction – how to actually get the information you need?
  10. Summarizing results – how to efficiently make sense of the information you gathered?

Please comment and share your thoughts on the topic. I would really appreciate learning more about your individual experiences and needs.

Looking forward !


Aiste Skardziute - Head of Expert Network Services


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