Looking into joining an expert network? In this review of GLG Insights, we’re looking into the key benefits of working as an advisor doing ad-hoc consultation work with Gherson Lehman Group (GLG). We’re also looking at some of the potential drawbacks of being a part of GLG’s network of experts and potential pitfalls you should be aware of.
Sophie Fischer – Our Expert Network Specialist: Sophie is from Hamburg, Germany and is our specialist on Expert Networks. After several years of working as a top executive, Sophie is now an independent consultant and is signed up as a council member of several networks. When she is not helping HuginX write Expert Network reviews, she can often be found enjoying thrilling Nordic noir crime series.
What is GLG Insights?
GLG Insights is considered the leading firm within the expert network industry. The company mainly focuses on research projects for institutional investors— usually private equity, hedge funds, and consulting firms. GLG Insights is legitimate – it’s certainly not a scam! – and has been operating for more than 20 years from its offices in New York. Their core product is the 1-hour phone consultation, although they offer various services, such as management checks, custom industry surveys, and syndicated reports. The firm specializes in a personalized and streamlined expert experience by utilizing the most efficient process to cut paperwork and vetting time so experts can focus on client calls.
“We are the World’s Insight Network, bringing decision makers the insight it takes to get ahead. When leaders need to make informed decisions, GLG provides meaningful connections through our network of 1 million experts, the world’s largest and most varied source of first-hand expertise, with hundreds more recruited daily to tackle tomorrow’s questions.” GLG
While the 1:1 consultation is the norm, it’s not uncommon for an expert to be asked for a follow-up call or project with the client, which would be compensated at the same rate. Usually, this happens when a client expands on a project, adds a new angle, or has an excellent conversation and wants to work more closely with you for their project. A short phone call can sometimes become a lucrative consulting project via GLG. Besides the potential follow-up call, which you will be fully compensated for, you won’t be asked to supply any additional documents or presentations.
How do Expert Networks operate?
New to expert networks? Here is a quick guide to 10 key steps networks take when matching experts with clients for ad-hoc phone consultations.
What to expect
If an employee from GLG Insights has reached out to you, you likely fit the criteria for a project:
- A former employee of a company on which they are doing due diligence. The industry standard practice is to source experts at least 6 months removed from the target company to ensure that any information exchanged is immaterial and thus not insider trading.
- A current or former employee from a competitor in the same industry.
- An expert on a specific topic, market, or geography from a parallel industry. This could include a current or former customer of a product or type of product.
Compliance and admin work
One of the most time-consuming aspects of working with GLG insights is the amount of online paperwork an expert has to complete. The pre-screening questions you’ll be asked cover both compliance related to your current situation and your experience. On one side, GLG needs to ensure you’re completely free of obligations from employers which might represent a potential conflict of interest. And on the other side, GLG asks you qualifying questions related to your experience. The questionnaire is usually a mix of compliance and open-ended questions, asking you to elaborate on relevant experience and your views.
How to qualify for a GLG project?
When applying for a consultation project, you’ll be asked to fill out screening questions. Your answers will be shared with GLG’s client, which will be considered when deciding on the final candidates. While filling out the screening questions will take some time, GLG has also done its best to make the process more efficient. You’ll be able to re-use answers you’ve previously filled on for other projects, saving you a great deal of time. However, in my experience, each project is unique, and I usually edit my answers no matter what. In any case, it’s great to see that expert networks like GLG use technology and AI to make the whole process smoother. For busy professionals, spending time filling out questions to qualify themselves might quickly become a source of irritation, especially if you’ve put effort into your answers and are screened out.
Examples of qualifying questions:
- Are you able to discuss how companies select which technology they will use? Please elaborate on critical elements that make one technology preferred over another below.
- Please select which focus areas of the market you have experience with
- Can you speak about the specific industry? If so, please elaborate on your role and experience.
- Can you discuss the competitive landscape and the fragments of the industry? Please elaborate.
- Can you discuss the typical business model at a macro level? Please elaborate.
- Can you speak on the fundamental headwinds and tailwinds in the industry? Please elaborate.
- Can you speak on any technology disruption risk within the industry? Please elaborate.
- Can you discuss trends in the market?
You’ll be expected to answer in a few sentences showing that you have the required experience. Sometimes it can be hard to condense an answer to a complex question into a few sentences, so even if you don’t need to write a lot of text, it still takes some thinking to come up with a good answer. That’s why it’s great to have the option to re-use portions of previously submitted questions, although you’re likely to have to amend your answer for each opportunity.
GLG Consulting Rates
GLG’s hourly consulting rates vary widely. The initial rate you are offered will be determined by several factors, including your job title and how many years you have been removed from the industry or the relevant job title the client is researching. The closer you are to the relevant job title, the more likely GLG will choose you for a call enabling you to negotiate a higher rate. While you can be called about a job you held three years ago, it may be unlikely that the client will take a call with you.
How much can I expect to earn per hour?
If you are below a director-level role, you will likely be offered $100-$200. If you are a director or above, you will be offered $200-$350. The associate is authorized to offer as high as $500, but anything higher has to be approved by a manager and could mean that your profile is not proposed to the client. Some experts get paid $1,000 or more per call through GLG, but usually after they complete several calls and demonstrate that they can consistently offer clients beneficial and informative conversation.
How to maximize your rate?
The best way to maximize your consulting rate is to let the GLG employee know that you have worked with expert networks and already have a set rate. In this way, the associate knows you are experienced and know your worth. It also sets a benchmark for the negotiations, so you can limit the pay range to what makes the engagement worth your time. Additionally, if you have been contacted for many projects, your knowledge is probably in demand, and you can renegotiate your rate with each project.
Your hourly consulting rate will be pro-rated based on how long you are on the call, so it’s in your best interest to keep talking (er, providing valuable insights!) to keep the client engaged. Often the client will ask you if you have other aspects you think are important to mention at the end of the call. If you have an exciting angle, it can be a good incentive for the client to continue the conversation beyond the hour or schedule a second phone meeting later. Like many expert networks, GLG pays by the minute, so you will only receive your hourly rate if the call is under an hour. However, the good news is that you’ll earn extra on calls that exceed 60 minutes – nothing beats making an additional $50 by keeping a good conversation going a little longer!
Renegotiating your rate
You’ll be able to change your consulting rate in two main ways:
- Contact GLG’s customer service or an associate to either increase or decrease your rate
- Using an interactive slider on the webpage reduces your rate when applying for a new opportunity.
On the second point above, it’s important to remember that the rate you set will be your maximum “ideal” rate. If you want to increase the rate, you’ll need to speak or write to an associate of GLG to have it changed.
Why would I increase my rate?
As you gain more experience in your industry and get positive reviews from GLG’s clients, you’ll be in a great position to increase your rate. Make sure to reach out to GLG and demand a higher rate over time.
Why would I decrease my rate?
If you notice that you’re getting fewer invitations, it could be a sign that your rate needs to be lowered relative to the overall supply of experts within GLG’s network. Use our advice on consulting rates as guidance.
Mastering Your GLG Client Call
Okay, you’ve done the vetting call, settled on a rate, filled in the screening questions, been approved, and scheduled a call. What can you expect?
Most client calls center on a particular company, industry, or product. The client will want to know the details of the industry— how it works, business models, verticals, customer types, competitive landscape, key growth drivers, challenges, and trends.
No need to prepare
The client is not expecting you to prepare for the call— they are looking to extract industry knowledge via your many years of experience rapidly. Clients have generally researched and reviewed publicly available information and heard a management presentation. They are looking for an insider who can confirm the research and give an informed opinion of the growth prospects and challenges of a particular industry, company, or product.
Speaking to investment firms
If you’re speaking with an investment manager, they are likely researching a particular company; they will want to know how it compares to its competitors, product and feature differentiation, quality of management, etc. These calls will often revolve around your former employer or a significant vendor you work with frequently. In this case, they’ll want you to compare it to similar products you vetted, emphasizing the key factors influencing your decision.
Speaking to consulting firms
The client may be a management consulting firm tasked with developing a marketing strategy, solving operational problems, restructuring an organization, or other issues. These calls will often dive into how you approach a particular case or situation, your impressions of various products, how purchase and budget decisions are made and provide feedback on some potential new products or proposed solutions.
You’ll usually have an easy time answering most questions during a call – after all, the client wants to learn about an area you’ve worked in for years. Of course, you may not have the answer to everything, so don’t feel bad for saying that you don’t have the answer to a specific question; the client will move on to the next question on their list, and they aren’t paying top dollar for made-up answers!
How do I get paid after my call?
GLG is offering its network members payment directly to their bank account via direct deposit or electronic prepaid card. For members based outside of the United States, the country of your bank will determine the method and currency of your transferred payment, but most often include wire transfer or international direct deposit.
Payments typically take 7–10 business days to be processed by GLG before being sent to your bank. You will receive an email notification once your payment has been processed. You can track your payment status by clicking the “Payment” tab on your GLG profile. From this page, you can view the payment status for all completed projects and the estimated date for payment. You can also view the account to which the payment was made.
The importance of compliance
It’s important to note that you’ll never be asked to share non-public or proprietary information, and GLG will provide you with clear compliance guidelines several times before you connect with the client. One of the critical responsibilities of expert networks is to ensure that improper information isn’t shared with clients, who are bound by strict compliance standards. You’ll rarely be asked to share any non-public information, and you should decline to answer any questions you feel move in this direction; clients won’t press you to share things that you shouldn’t.
Disclosure: While HuginX is editorially independent, we may earn commissions on sign-up links.
This is how we review gigs
Disclosure: While HuginX is editorially independent, we may earn commissions on sign-up links.